1. Thanks, Paramount, for releasing it on our birthday. Much appreciated.
2. In hindsight, we probably liked 2009's Star Trek reboot more out of nostalgia and an excitement that the franchise was finally getting another shot than out of a genuine affection for the movie. Frankly, it was kind of a mess what with all of that time-travel nonsense and one extremely lame villain. (We're a little forgiving only because it was an origin story and had to spend so much time getting everyone into place on the Enterprise.)
3. But this one delivers the goods. Lots of action, some clever twists and turns, funny moments.
4. Dr. McCoy probably gets the short end of the stick here. There's more to him than the crowd-pleasing wisecracks. It even gets on Kirk's nerves.
5. Spoiler alert: never trust Peter Weller. That is all.
6. Sure does seem like a lot of wasted space in that ship. Look at the huge, roomy compartments and hallways.
7. Welcome to the rebooted universe, Klingons.
8. We obviously liked the many Wrath of Khan homages. Fun, but not distracting. The filmmakers spin the old mythology (and that 1982 movie's signature bits) in new and interesting ways.
9. We never have been a Zachary Quinto fan. He seems a little smug and lazy to us somehow. But it's hard not to like his Spock here, dealing with an angry girlfriend, fist-fighting a bad guy, engineering a classic Kirkian double-cross.
10. It seems like the strategy to restart a warp core is the 23rd century equivalent of us banging our faulty remote control on the tabletop. Seriously?
11. Speaking of which, warp cores seem pretty unreliable, don't you think? They're always failing or almost failing.
12. Bruce Greenwood never fails to utterly mesmerize us. Killer actor.
13. Hollywood, enough with the let's-destroy-an-entire-city-and-call-it-entertainment plot point. Your villain doesn't have to kill thousands of innocent people for us to root against him.
14. We're guessing more captains break the Prime Directive than actually follow it.
15. Not sure if it's the writing or the performance, but Zoe Saldana's Uhura is one of the movie's strongest elements.
16. We're growing weary of the villain who anticipates the heroes' next three or four moves (and, in fact, seems to form strategy based on those next three or four moves) in a way that seems completely impossible. These chains of cause and effect simply seem too shaky and unpredictable.
17. For a second there we thought they were going to go the ship-self-destruct route. Please don't. In fact, we forbid the filmmakers from ever considering that turn for any future sequel ever.
18. After all of the coy denials and fake secrecy about bad guy John Harrison, we were genuinely shocked by his real identity during the movie, then realized just now that the truth about his character has been sitting there on the IMDB cast list for who knows how long.
19. Some have complained that this feels more like a plot-heavy, action-first Star Wars movie than a character-heavy, drama-first Star Trek movie. Maybe so (though we would point to 1991's The Undiscovered Country and 1996's First Contact, both non-stop thrillers with a similar vibe as Into Darkness). But that probably bodes well for the next Star Wars sequel, which J.J. Abrams is directing.
20. Cable cars are still running in San Francisco several hundred years from now?
21. So the next sequel takes us onto the famous five-year mission. Very exciting.
21. Definitely worth a look, people.