The stakes are high in Star Trek Into Darkness, with death and global destruction all around. With crisis after crisis inflicting near disaster Kirk and Spock learn to work together and each crew member gets a moment to shine in the spotlight. Just like last time, Abrams makes the whole thing exceedingly fun, if not stressful and emotional.
Cumberbatch's Harrison is deliciously malevolent and cunning and constantly indicating that he's the smartest guy in the room (which he probably is). His role in the story had been closely guarded, and with good reason-- it's not just his true intentions that are a surprise, but the role he plays in the narrative, and it's satisfying to be as unclear about him as Kirk and company clearly are. For me I made a conscious effort to know as little about the plot as possible. For the most part I was successful, which is difficult in this Facebook age. My lack of information paid off as I was shocked about 3 times watching this movie. Cumberbatch’s villain chews up each scene he is in but every key member of the Enterprise crew gets their major moment in the film, and even Alice Eve's newly added Carol Marcus becomes integral to the story. Every scene in the film pulses with the same assurance that these beloved characters are once again in good hands.
2009's Star Trek was a wild gamble, a reboot that both wiped the slate clean and paid endless homage to the original. Watching it succeed was great fun for any open minded Trekkie. Star Trek Into Darkness lacks none of that marvel, and it's nods to the original series feel is simply great fun.
My Star Trek film rankings are now out in the open for all to see. Each and every entry here are enjoyable and fun for any Trekkie. Each have moments of greatness, however when you get to my top 5 or 6 you are talking about near perfect Trek films.