in about 100 words or less
US 133m, Colour
Director: J. J. Abrams; Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Alice Eve
Despite the rather bland title, the long-awaited sequel to Abrams 2009 re-boot of the Star Trek series of films, “Into Darkness” is full of pleasant surprises, including Benedict Cumberbatch’s outstanding performance as one of Star Trek’s greatest villains. Continuing in the Abrams’s alternate universe which he established in 2009, the crew of the Enterprise follows the general trajectory of the original film series, but with amusing twists that pay homage to the original films and television series. Never really taking itself too seriously, the film is full of humor, humanity and plenty of action, special effects and the requisite lens flare (Klaus Ming June 2013).