The rebooted alternate timeline of Gene Roddenberry's creation continues with the sequel Into Darkness. After the initial film established the main crew of the Starship Enterprise, the second one picks up with Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) in a dire situation with Bones (Karl Urban) as they run from an alien species with a sacred scroll. The tension of the opening scene only rises as we find Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) in the middle of a volcano.
The whole crew returns with Sulu (John Cho), Scotty (Simon Pegg), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin). Even Pike (Bruce Greenwood) returns as an Admiral now, still scolding Kirk for his brash attitude towards intergalactic relationships. A new terrorist rises as John Harrington that is quickly revealed to be the iconic Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch). I was not aware of this character before but found out upon a little research that this casting was another white actor cast into a role previously portrayed by an Indian actor, so that is disappointing. But Khan is portrayed as powerful and evil, and it is hard to deny Cumberbatch's acting talent.
The special effects looked great as J. J. Abrams returns to director bringing plenty of lens flare in outer space. The action takes the crew out into Klingon space, which is the first appearance of this dangerous aliens in the new universe. The story mimics the fast pace of its predecessor and raises the stakes with several plot twists. Some new character pop up including Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) and her father Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) who have secret motivations.
The ending is quite exciting and I remember being blown away by this film when I first saw it. The crashing spaceship on the cover does make for a remarkable science fiction action scene. I think this movie was a great follow up to the previous reboot making this one of the most impressive series of sci-fi films.
I'm excited to see the third installment in this action-packed franchise as a new director takes the reins but many of the new cast members return to crew the enterprise.