4 stars
Seriously guys, get a room. The bromance that's been building between Kirk and Spock for decades now has so much super-charged sexual tension it could fill a minor galaxy. And they're not afraid to show it, one small part of what makes Star Trek 2.2 aka Star Trek Into Darkness (the 12th in the franchise) such a hoot. Four years after successfully rebooting the series, J.J. Abrams (Super 8) boldly steps back into the director's chair and makes, against all odds, a sequel as good if not better than its acclaimed predecessor.

It starts with a bang, naturally, from which things only get noisier as Star Fleet feels the full wrath of Kahn, a genetically modified super-human some 300 years in the making. It's a tale of vengeance that starts with him tempting the Klingon Empire to declare war on the Federation. Kirk doesn't take kindly to threats, but with the Enterprise stalled in space and Spock calling him on every decision, he finds himself in more trouble than a galley full of tribbles.

With cues from throughout the Star Trek cannon, enormous fun is found in the way Abrams subverts them with a wistful heart. None of this is to be taken too seriously, least of all by the audience at which nods are thrown faster than the effects department can cheerfully destroy the Enterprise. The always excellent Benedict Cumberpatch (War Horse) resonates evil as his formidable Kahn ties Star Fleet in knots. It's a delight, not the least for the way in which Star Trek 1.2 is upended for the occasion with some notable and satisfying twists, while the rest of the cast rise to the occasion with just the right measure of whimsy and passion.

Travelling at warp speed, Star Trek Into Darkness is a roller coaster ride of big thrills, bigger design and even bigger explosions that will keep newcomers and fanboys happier than, well, a galley full of tribbles. Anchoring the excess of a movie which pushes epic in every possible direction is the human tussle between honour and duty in a time of war, pinned to the human anxiety of defending family. Which brings us back to that bromance. Touching really. But moments before it all gets too melodramatic, Dr McCoy (a deliciously distressed Karl Urban) turns up to cut everyone down to size. Star Trek Into Darkness is a thrilling voyage where you may have been before, buckle in and enjoy the best popcorn movie of the year.


Previewed at Events Cinemas, George St Sydney, on Monday, 6 May 2013


Chris Pine
Zachary Quinto
Benedict Cumberpatch
Zoe Saldana

J.J. Abrams

Robert Orci
Alex Kurtzman



130 minutes

May 9, 2013
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) on IMDb
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