132 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13
Well made and amusingly acted, there’s really nothing you can say against “Star Trek Into Darkness,” except that in the end it really doesn’t matter.
As is usually the case with franchise movies, the pleasure comes in being reunited with old friends. As for actually learning anything, for taking away an emotion or a thought or an idea…well, that’s the purview of other, less busy movies.
J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” reboot three years ago was a hugely clever prequel that introduced us to those iconic characters as young people. Much of the fun came in seeing Kirk, Bones, Spock and the others as Starfleet cadets feeling their way toward maturity.
But to tell the truth, I cannot remember the plots of any of the many “Star Trek” movies I’ve seen over the decades. One had whales, I know, and another had the Borg. Spock died in one of them and came back in another.
But were there messages in any of them? If there were they quickly evaporated. These were momentary diversions — a few laughs, a whole lot of special effects. Nothing to stick to the ribs or the brain.
And so it is with “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
Though no Trekker, I recognize that Abrams and his writers (Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof) are having fun mucking about with the mythology of the series. Indeed, the entire movie may be viewed as a prequel to “The Wrath of Khan.”