‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ puts new spin on familiar plot

Zoe Saldana and Zachary Quinto in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’ Rated PG-13, 132 min. Paramount Pictures, 2013.

“Star Trek Into Darkness” is the enjoyably kinetic sequel to the most unlikely sci-fi reboot ever. The hot-headed Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and always logical Spock (Zachary Quinto) lead the Enterprise on a man-hunt for a genetically-superior terrorist (Benedict Cumberbatch) with a penchant for manipulation and violence.

While this new series of films from director J.J. Abrams takes place in an alternate universe, it still has fun with winks and nods to the Shatner-era show and movies, which featured the same characters. The joke-filled dialogue is a throwback that gets old quickly, but luckily the movie is juiced up with the director’s trademark crooked camera angles and flashes of light. It’s retro cool with a moody, modern twist.

With so many characters in the main cast, a few are nearly cut out of the plot entirely, popping up only at too-convenient times. On top of that, wedging in a new female officer (played by Alice Eve) feels like a contrivance meant to become a love interest for Kirk in the inevitable three-quel.

Some of the action sequences are fun and thrilling, so the entire movie flies by at warp speed, for better or worse.

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