Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness has a lot to live up to after 2009's Star Trek simultaneously satisfied Trekkies, critics and fans of awesome films in general, and while it matches its predecessor with frenetic action sequences swathed in so much lens flare you can barely see the actors' faces, one couldn't shake the feeling of dissatisfaction upon leaving the cinema.

Things pick up pretty much where they left off four years ago: Kirk (Chris Pine) is still a slightly insufferable but sexy-faced ball of arrogance, Spock (Zachary Quinto) is a glorified robot, Bones (Karl Urban) still likes to say "Dammit!" and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Scotty (Simon Pegg) are still battling each other for the 'Most Distracting Fake Accent' award. Shit gets real when a former Starfleet agent John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) destroys central London and attacks Starfleet that leads to a death which forces Kirk to pull his finger out and get to business.

While most blockbusters tend to lead up to one big climactic set piece, Star Trek Into Darkness is turned up to 11 from the very first scene and as a result it feels a bit empty and tiring. Very little time is spent with the characters not running around and shooting stuff and even when there is an attempt at some character development (Spock and Uhura's relationship, Kirk's daddy issues etc) it's quickly wrapped up so we can get to some more action. The film is peppered with cool moments and a few laughs but I can't help but feel slightly disappointed that J.J. Abrams decided to include the most pointless gratuitous shot of a woman in her skivvies since Saffron Burrows had to strip to save her life in Deep Blue Sea.
It isn't a disaster, far from it actually, but with plot holes aplenty, not enough humour and very little actually going on behind the endless action, Star Trek Into Darkness is not The Dark Knight-like sequel we were hoping for.