Last night in Los Angeles, J.J. Abrams unveiled the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness to a bunch of online press, and so far the general reaction is very positive. Granted it's only nine minutes -- and we imagine these nine minutes were specifically written and shot with the idea of showing it off early -- but the mix of action, drama and humor is all there, and we're especially pleased to hear that the IMAX footage -- as well as the 3D -- looks pretty tremendous.
These nine minutes are the first nine minutes of the movie (there was a montage at the end going over much of what we've seen in the previous teaser trailer; see below), and those minutes are broken into two parts, it seems: One is a quiet moment inside a hospital with the film's unknown villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, and the other is an action scene with the Enterprise crew on an alien planet, where they're running from (and dealing with) erupting volcanoes.
Here's a taste of the reaction from those who were there:
"What's revealed in the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness isn't so much telling as it is intriguing, moreso for the Trek fans out there who'll get every little familiar line of dialogue and nod to the O.G. Trek series, of which there are many. But fair warning, Trekkies: judging from this tease and the footage Paramount has already released, Abrams knows that you're reading into every little clue — and he's playing you like a violin." -- Movieline
"Even now, at the end of the nine-minute presentation, I cannot conclusively tell you who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing. We do meet him very early in the footage, though." -- HitFix
"The sounds are equally as impressive as the visuals. Once again the same gang of best-in-class sound designers (including Academy Award winner Ben Burtt) are on the case. Also the preview features all new music by Michael Giacchino (another Oscar winner). The music at times was original for Into Darkness, but then there were also flourishes which called back to some of the musical cues and themes from 2009′s Star Trek, including when we see an exciting (and surprising) reveal of the USS Enterprise." -- TrekMovie
"The footage also did an impressive job showing off the power of IMAX and 3D. While I never got the sense of vertigo that I felt while watching Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol last year, the amount that the giant format adds to the scope is unquestionable. Furthermore, Abrams certainly seems to be taking advantage of the extra dimension as well." -- CinemaBlend
"Abrams’ first 3D film looks like he has real command, giving us depth in some shots, and active things popping out in others. However, unlike The Dark Knight Rises prologue, the IMAX in this isn’t consistent. It jumps from 35mm to IMAX and back again. Not seeing the footage in full IMAX, it was impossible to tell if this would be distracting or not." -- Slashfilm
There will be a new two-minute trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness arriving this week, and you can scope out these nine minutes for yourself when they arrive with select IMAX versions of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey this Friday. For more on what theaters will be carrying the Star Trek footage, go here.