J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness gets released in the UK next week and several top outlets based there have been give the go-ahead to post their reviews. Critics from TIME, Empire, Total Film, & The Guardian all have wonderful things to say (for the most part) about Abrams’ follow-up to his acclaimed 2009 reboot. Check some snippets out after the jump! In Star Trek Into Darkness, Captain Kirk leads his crew on a manhunt to capture an unstoppable force of destruction and bring those responsible to justice. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.
Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Alice Eve, Peter Weller, and Noel Clarke also star.Star Trek Into Darkness opens in 3D and IMAX 3D on May 17, 2013.
Empire – Ian Freer: “Cumberbatch’s Harrison may be dressed for a GQ cover but he is, in essence, a one-man army. It is a testament to the power of his performance that, although his early appearances are greeted with the most over-the-top Evil Musical Motifs imaginable, he manages to make Harrison ambiguous and chilling throughout. If this is Abrams’ final frontier, he has left Star Trek in a good place, both in the fictional universe and as a franchise. In some sense, the title is misleading. Into Darkness is a blast, fun, funny, spectacular and exhilarating. The rule of great even-numbered Trek movies continues.”
Time Out – Dave Calhoun: “The revived Star Trek films are shaping up to be the opposite of Christopher Nolan’s Batman tales in that they’re light on bleakness and attitude. There are enough gags (Simon Pegg is fun again as Scotty) and wit (the tension between Kirk and Spock is winning) between darker bouts of space fighting and ship-saving to keep the mood airy and unpretentious. It’s compulsory for blockbuster villains to be British of course, and Cumberbatch runs with an imperial theatrical haughtiness rather than trying to bury it. His bad guy is distinctly human, if a little two-dimensional, and he succeeds in showing real ice running through his veins and bringing some weight to a cast that generally offers more geniality than gravitas.”
The Guardian – Andrew Pulver: “Director JJ Abrams has followed up his sensational 2009 Star Trek reboot with a sparkling 3D sequel. Abrams also maintains the glistening visuals of his earlier film; Into Darkness is slathered in so much lens flare it looks like a Kylie Minogue video. And the flashes of crackling, knowing comedy have been retained, punctuating the shuddering fight scenes and chase sequences that are the very currency of the action blockbuster. People are unlikely to charge out of the cinema with quite the same level of glee as they did in 2009; but this is certainly an astute, exhilarating concoction.”
Total Film – Matthew Leyland: “Mostly, this is fantastic fun: a two-hours-plus blockbuster that doesn’t bog down in exposition or sag in the middle. There are reversals and rug-pulls galore, most of them executed with whiplash skill. Trouble is, at a certain point peril-fatigue starts to creep in, putting the story (like the overtaxed Enterprise) at the risk of burning out. What’s more, this wild, plot-driven ride has a tendency to leave character moments on the back seat. Often, minor figures first time out remain minor figures, some of them left out in the rain until the narrative calls for them to make a reappearance. But man of the match is, of course, Abrams. His aim with Into Darkness was to mint a standalone adventure, one that welcomed total Trek neophytes at the door. Mission accomplished – there’s buried treasure here for long-term fans, but this is a franchise flick that demands fanboy foreknowledge far less than it does slack jaws and high stamina.”