Star Trek into Darkness
Director: JJ Abrams
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon Pegg
Four years after successfully rebooting the creaky old Star Trek franchise into a visually ravishing blockbuster, JJ Abrams returns with a mega-budget sequel that delivers razzle-dazzle but falls a bit short on wit and humanity. Into Darkness lacks the freshness and audacity of its 2009 predecessor - Leonard Nimoy's cameo as the future Spock feels superfluous, for example. That said, the CGI set pieces are stunning, especially a deep-space volcanic eruption and a cataclysmic spaceship crash that destroys half of San Francisco. The British actor Benedict Cumberbatch impresses as the suave villain - a cross between Hannibal Lecter and Osama bin Laden. The action-heavy plot is a bit clunky and muddled in places, but never boring.
* Stephen Dalton
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