Unspectacular: Latest Star Trek not the best

By Richard Roeper

Note to hardcore Trekkers and non-Trekkers alike: multiple but mild spoiler alerts just ahead! Trust me, I'm holding back on the big surprises.  

At times Star Trek Into Darkness plays like a buddy cop movie set in the intergalactic future.    

Rousing opening sequence in which the rogue anti-hero (one Capt. James Tiberius Kirk) disobeys directives and breaks the law in order to save lives? Check.    

Subsequent scene where the superior chews out the hero and tells him he thinks the rules are for everyone else, and even though our hero has the potential for greatness, he's been given the equivalent of a desk job? Check.    

Maddeningly straitlaced, by-the-book good guy (Spock) constantly butts heads with his rebellious partner? Check.    

Psychopathic but ever-stylish villain who possesses far superior strength and firepower than our heroes? Check.    

Of course, this being the second entry in the Star Trek film series that got such a rousing reboot in 2009, we also get state-of-the-art visual effects, some amusingly weird alien beings, at least a half-dozen references to touchstones from previous Star Trek movies and TV episodes– and 3-D glasses for the audience if you're so inclined to pay the extra freight.    

My advice: As was the case with Iron Man 3, the 3-D in Star Trek Into Darkness is at best 2 1/2-D, and you'll be just fine watching this in a regular old theater. Audio review. 

One of the numerous strengths of Star Trek Into Darkness, which probably won't be known as STID because that looks too much like an acronym for something you don't want to catch, is that it works as a stand-alone film. Full review.