Good news on the follow up to the brilliant 2009 reboot of Star Trek: for fans of futuristic action spectaculars, the new Star Trek film is well worth ponying up a tenner to see.
I attended a screening of Star Trek Into Darkness in an IMAX cinema, which on the up side, meant I got to enjoy the amazing soundtrack at its immersive best.
As with the last film, sound designer Ben Burtt of Star Wars fame has faithfully recreated and updated the bleeps, bloops and wibley-wibley noises heard on the original TV series. The action-packed opening sequence is so full of explosions, engine noises and more coming at you from all directions, it's destined to be used on home cinema test discs for years.
It would almost worth making a special trip to an IMAX cinema to see the film for the sound alone, were it not for the irritating 3D. Rather than shooting it in 3D, JJ Abrams shot the film in 2D and converted it afterwards.
He has said that the film uses new post-conversion techniques to achieve a much better look compared to normal conversions, and sometimes it works well. When the Enterprise shoots into warp speed, for example, or during a spaceship battle that bears an uncanny resemblance to the one at the end of Return of the Jedi, the 3D pulls you into the action and it feels like you're on a fairground ride.
But whenever there's lots of lens flare in a scene, which is often, it's sometimes pushed into the foreground. I found the end result mostly very distracting: see this film in 2D.
I don't want to risk spoiling the film for you by talking about the plot too much: let's just say it's very fast-paced with loads of fighting, running, near warp-core breaches fixed in the nick of time and at least five movies' worth of explosions.
I'm not giving anything away to say that Benedict Cumberbatch plays the villain, and very well he does too, although given the hype around his character in the lead-up to the movie's debut I left the cinema feeling he was underused.
At a few points it looks like the film might have something bigger to say about some of today's important issues, such as the role of drones in fighting terrorists and whether evil people deserve a trial or should be quietly offed behind closed doors, but these quickly take a backseat to the action.
I am a massive fan of the original TV series and films, and the reason I can't wholeheartedly get behind Star Trek Into Darkness is because it messes with my childhood memories one time too many. A few knowing references to the old material is always welcome, but this film takes some very famous moments and plays with them for its own ends.
I didn't see the point: it invites unfavourable comparisons from people like me and doesn't add anything for the general audience. Having successfully made the franchise their own with the last film, I would rather the makers had done something entirely original rather than going back to the old well a second time.
But that's not going to bother most people who see this film, and you should go and see it. Star Trek Into Darkness is a breakneck, enjoyable space movie and you don't need to like, or have even seen, other Star Trek movies or episodes to enjoy it. It opens on 9 May in the UK and on 17 May in the US.
Let me know what you think of the movie when you've seen it in the comments below, and in the meantime, here's a trailer: