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Star Trek Into Darkness Review Roundup: J.J. Abrams' Movie Is "Brash Fun" or "Pretty Dumb"

Star Trek Into Darkness, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

The critics have spoken.

Reviews for the highly anticipated sequel Star Trek Into Darkness—starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch and Zoe Saldana, and directed by J.J. Abrams—have boldly made their way online just ahead of tonight's midnight screenings.

And for anyone who's still questioning whether or not  to see the cloaked-in-secrecy film...it looks like critics like it. For the most part!

Many reports touch upon the intrigue and fascination inspired by the effects and futuristic element of the film, which at times, they say, goes a bit overboard in the action department.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg...

NEWS: Star Trek Into Darkness could go big in box office

• "There are times when it feels as if the director has pulled a page out of the Michael Bay playbook, taking some of the action to exhaustive extremes. At other moments, all that bravado collapses into safer-than-necessary choices. But before that whither-Star Trek sigh has time to build, the film does something bold, surprisingly pointed in its treatment of terrorism, for one," Betsy Sharkey from The Los Angeles Times writes. "So many things are done right that even with the bombast, "Into Darkness" is the best of this summer's biggies thus far. It's a great deal of brash fun, and it should satisfy all those basic Trekkie cravings."

• Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune states, "Yes, the film culminates in a vicious fistfight that goes on slightly longer than forever. Yes, it's brazenly dependent on our collective (and justified) fond memories of the best of the first-round "Star Trek" movies, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." We won't say how, exactly, but it is. But the new film works. It's rousing. The human element, and the Vulcan element, to say nothing of various other species, are present, accounted for and taken seriously enough to matter."

NEWS: Into Darkness stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto talk the "heart of the story"

Star Trek Into Darkness Movie Stills Paramount Pictures

• "The good people at Paramount have asked me not to say too much about the plot, so I won't, except to note that it is pretty dumb and sometimes needlessly muddled...Star Trek Into Darkness does not quite stand by itself as a satisfying movie, but then again it doesn't need to. It is the leg of a journey that has, remarkably, lasted for nearly half a century. I hope we never tire of Kirk, Spock and the others. I also hope that they stick around long enough to find a new civilization, since the one we have now does not fully appreciate their gifts," The New York Times' A.O. Scott explains. 

• "Is the movie good? It's hard to be objective," David Edelstein from Vulture writes. "The plotting is clunky and nonsensical, but Abrams and crew bombarded me into happiness. More than that, they made me feel so special for getting the in-jokes. Star Trek Into Darkness is a feature-length dialogue with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Abrams and screenwriters Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci, and Damon Lindelof set the 1982 film's best-known lines (and best-known scream) in peculiar new contexts. Alliances are muddled—fascinatingly. The narrative never stops twisting."

NEWS: Zachary Quinto on the Kirk-Spock "bromance"

• "Director J.J. Abrams, who has owned up to not having an emotional attachment to the TV show or the movies it spawned, commissioned his screenwriters to do a riff on Wrath of Khan, an alternate history of the Khan myth. So knowing the classic Trek version—dating from a TV episode in the '60s, updated with the '80s movie—doesn't help in appreciating the new one, or spoil its surprises," says Zap2It's Roger Moore. "That's both good and bad—good in its novelty, bad in the sense that it still relies on the original series' back story to draw on. 'Remaking' The Wrath of Khan while not actually actually remaking it muddies the message and robs the villain and the story of its mythic staying power."

PHOTOS: Star Trek Into Darkness: Flick Pics

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