Star Trek Into Darkness is the BEST Star Trek movie I've ever seen! It beats my previous favourite Star Trek film, The Wrath of Khan, by a country mile. Coincidentally, the movie was inspired by The Wrath of Khan (it's not actually a retread of the film). Yes, Benedict Cumberbatch plays the character of Khan, but the story is rather different.
WARNING: this review will be full of spoilers, so you may want to stop reading NOW.
When Federation agent John Harrison (aka Khan Noonian Singh) goes rogue and launches terrorist attacks in London, England, as well as San Francisco, Kirk is dispatched to hunt down and kill Harrison in Osama bin Laden style. However, since Harrison is hiding out on the Klingon home world, Kirk must tread very, very carefully, lest he embroils the Federation in a nasty war.
But when Kirk strays from his mission, it sets off a chain of events that will bring down the leadership of Starfleet and threaten to destroy the Enterprise.
I will not forget the moment when Capt. Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) dies in Spock's arms. Spock connects to Pike with a Vulcan mind meld during which Pike passes. When Spock realizes that Pike has passed, he is startled. The expression on his face caused my heart to stop.
It is very poignant when Kirk dies in a radiation-filled chamber after he has saved the Enterprise from destruction. Bones calls up to Spock in the bridge and tells him he better come down to engineering. Spock's expression shows that he knows something serious is amiss. He rushes down to where Kirk is and shares a final moment with his friend; their open hands "touch" on the glass door in a sign of affection. Spock sheds a tear (for a Vulcan, this is most unusual).
It's also very touching that Kirk admits to fear of dying, of letting go. Is this something that William Shatner's character would've done??
If you don't think supermen can cry, you have to watch as Khan relates his sad tale of how he came to be where he is and why he had to wreak havoc on Starfleet–a tear rolls down his cheek. This humanizes Khan and blurs the line between villain and victim. Yes, Khan is very dangerous, but he also deserves respect.
The sight of the Enterprise emerging from the bottom of the ocean is like nothing I have ever seen on the cinematic screen. It literally took my breath away (not too hard when you're watching it on a huge AVX screen).
Watching a Dreadnought class starship crash into San Francisco Bay and leveling the city is another breathtaking scene. (FYI, this starship completely dwarfs the Enterprise.)
I ***love*** the new look of the Klingons. This is the way Klingons should always have been!
I saw the movie in AVX 3D and it was well worth the $18 admission. It makes very good use of 3D (most films don't). I tried for IMAX 3D (for $20), but all the good seats were taken. However, AVX 3D is plenty good and I am certain you will enjoy it just as much as IMAX.
10/10. (For the record, I enjoyed this film *more* than I did Marvel's The Avengers. And that is saying a LOT.)