Movie review: Star Trek: Into Darkness

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Ohhhh…it’s all dark!

First off, damn the subtitle that made me stick two colons in there (because I’m stubbornly sticking to a standard format).

OK, on to the review!  This movie was pretty bad-ass in a fun kind of way.  Like a lot of other people, I was hoping for something a little smarter, but I still enjoyed the hell out of this thing.

The acting (minus one small part) was pretty awesome.  Quinto and Pine nail Spock and Kirk without being so overt it comes across as mockery.  Simon Pegg is the perfect man to play Scotty, and his love for the franchise clearly comes through on the screen.

The pace is pretty much perfect.  The two hours and twelve minutes my butt was glued to the seat seemed to fly by.  I never found myself bored, or thinking, “Man, can they just move it along?”

Did it have problems?  Well, I’ll answer that question with another: is there such thing as a modern movie that doesn’t?

Look, I (overall) loved the movie, but I wish some things would’ve been done differently.  Some of the issueswere really distracting, which took away from the movie.

Spoilers to follow after the break (I’ll tell you what I mean):

OK, now I’m going to hit the specific problems I had with the movie:

1.)  Magic blood?

They tried to explain Kahn’s regenerative powers early on in the movie, which opened the door for the whole magic blood trick they use to revive Kirk.  They even show Kahn saving some poor little girl through blood donation.

There are multiple problems with Kahn’s blood reviving things.  First, how?  Maybe a little explanation for something so unbelievable is in order?  Then, what reason does Bones have for injecting a tribble with the stuff?  Is he doing that just for fun?  Finally, why do they need Kahn alive to get the blood sample?  Why don’t they just use one of the other frozen super-humans they have in the med bay?  Even if Kahn was the only one that would work, why not just get the blood off his corpse?  Corpses still have blood–at least for a little while.

I can see why they wouldn’t want to risk one of the other super-humans’ blood–they were an unknown quantity, whereas Kahn’s blood had already been tested.  Fine, go with him as a first option, but as for the rest?  Who knows?

 

2.)  Damn, that’s a big ship.

Our friend, the evil Admiral Marucs, managed to build a Dreadnaught class vessel in secret just 800,000,000 million kilomters from Earth?  Really?  Jupiter hid it somehow?  I know that seems REALLY far away to us right now.  However, in the Star Trek universe, that’s practically our collective back doorstep.  That’s a lot of materials and engineering to be done in secret so close to home.

So, he had help right?  Who?  How?  Why was everyone so clueless?  Were they truly clueless, or was this actually a much larger conspiracy?

If I had to indulge in some conjecture, I’d say that Marcus had support in several of the highest levels within the Federation.  I like this as an explanation  because it leaves lots and lots of open questions that can be explored later.  I’ll give you a solid example of what I mean:  did Admiral Pike know about Marcus’s project?

Did I just blow your mind?

 

3.) Scotty has skillz, and can apparently cloak a shuttle while still being perfectly visible.

Seriously, the way Scotty sneaks aboard the big bad super-ship is just stupid.  I mean, he just flies in with a bunch of other shuttle craft, and somehow nooooobody notices.  That’s the LEAST secure secret military installation I’ve ever seen or heard of.  I mean, come on.

This is one of the most distracting problems with the plot, because it’s Scotty’s presence aboard that ship that (mostly) saves the Enterprise.  In a way, this is worse than the magic blood.  Scotty’s shuttle was sitting in plain sight as the convoy approached!  Couldn’t Abrams at least have had Scotty’s shuttle hiding behind a rock or something?

4.)  Hiding a starship at the bottom of the ocean is stupid if your trying to actually hide.  It’s very, very stupid.

So they don’t want to leave the ocean to rescue Spock because the natives will notice.  Fine.  Why the hell did they go down there in the first place?  Why didn’t the natives see them coming on the way in?  Why not leave the Enterprise in orbit and use transporters and shuttles to work on the volcano?  *sigh*

The truly sad part is that I really did enjoy the opening scene quite a bit–it just could’ve been so much better.

 

OK, that’s enough negativity.  There are definitely a few other problems with the plot, but, like I said, I loved this movie.  That’s saying something, because I’m picky–usually problems like the ones above would turn me off enough to tick me off, but Star Trek: Into Darkness is an exception.

Why?  Well, it just does too much right.  J.J. Abrams literally sat down in a room with writers that loved Star Trek, writers that never really liked Star Trek, and writers that hadn’t seen Star Trek when creating this movie.  The goal was to make ’em all happy.

This tactic largely explains why my wife (definitely not a Star Trek fan) really like this movie.  She is even willing to go see it again this week!  That’s saying something, because my wife doesn’t even particularly like going to the movies.

So, Abrams was largely successful.  He has been able to make Star Trek main-stream in a way that it never has been before without totally destroying the feel of the original work.  Yes, I’d like a little more depth, but maybe that’s coming.  Maybe Abrams was just getting us into the universe with these two movies, and now we can really get into the meat of the Star Trek universe.

After all, in the original series, most of the good stuff was during the 5-year mission, and that’s where Into Darkness ends.  I can’t wait to see what’s next!

QMovie review: Star Trek: Into Darkness

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