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Star Trek Into Darkness: homemade torpedos, Spock lays down the law for the Starfleet, and Captain Kirk is kind of a selfish prick (feat. Leonard Nimoy!)

“You think your world is safe, it is an illusion.”

Is it possible to produce a better film than JJ Abrams’ first Star Trek? Well apparently not, because Star Trek Into Darkness proved to be just another one of those franchise-y attempts to keep the Trek lovin’ peoples of the world temporarily satisfied, and it is likely this one’s going to disappear somewhere in the forgotten movie black hole it was headed straight for in the beginning (making the whole title of the movie pretty ironic.)

And that’s okay, because there’s only so much to work with here. But given the limitations Abram had story-wise, him and the Star Trek crew did a good job making a pretty fun, action-packed movie overall. Plus, Benedict Cumberbatch as KHHAAANNNN!

Into Darkness starts out with a pretty confusing opening (in fact, the whole movie is kinda confusing), showing the Starfleet on planet Nibiru. They are conducting a survey when unexpectedly a volcano capable of wiping out the entire humanoid population is on the verge of exploding. Heyyo!

So the humanoids won’t see the Enterprise escape, Captain Kirk and the USS come up with a brilliant plan to send Spock inside the volcano to freeze any lava that would detriment the planet. Except for their plan ends up going to shit. Spock ends up getting stranded inside the volcano, and his life ends up being put on the line as the rest of the crew try and save him.

After Spock is saved (it’s pretty rough) and they return back to Earth, a series of mysterious attacks occur, the Starfleet being one of the main targets. Just when you think it might have something to do with the humanoids, Khan, the movie’s main villain, is suddenly the mind behind it all. Kahn seemed to have no real motives for wanting to terrorize the Starship, and I never fell in love with him like others in the past; there was sort of a weird disconnect between him and the movie altogether—or at least compared to quite obviously Wrath of Kahn.

Oh, and all throughout there’s this weird couple-y drama between Spock and Uhura, which felt kind of unnecessary, but part of the overall development in each major character. So where as the first one relied more on comedy than the actual characters, Into Darkness was wayyy more about the characters. Plus, there’s a lot of action throughout—perhaps too much—but you’ll definitely get what you paid for.

Kirk is kind of a self-absorbed jerk most of the time, in that he’s always sacrificing the entire Enterprise for his own selfishness (but he looks so good doing it!), all while ignoring everyone’s warning about listening to Kahn’s lies—resulting in various forces to be dealt (lots of torpedos! Laser guns! Fist fights!) that comes back to haunt him in the end. But thanks to Spock, who definitely takes one for the team, well, let’s just say Kirk’s ass gets saved.

I liked Star Trek Into Darkness. But did I think there could have been more one-liners? Yes. Do I think there coulda been a heck of a lot more Bones (what can I say, I have a thing for Karl Urban)? Yes. Did I ultimately like the first one better? Yes. But the amount of Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto (BONUS: a very brief and important Leonard Nimoy appearance) screen time should make do, even if you’re not really a “Trekkie.”

(photo via Filmonic)

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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.