Star Trek Goes Boldly, Triumphs

JJ Abrams' latest wins over critics, if not Trekkies

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 17, 2013 11:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Four years after he first thrilled audiences and annoyed hard core Trekkies with Star Trek, JJ Abrams is back with Star Trek Into Darkness, and critics are gushing over it, saying it's even more thrilling—and perhaps even more likely to annoy fans.

  • "It's crazy good," gushes Peter Travers at Rolling Stone. "Kudos to Abrams for going bigger without going stupid." The plot, like the best Trek stories, is topical, centered on domestic terrorism, and Benedict Cumberbatch's John Harrison is "a villain for the ages."
  • The "darkness" in the title refers to the moral gray area Kirk and company are forced into, and "that's a place of genuine excitement," writes Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly. This is a smart blockbuster, "a triumphantly witty popcorn morality play. It's everything you could want in a Star Trek movie."
  • Richard Corliss at Time found himself a bit annoyed at the perpetual immaturity shown by Abrams' version of Kirk. "The movie turns this venerable science-fiction series—one that prided itself on addressing complex issues in a nuanced and mature fashion—into its own kids’ version: Star Trek Tiny Toons," he writes.
  • And Andrew O'Hehir at Salon is all too willing to speak for the disgruntled fan. The movie's fine, he writes, "once you understand it as a generic comic-book-style summer flick faintly inspired by some half-forgotten boomer culture thing." But he for one is annoyed by its "entirely predictable formula," its "dumbed-down dialogue," and its abandonment of Roddenberry's moral heft. "Those in charge of the Star Trek universe could have entrusted its rebirth to someone who actually liked it."

Zachary Quinto, left, as Spock and Chris Pine as Kirk are seen in a scene from "Star Trek Into Darkness," from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.   (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Zade Rosenthal)
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A trailer for "Star Trek Into Darkness."   (YouTube)

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