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Star Trek Into Darkness Review
Star Trek Into Darkness boldly ventures into new ground with J.J. Abrams returning to direct the second film in the rebooted franchise.
Abrams explores the theme of consequences with a subtle hint of the age old question, "do the ends justify the means?" The thrilling return of the Enterprise crew shows a darker view of the federation, with a reprisal of the nefarious section 31 whose very remit implies the ends do justify the means, and this question is visited through the repercussions of actions throughout the film, including Kirk's flouting of the Prime Directive and Admiral Marcus’ continued attempts to undo the damage of his earlier actions.
Benedict Cumberbatch provides a masterful depiction of a well-known role, illustrating a truly three-dimensional character with judicious use of reasoning and motive. Cumberbatch reflects the suitably dark tone of the film and his involvement in terrorist acts draws parallels with the unsettling fear introduced in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series; reflecting Section 31's involvement in underhand tactics with unintended results.
Fellow British actor Noel Clarke demonstrates a contrasting character to his role of Mickey in Doctor Who, illustrating the difficult choice of a parent who must choose whether to save their child's life by taking the lives of others; a deliberate plot by Cumberbatch to mirror his own dilemma, forced to act against his own wishes to keep his family safe.
Alice Eve completes the trifecta of British actors making their first appearance in the Star Trek reboot, and dazzles her way into the hearts of the fan with a little gratuitous "fan service". Bringing her own twists to the plot, Alice, in the role of Dr Carole, keeps the audience guessing with her subterfuge.
Abram's has cleverly paid homage to the original series and movies with sagacious use of notable phrases and actions in a new context, reflecting the distinctiveness in the diverging alternate timelines of the old and new Star Trek universes. Abrams also elected to continue the game of "Musical Chairs" with the senior staff of the enterprise, with the crew's duties swapping around left right and centre.
All in all, Star Trek Into Darkness lives up to the hype and promises of the rebooted universe. Gone are the days of the proud federation with holier than thou ideals and frivolous disregard for the ramifications of consequential actions; Star Trek Into Darkness provides a gritty realism that emphasises a world where safety is not defined by the colour of your shirt. A view most eloquently expounded through the presence of a retractable harness in the bridge seating designed to stop the infamous "bridge acrobatics" of the old Star Trek universe.
I would wholeheartedly recommend that you take the opportunity to see Star Trek Into Darkness in cinema; the 3D version includes special Star Trek themed 3D glasses in participating cinemas; well worth the extra for that special memento.