By Rollo Ross
LONDON May 3 The crew of USS Enterprise beamed
into London for the premiere of the sci-fi sequel "Star Trek
Into Darkness" with critics saying on Friday that the
eagerly-awaited film proved the franchise could still live long
The film, starring Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk and
Zachary Quinto as First Officer Spock, is a 3D follow-up to
director J.J. Abrams' 2009 reboot of the popular franchise
starring a new cast of spacefarers.
The action kicks off with a terrorist attack in London
against Starfleet and the man responsible is the one-man killing
machine John Harrison played by up-and-coming British actor
Soon the crew of the Starship Enterprise, including Nyota
Uhura played by Zoe Saldana and Karl Urban as Bones, are on his
tail but things are not all what they seem with some moral
dilemmas and life-changing decisions to be made.
Early reviews have been positive about Abrams' second movie
but he is unlikely to direct a third Star Trek film as he has
signed up to start work on the next "Star Wars" movie.
Abrams was named in January by Walt Disney Co as the
director of "Star Wars: Episode VII" due out in 2015, but he
said he would like to stay involved in future Star Trek films by
Viacom Inc. studio Paramount Pictures.
"No matter what, if the third is in the offering, if they do
a third, definitely we'd be involved as producers on the movie,"
he told Reuters television on the red carpet at the premiere.
"Depending on what the timing would be and everything but
there would be no more fun thing to do than work with this group
again. They're amazing."
Critics gave positive reviews to "Star Trek Into Darkness"
that opens in Britain on May 9 and in the United States on May
17, the 12th film in the Star Trek franchise that was created
about 50 years ago by Gene Roddenberry and led to six TV series.
To date, the 11 Star Trek movies have grossed more than $1
billion in the United States since 1979, including $256 million
from Abrams's 2009 film.
But critics were not as glowing in their praise as for
Abrams' 2009 movie "Star Trek", describing it was an exciting
action movie that did not take itself too seriously.
"People are unlikely to charge out of the cinema with quite
the same level of glee as they did in 2009; but this is
certainly an astute, exhilarating concoction," wrote Andrew
Culver in The Guardian.
Time Out London wrote: "The result [this time] is a stop-gap
tale that's modest, fun and briefly amusing rather than one that
breaks new ground or offers hugely memorable set pieces."
The new villain, Cumberbatch, 36, who shot to fame playing
the detective Sherlock Holmes in the BBC television drama
"Sherlock", received glowing reviews.
Critic Chris Tookey writing in the Daily Mail, said
Cumberbatch was a worthy successor to some illustrious
"(He) delivers a silky, sinister baddie with commendable, if
computer-enhanced, athleticism and an attitude that makes him
one of the great movie villains," he wrote.