In Star Trek: Into Darkness, Director J.J. Abrams continues to redefine the reboot genre using the original series as his playground and broadening the story lines, characters and sets to create a new materpiece, going where no directors have gone before (sorry I couldn't help myself). For those that missed the 20009 Star Trek reboot, a new time line has emerged with our beloved characters of Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), McCoy (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Checkov (Anton Yelchin), Scotty (Simon Pegg) and Zulu (John Cho) all affected by the alternate timeline. However, as a future Spock will tell his younger self at the end of Star Trek, the real story of this series is the relationship between Kirk and Spock, "a relationship that will define them both." In the prequel's sequel (I know, it's confusing), the action starts immediately with Kirk, still captain of the Enterprise, violating the prime directive involving a native civilization that "just barely invented the wheel" to save Spock's life.
"What's the worst that could happen?" asks Kirk.
Unfortunately the worst is the duo being separated (although briefly) with Kirk being demoted to the role of first officer of the Enterprise and Spock being transferred to another ship. Kirk's mentor, Adm. Christopher Pike (Brian Greenwood), fights on Kirk's behalf, believing in his ability and that everyone deserves a second chance, although he believes that the way Kirk commands will get everyone killed if he does not change.
An attack on the first officers and captains of the Federation flagships places Kirk back in command of the Enterprise with Spock once again serving as his first officer with a mission to kill the attacker who has taken refuge on the Klignon home world. Kirk, who struggles with moral decisions throughout the film, captures the attacker known to the crew as Lt. John Harrison, but the capture is more of surrender by Harrison, who possesses superhuman strength.
In the Enterprise brig, Harrison reveals himself to be Khan and the mission the crew has been sent on is not what it has seemed.
Pine continues to deliver a wonderful performance as Kirk as he struggles with his namesake and his desire to reach the top while in command of the only family he has ever known: the Enterprise crew. Quinto adds depths to Spock's character not previously explored as his humanity (Spock is half Vulcan) is allowed a little more breathing room in this series.
Abrams continues to introduce old characters into the new timeline with interesting outcomes such as newcomer Alice Eve who plays the role of Dr. Carol Marcus. Faithful Star Trek fans will recognize her as Kirk's eventual love interest but she has a much different role in this film that sets the groundwork for future films.
All in all, Star Trek receives four out of five stars for a fun, start-of-summer popcorn flick. Star Trek fans and non-fans alike will enjoy this one.
The film is rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi action and violence sequences.