It all starts with the script. No matter how good the actor’s performances, how beautiful the cinematography and costumes, how dazzling the sound, how stirring the score… If the script sucks, so will the movie.

As much as I liked the first Star Trek reboot (2009), I hated the script; it was filled with so many violations of science, Trek lore and plain common sense. The same screenwriters worked on this the script for Star Trek Into Darkness (there should be a colon in there somewhere) and apparently they sensed a disturbance in the force (no, wait, that’s not until 2015) and sought to remedy it. They succeeded admirably.

James T. Kirk is comfortable with his new command of the Enterprise, a little too comfortable for Starfleet’s tastes. He commits one infraction of the Prime Directive too many a gets pimp-slapped for doing so--just as Starfleet itself comes under attack from a mysterious terrorist, John Harrison. But it seems things are not what they seem to be…

And that’s about all that can be said without giving away major spoilers—in fact, the entire movie is pretty much major spoilers. The screenwriters have Trek-trivia and references at every turn and even make fun of the movie itself and the source material (everything from Kirk’s way with women to the longevity of crewmembers in red shirts). The action is pretty much non-stop from the opening to the credits and even the expositions won’t bore you. The villain is great from the beginning and there’s an OMG! Moment as things progress.

That being said:

With eight major characters and 22 hours (a typical television season), everybody gets featured sooner or later. With eight major characters and just 2 hours, 20 minutes… everybody gets at least one action sequence, but once the pattern sets in, you’re just waiting for it to happen. Some characters disappear for whole stretches of the movie, others are either standing around or sitting at the positions, and when they do move, it’s only to stand or sit somewhere else. (And while it’s good to see Uhura do more in one movie that she got to do in three seasons of the television show… why does a communications officer do everything but communicate?)

But these are minor quibbles. If the first movie was about the ids getting the first drivers license, this one is about all the stuff that goes with joyriding: paying for your own gas, insurance, tag, maintenance… The kids have grown up, and they’ve turned out pretty well. Can’t wait to see what they’re up to next. You’ll enjoy what they’re up to now.

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