The 2009 reboot of classic Star Trek that was spear-headed by director JJ Abrams wasn’t a perfect film. Its story relied on a few too many coincidences to move itself along, it presented our heroes with a villain who was too easily defeated, and generally its writing was just too flimsy for it to be fully satisfying. The main conceit that it introduced, however, some alternate reality shenanigans that explained away how we could be once again seeing the early adventures of all the Original Series Star Trek characters, but played by new actors, was a particularly clever piece of work that allowed a fresh start that would please new fans and old alike. And the look of the film, all shiny and polished like the latest gadget to be released by Apple, made Star Trek appear to be more hip and modern than it had in ages. Plus, the principal cast, down to the actor, was a talented and charismatic bunch who managed to embody their characters without living in the shadows of the actors who originally played the roles.
Abrams put all of the necessary pieces in place to restart a franchise that had been going strong for nearly half a century, and to build a foundation that might allow it to go on for at least another few decades. So, given that Star Trek Into Darkness is the second step in what Paramount surely hopes is going to be a lengthy next phase in their long-running property, how well does it build upon the foundation laid in order to move things forward? Not too well, unfortunately. But it does manage to be a fun action movie, regardless.