Friday, May 17, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness

Admiral, there be spoilers here! But I'll put them in the third paragraph, so if you haven't seen STID yet, go see it. (except you, Ro Karen. You get a pass)  So this may come as something of a surprise to some of you. In fact it was a surprise to me, but I really enjoyed this movie. As my wife and I entered the cinema I was already composing my scathing tweets and reviews, for I was fully prepared for JJ Abrams to shit all over Trek in all kinds of new ways. But as the film progressed I found myself saying, 'OK, so far so good.' over and over again, until finally I just gave in and enjoyed the ride.

I'm not going to summarize the plot here, but suffice to say that this is a thrill-ride of a movie that never really slows down long enough for you to catch your breath, run to the bathroom, or ponder the plot too much. Say what you will about Abrams, and lord knows I have, he is really good at action flicks. As in 2009, most of the performances are spot-on, and while there are a few head-scratching moments, there is nothing as egregiously stupid as red matter or a supernova that threatens the entire galaxy. I'm kind of sad that I dislike the look of the 'new' Enterprise because there are some truly stunning shots involving the ship, but I just can't get over the ugliness of it.

Now don't let it be said that I thought it was all tribbles and tranya, and here come the spoilers. First of all I am really pissed that despite all the flat out denials from the Abrams camp, Benedict Cumberbatch does eventually fess up to being Kahn. But, to be honest, it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would.  But what did piss me off was we see the origins of Section 31, which is the Starfleet black-ops outfit that infuriated me so much in DS9. I also have to admit that I wasn't that taken with Cumberbatch's performance. Maybe I was expecting too much, but he was very monotone. What you hear in the trailers is pretty much how he talks through the entire film, almost like he's trying to do his best Alan Rickman impression, but not quite getting it right. And Scotty was a little bit too much the comic relief this time, but only just a little.

So this is not the Star Trek we all grew up with, but we knew it wouldn't be. Making a multi-million dollar movie leaves very little room for risk taking, so this is all flash and dash, with very little needed in the way of cognition. I don't imagine we'll see thought provoking Trek until, and unless it returns to television where they'll have the luxury of interspersing action with mental stimulation. So until that day comes at least we can look forward to exciting amusement park rides, and if their popularity paves the way for a return to TV, then it will all be worth it...I hope.

Live long and prosper, y'all.


Nimoy's cameo was kinda stupid and unnecessary, but I liked it anyway.


Jim Arrowood said...

I agree with almost everything you said, however I thought Cumberbatch was great.

Tom Corcoran said...

Yeah Nimoy wasn't needed but was entirely unexpected. The warning he provided his younger alternative self did IMO provide a better furthering of Spocks behavior with the torpedoes than if he'd just on his own decided to do it. Leading up to the warning I was wondering if this Khan was being set up to be a wronged character, a victim of a corrupt twisted admiral. And that he was merely using the means he had against a far more powerful force others were unaware of. Glad it didn't continue that route.

Brett said...

I love the way they flip the script in the final act. So familiar and yet so different.

C.L.J. said...

I had a big grin on my face the entire time. It had all the elements of the best Star Trek TOS episodes. And it referred to stuff that should have been happening, in just the right off-hand voice. Like "We'll use that shuttle we impounded from that trader, Mudd, last month."

Stinky paw said...

I went to see it on Friday, and it was good, it kept my mind busy and I enjoyed it. Tribbles rules! ;-)