Star Trek Into Darkness
Having never been much of a Star Trek fan, and emotionally underwhelmed by the 2009 re-boot, I had zero expectations from J.J. Abrams’ second outing with the crew of the USS Enterprise. Perhaps this was the best approach, as I was hugely entertained by this energetic, fun-loving space adventure that sees Benedict Cumberbatch’s terrorist lay waste to Starfleet’s high command, and Kirk, Spock and the rest of the gang charged with chasing him down. The actors acquit themselves well, most surprisingly Chris Pine, who has emerged from relative obscurity to essentially own this franchise, although Zachary Quinto was seemingly born to play Spock and Cumberbatch adds real weight to his multi-faceted super villain.

There are weaknesses – Zoe Saldana is given precious little to do beyond look good and act as trophy girl bait, Simon Pegg has never fully convinced as Scotty, while Anton Yelchin is a washout as Chekov. Under scrutiny there are plotholes you could fly a Star Destroyer through (deliberate Star Wars crossover reference), but none of that made any difference to me. The film aims squarely at the one chapter of the entire Star Trek universe with which I am familiar (films II through IV) and pays loving fan service to them, while introducing a neat spin on the material that should delight fans while entertaining those unfamiliar with the source. Big, bombastic blockbuster entertainment. No more, but certainly no less.

Fernando and I discuss our opposing views of the film on the podcast here.