The first thing that came to mind at the conclusion of the Radio 96.1 premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness Wednesday night was: the new Star Wars movies are going to be epic.
Director JJ Abrams, thanks to his brilliant work on TV shows like Alias, Lost, and Fringe and the inspired reboot of the Star Trek franchise, has been handed the keys to the next wave of Star Wars films - the first of which is scheduled for release in 2015. The mastery of Abrams as it relates to Star Trek is how he has been able to bring a franchise specifically geared towards sci-fi fanatics to the masses. That's what you heard about 2009's Star Trek - that even non-Trekkies loved it (myself included).
As the title suggests, this is a darker trip into Starfleet, as the crew of the Enterprise is asked to respond to a vicious act of terror by going after the villian. Along the way, and what makes the new Star Trek movies so accessible, is how deeply the script dives into the characters. Who is this villian, really? (Hold on to your seat at the 75 minute mark).
What's in those torpedoes and why are there 72 of them?
We once again are introduced to intimate details of Captain Kirk's struggle with overconfidence and the inability to follow rules and watch as he is forced to find a balance of both. The budding love story between Spock and Uhura is a delightful minor storyline, as human Uhura gets frustrated with Vulcan Spock's inability to show emotion.
The action never lets up - whether it's Uhura's tense scene trying to avert a war with the Klingons, Kirk attempting to save Spock from a volcano, or the many battle sequences in space.
But the story that drives the engine of Star Trek Into Darkness is the relationship between Kirk and Spock, played to perfection by Christopher Pine and Zachary Quinto. Bonds that will never be broken are formed in this film and there are countless twists along the way that lead to that pinnacle. Karl Urban's "Bones" and Simon Pegg's "Scotty" are particularly great supporting roles.
Star Trek Into Darkness is blockbuster movie making at it's best - a superb effort in every way.