Star Trek Into Darkness
starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Bruce Greenwood and Peter Weller
written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof
directed by J.J. Abrams
This is another Khan story. You don’t know who Khan is? Trekkies do. Khan Noonian Singh was played by Ricardo Montalban both in the original TV series, and again in the second Star Trek movie The Wrath of Khan (1982). Khan is perhaps the greatest and most memorable Star Trek villain. (After Khan I suppose Tribbles are the most memorable Star Trek thing. And guess what? There are a few tribbles in this movie. Yeah!) Now he is re-introduced to new Star Trek fans by Benedict Cumberbatch. Only now his character and story are bigger, badder and more action-packed.
The leader of the Federation fleet, Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller, whom you will recognize as the original Robocop) wants to provoke a war with the Klingon Empire. He wants humans to prevail and rule the galaxy and he needs a causus belli to catalyze a final confrontation. For that purpose he revives the cryogenically suspended 20th century uber criminal Khan Noonian Singh to do his dirty work by executing acts of terrorism on Earth that can be blamed on the Klingons and serve as a reason for war. At first Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is fully into Marcus’ agenda, but he slowly recognizes the truth. When Admiral Marcus realizes that Kirk isn’t following his script he sets out to frame Kirk and Khan and threatens the Enterprise with a massive, advanced technology ship. It’s almost civil war within the Federation! Shots are fired. Mr. Scott (Simon Pegg) has a much larger role in this film and he rescues the Enterprise by cleverly sabotaging the opposing vessel as only an engineer can do. Simon Pegg’s Mr. Scott is really funny. I like him.
Khan escapes custody. Then he’s recaptured. Then he escapes again. Then he is recaptured again and returned to cryogenic suspension. In the course of it all he does a lot of damage to life and property: a demonic wrecking machine. In the final scenes, one year later, the Enterprise is dispatched on its five year mission to seek out new life and new civilizations - to boldly go where no one has gone before, which is the premise of the original TV show.
Leonard Nimoy makes another guest appearance as the elder Mr. Spock.