Cover story: Stars align for an­other Trek .......................

Di­rec­tor JJ Abrams boldly de­liv­ers again on Star Trek Into Dark­ness, writes Toni Ma­son

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS - Star Trek Into Dark­ness opens to­day.

JJ Abrams brought le­gions of non- Star Trek fans into cinemas with his 2009 reinvention of the Gene Rod­den­berry-orig­i­nated TV se­ries.

Star Trek Into Dark­ness proves he’s no one-hit won­der with its heart­stop­ping ac­tion and eye­pop­ping vis­ual ef­fects topped off by a gen­uinely mov­ing sto­ry­line.

Open­ing on an ob­vi­ously alien planet with Cap­tain James T Kirk (Chris Pine) and Dr Leonard ‘‘Bones’’ McCoy (Kiwi ac­tor Karl Ur­ban) un­suc­cess­fully at­tempt­ing to avoid de­tec­tion by its un­so­phis­ti­cated na­tives, the full-tilt ac­tion be­gins right away and only pauses oc­ca­sion­ally through the film to al­low you to re­gain your breath.

There’s a new vil­lain – rogue Starfleet in­sider John Har­ri­son, mag­nif­i­cently por­trayed by the su­perb Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch ( Sher­lock), who uses his ma­nip­u­la­tive skills to strike against the heart of his or­gan­i­sa­tion.

There’s some added girl power on the En­ter­prise as Starfleet of­fi­cer Dr Carol Mar­cus adds her sci­en­tific skills to those of Spock, once again played to pointy-eared perfection by Zachary Quinto.

There are more than enough ref­er­ences from the var­i­ous in­car­na­tions of the Trek world to please hard­ened fans – al­though for­tu­nately only one Trib­ble shows its fluffy, um, what­ever it is Trib­bles have.

But what is sure to please most movie-go­ers is the way Abrams and his writ­ers – Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtz­man and Da­mon Lin­de­lof – have cre­ated an im­me­di­ately recog­nis­able world, de­spite the fact it’s peo­pled by aliens and driven by tech­nol­ogy far be­yond present-day un­der­stand­ing. Heroes in this world have their flaws and may not be what they seem; vil­lains have mo­ti­va­tions we can un­der­stand and with which we can em­pathise.

With a tightly-crafted sto­ry­line, its ex­pected but still im­pres­sive spe­cial ef­fects, plus some in­tense scenes of phys­i­cal com­bat that will have you winc­ing, Star Trek Into Dark­ness is a great ex­am­ple of what big-bud­get moviemak­ing should be about.

Fans will only be hop­ing the as­so­ci­a­tion of Abrams and the new in­car­na­tion of Star Wars will prove to be as ex­cit­ing and re­fresh­ing as his two trips ‘‘where no man has gone be­fore’’ have been so far.

More im­por­tantly, those who only dipped their toes into Star Trek af­ter his first ef­fort will be bring­ing along their friends and rel­a­tives to im­merse them­selves in Abrams’ re-imag­ined uni­verse, where we hope he’ll be stay­ing for years to come.

Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) in

Star Trek Into Dark­ness.

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