Star Trek Into Darkness is J.J. Abrams' second film in the rebooted Star Trek film franchise. Allow me to state it plainly: I’m a fan of the original TV series. While I enjoy the cerebral storylines of Star Trek the Next Generation, I don’t think of it as appealing as the original series.
That’s just my stance on it. Abrams gave the film franchise new life with his fresh take on the original characters of Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, and Captain Kirk. But will this new sequel doom the franchise before the credits roll on this, the second film iteration of the new Star Trek? My money is on Abrams to score big. Here are my five reasons why.
1. The continuity is there
It all starts with the amazing cast from the rebooted Star Trek from 2009. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are the anchors of course, but Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin have also reprised their roles. This provides continuity that fans, both new and old, can get behind. All of these actors are pretty spectacular choices for these characters as well.
2. Benedict Cumberbatch makes a great villain
Many fans won’t recognize this actor unless they watch the BBC series Sherlock. He’s a decent actor in that show, but here — and I have paid close attention to the clips — Cumberbatch looks primed to assault audiences with a killer performance. He looks cold, lifeless, and perfectly detached. I think that will play great against hot-headed Captain Kirk and the emotionally-conflicted Spock. It’s a great set up!
3. Abrams welcomes both the old and the new
Science fiction films that are based upon any source with an established fan base are risky. Fans can be brutal, and if you get one thing wrong, they will surely let you know. Abrams did a fine job with the last Star Trek film of keeping everything “new.” In other words, you didn’t need to be a fan of its source material to really get the film. In this manner, Abrams welcomes both fans of the original TV show and the fans of the newest movie treatment.
4. Solid writing is always a good idea
You cannot underestimate the value of a great writer. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have returned for this latest installment; they penned the 2009 version of Star Trek. That’s a good thing — because time travel is one tough plot line (synopsis: Star Trek 2009 plot). If you can handle that material so deftly, then surely this sequel will be even better. Besides, the writers are not only familiar with the director, they also know the actors.
5. Prime release date and no competition results in box office gold
That’s what happens when you release a sci-fi flick at the beginning of the summer movie-going season. Unlike films such as Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness has no real competitors to speak of. Oblivion is already quickly waning, Elysium doesn’t open until August, Pacific Rim is more monster fest than sci-fi, and After Earth doesn’t exactly possess blockbuster potential.
The truth is, Abrams puts together a great combination between a fast-paced thrill ride and a clever story with just the right amount of geek savvy. Star Trek Into Darkness has all the right pieces to launch itself as a worthwhile installment to this reinvented franchise.
Set your phasers to “cha-ching”!