Last night I had the absolute pleasure of watching Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequal to 2009’s Star Trek, once again directed by J.J. Abrams.
The USS Enterprise is sent to observe Planet Nibiru, finding a volcano on the verge of erupting and wiping out its primitive inhabitants. During a mission to halt the eruption, first officer Spock’s life is jeopardized, forcing Kirk to break the “Prime Directive”, revealing the Enterprise to the planet’s civilization during Spock’s rescue. A number of indigenous people begin to worship the ship as it leaves. Called back to Earth, Kirk is demoted to First Officer and Admiral Pike re-assumes command of the Enterprise. Shortly afterward, Starfleet agent John Harrison bombs a secret “Section 31” installation in London. Pike and his first officer attend an emergency meeting of high ranking officers at Starfleet headquarters. The meeting is attacked by a gunship piloted by Harrison. Kirk takes the gunship down, but Harrison escapes and Pike dies.
After Pike’s funeral, Fleet Admiral Marcus authorizes Kirk to hunt down Harrison, who has fled to the Klingon homeworld of Qo’noS. Since Qo’noS lies deep in Klingon territory and Starfleet is on the brink of war with the Klingon Empire, the Enterprise is supplied with 72 long-range prototype photon torpedoes, and is ordered to fire them all at Harrison’s location once he is found. Believing the torpedoes could be dangerous to the ship, Montgomery “Scotty” Scott refuses to take them aboard and tenders his resignation, whereupon Pavel Chekov is promoted to Chief Engineer. Admiral Marcus’ daughter, scientist Carol Marcus, joins the crew under a false identity.
Arriving at the Klingon homeworld, Enterprise’s warp core malfunctions, stranding the ship. With repairs underway, Kirk, Spock and Uhura use a previously commandeered trader ship to reach Qo’noS. However, they are detected by Klingon patrol ships and are forced to land. Despite Uhura’s attempts to negotiate, the Klingons prepare to kill the trio. A mysterious figure wipes out the Klingons, then reveals himself to be Harrison. Harrison confronts the landing party, but surrenders after learning the precise number of photon torpedoes aimed at him.
Returning to Enterprise, Harrison reveals his real identity: Khan, a genetically augmented superhuman, who has been in cryo sleep for 300 years after his unsuccessful war to have his superhuman comrades rule the Earth. He advises Kirk to examine the 72 prototype torpedoes and also tells him a set of spatial coordinates. Kirk orders Doctor McCoy to examine the torpedoes, and contacts Scotty on Earth to check the coordinates. The torpedoes are found to each contain a genetically-engineered human in cryo sleep – the remaining members of Khan’s colleagues. Khan explains that Admiral Marcus awakened him to use his superior intellect and savagery to develop advanced weapons for a war with the Klingons, keeping his colleagues as hostages. Kirk realizes that the Enterprise warp core had been sabotaged on Marcus’ orders, making the covert operation to kill Khan a one-way ticket.
Scotty arrives at the coordinates and finds a secret Starfleet shipyard, which he infiltrates. The Enterprise’s warp core is repaired, but the ship is soon confronted by an unregistered Federation battleship, the USS Vengeance – a massive vessel built for combat which dwarfs the Enterprise. Admiral Marcus reveals himself as the commander of Vengeance, demanding Kirk hand over Khan. Kirk refuses, and Enterprise warps toward Earth, to have Khan stand trial.
Enterprise is attacked by Vengeance in Earth’s orbit. With Enterprise is severely damaged, Kirk offers to hand over Khan and the 72 bodies in cryo sleep in exchange for the lives of his crew. Admiral Marcus refuses, beams his daughter to Vengeance, and orders the destruction of Enterprise—when Vengeance suddenly suffers complete power outage, caused by Scotty who had boarded the ship at the secret shipyard. As the Enterprise weapons are too damaged to continue the fight, and knowing that Khan was the designer of Vengeance, Kirk allies himself with Khan and boards the ship. They reunite with Scotty and take the bridge. Meanwhile, Spock contacts Spock Prime to learn of Khan’s history and how to defeat him. Khan betrays Kirk and takes control of Vengeance, killing Admiral Marcus. Khan negotiates with Spock, beaming Kirk and his boarding party back to the Enterprise in exchange for the 72 cryo torpedoes.
Khan plans to destroy Enterprise, but Spock reveals that real – and armed – torpedoes were beamed to Vengeance, keeping the cryo pods on Enterprise. The torpedoes detonate, incapacitating Vengeance and enraging Khan, believing his 72 colleagues have been killed. Both ships start descending towards Earth’s surface. The crew of the Enterprise manage to halt their ship’s descent, as Kirk sacrifices his life to re-align the warp core, dying from radiation poisoning. Vengeance crashes into downtown San Francisco. Having survived the crash, Khan tries to escape in the chaos, but is pursued by Spock. McCoy discovers that Khan’s blood may reanimate Kirk and – at the last possible moment – Uhura prevents Spock from killing Khan, capturing him instead.
Kirk is revived and returns to duty as Captain of Enterprise. Khan is sealed into his cryo pod and stored away with the rest of his crew. As the film ends, the Enterprise is re-christened and departs for a 5-year mission of exploration.
It was a truly brilliant film, written and directed superbly. Excellent editing made it flow seemlessly, and ensured that everyone was on the edge of their seats the whole way through. The entire cast gave fantastic performances, but special mentions have to go to Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg for giving fantastically honest and emotional performances, and John Cho and Anton Yelchin for adding the comedy elements to the film so superbly.
I can’t recommend the filmm highly enough. Please, go and enjoy this film. You won’t regret it.
Thanks for reading.