Thirty minutes of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness screened Friday in London, setting off a thunderstorm of discussion and spoilers about what we’re going to see in the highly anticipated sequel. Don’t worry, we won’t post any spoilers here. We, like you, prefer to be surprised. What we are interested in is what some of the biggest UK publications – The Guardian, SFX, Total Film and Bleeding Cool for example — thought of the footage. Does it live up to expectations? We’ve compiled a few quotes below.

Producer Bryan Burk introduced the first 30 minutes of the movie, followed by two additional scenes. You can read about the first nine minutes here, but here’s are some quotes about the feel and tone of the next 21 or so.

The Guardian:

Without giving too much away, there’s more packed into the first half-hour of the movie than an entire season of Lost (and more than the suggestion that the island mystery show’s creator continues to be a film-maker with a fondness for spectacular set pieces that don’t always entirely fit the storyline).

The 2009 Star Trek had more than its fair share of plot holes, but no-one minded too much amid all the jaw-dropping space-thrills. Into Darkness throws so much preposterous theatricality at the screen that it remains to be seen whether there are parts of the jigsaw that won’t fit together by the time the credits roll.

Bleeding Cool:

It was an unrelenting 30 minute thrill-ride that constitutes a rough cut of the first half hour of the movie. From here on in almost anything I might say could be considered the stuff of spoilers, but if you want an capsule opinion from me before I get into all that – from the portion I have seen, Star Trek Into Darkness looks very exciting indeed. Even if the remaining 90 minutes or so is all Bergmanesque interiors with Kirk and Spock muttering haiku to one another, Star Trek Into Darkness will still be a very exciting film.

The Hollywood News:

Everything you expect, we witnessed. From Spock and Kirk continued in a constant battle of wit, Kirk bed hopping and wisecracking, and space scenes that boggle the mind, this footage promises so much more. It’s exciting to learn that there is a significant progression in the amount of footage shot in IMAX following on from the success of what was achieved in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL, with some stomach-churning aerial shots involving cityscapes and waterguaranteed to blow your mind.

Though the editing, effects and music were not finished, J.J. Abrams’ eagerly anticipated sequel-without-a-colon looks certain to blow 2009’s STAR TREK out of the water in regards to both scale and ambition. And the best bit of all? You’re so engrossed that your mind doesn’t allow you to once think about STAR WARS.

Click on each of those links to read much more about the footage. Plus Den of Geek and SFX also have reports. However, those are more footage recaps than reactions. And if you really want spoilers, TrekMovie goes balls to the wall.

Overall it sounds like the film is bigger with an action focus and, at least in the first half hour, the character stuff is a bit lighter.  However even The Guardian, who is the most skeptical, admits you can’t base a full opinion solely on the first section of a movie. And Abrams has yet to finish the movie, though that should be coming in the next few weeks.

How excited are you right now for Star Trek Into Darkness?

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