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Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Anthony G Williams

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Star Trek Into Darkness has a surprisingly complex plot – there’s a lot going on there, and I didn’t completely sort it out in my mind until after it was over. In contrast, most of the characters are sketched in, with the stock cast of Scotty, Doc et al being more like one-dimensional caricatures. The acting is generally unimpressive with the marked exception of Benedict Cumberbatch, who acted the others off the screen while portraying the only interesting character in the film: the villain Harrison.

The basic plot has some credibility problems which bothered me. Now this might seem strange in a film in which it is necessary to accept faster-than light star ships, alien beings, 300-year old super warriors etc, but it can be the simple human things which prompt scepticism. In this case, I thought the principal character James T Kirk to be far too arrogant, over-confident, stubborn and inexperienced for any rational organisation to allow him anywhere near the controls of a starship. I also found nothing much about him to like, leaving me not caring what happened to him.

On the upside, the action sequences look great - just as well as there are lots and lots of them, with only an occasional breather in between. In particular, the final mid-air fight between Spock and Harrison is memorable and had me on the edge of my seat. 3D is a positive benefit here, emphasising the drama without generally being obtrusive.

Overall, the visual spectacle makes this an exciting film to watch, but the collection of Star Trek characters now seems rather tired and hackneyed. Their simplistic portrayal belongs to a past era of film-making which looks rather juvenile today, and falls far short of the impressive Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series and associated films. So in a nutshell, it’s a 3D spectacular with mostly 1D characters.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
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Let me first say, I liked it. I would recommend it.

But as a SF tale it fell a bit short. It reminded me more of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" than a Star Trek tale. I think that's because there was so much of the physical action and so little of the mental dilemmas that were the hallmark of the original series. Another way it reminded me of Indiana Jones is that a lot of the action was unbelievable. No one could do what they did and survive. Also I thought that there were several shots in the movie where the director was trying to emphasize the 3D aspect of the movie.

I also thought that it was struggling for an ending. I thought once "well this is the end" but it wasn't.

*The most memorable scene? Spock and Uherha in a lover's spat that eventually ends with Spock getting kissed. --- "That is not logical."
 

Gordian Knot

Being deviant IS my art.
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WARNING - This post contains spoilers. If you do not know the "secrets" about the movie, DO NOT READ.

Anthony, we are almost polar opposites! lol. The Next Generalization was abominable! I hated everything about that show. From the Starship Ritz to the inability of Picard to make a decision about a hangnail without calling a conference of the major staff to discuss it first.

I'm on the opposite side of the fence on the acting as well. I despised Cumberbatch's acting. Especially when compared to Ricardo Montalban. Like comparing a rod of steel to a limp rag. The rest of the cast, well most of them, do a fine job given that they are caricatures of the original series actors.

Enjoying this movie, for me, takes a great deal of compartmentalizing.

1. It is NOT Star Trek (On that point we do agree).

2. JJ Abrams made such a big deal of recreating the original series into something new as opposed to what we had seen before. And yet he cannot come up with his own original plot and has to remake Wrath of Khan?

3. As a remake of Wrath of Khan it is an abysmal failure. It is inferior in every way to the original.

4. The technology in these films goes into pure fantasyland. The Original Series did their best to stay as close to scientifically accurate as they could while still producing a weekly TV series. In this movie we have Starships that can submerge under the ocean. They can also negate a planet's gravitational field and simply levitate out of the water and out of the atmosphere. (At least we now know how, in the first film, they built the Enterprise on the ground and managed to get it into space). We have transporters that are incapable of beaming people up from a location, but they have no problem beaming a person down to the same location.

I could go on and on and on, but I will spare all of you. ;)

If I put all the above aside and watch the movie for what it is, rather than what it should have been, I can actually enjoy it at that level. The reason I think I can do that is that I like how the cast interact together. What they are doing may not be realistic, but how they are doing it is fun to watch.
 

Brian G Turner

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I've just watched this and really enjoyed it - then again, I had low expectations, which helps. :)

I thought the homage to Wrath of Khan was great, and especially the new way they interpreted it.

Kirk was horrible early on - he was like a thug - but the point is that he has a development arc through the film to make him accept responsibility.

The one thing that bugged me is that the other ships we see look crude and dark by contrast to the Enterprise.

However, CGI has finally come of age - the futuristic city looked astonishingly accomplished. The scene running across the road later on just looked so believable - gone are the shiny-giveaway computer graphics - it looked so real.

At the moment, this is my second favourite Trek film - after Wrath of Khan, of course - but I thought it was a very accomplished film. Not least because the "bad guy" was far more sympathetic than we might have expected, and also that most Star Trek films, excluding the movie and II, are pretty weak.
 

AMB

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I'm very much with Gordian Knot on this one, on pretty much every point.

But can someone please tell me why did they need Khan's blood to save Kirk when they had 72 others potentially just like him, one of which they had already taken out of his stasis tube so they could put Kirk in it?
 

Jonathan C

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I'm very much with Gordian Knot on this one, on pretty much every point.

But can someone please tell me why did they need Khan's blood to save Kirk when they had 72 others potentially just like him, one of which they had already taken out of his stasis tube so they could put Kirk in it?
They probably just didn't want to take the chance that Kahn (the leader, after all) wasn't unique, and his blood wasn't superior. At a guess. Its possible even that Kahn augmented himself further using Trek-era genetic engineering (which is my handwave for why Into D. Khan is much more superhuman than TOS / WoK Khan).

That's my explanation, anyway. Its not like it took Spock too long to get it. Also, taking blood from someone who is just out of stasis might not be the most reliable thing to do (not that I know too much about space-stasis though).
 

Brian G Turner

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I'm very much with Gordian Knot on this one, on pretty much every point.

But can someone please tell me why did they need Khan's blood to save Kirk when they had 72 others potentially just like him, one of which they had already taken out of his stasis tube so they could put Kirk in it?
As above, he was the only subject it was proven with. There was no guarantee the others would have the same properties.

The technology in these films goes into pure fantasyland.
I don't think Star Trek has ever been famous for Hard SF. :)
 

alchemist

Be pure. Be vigilant. Beware.
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I'm very much with Gordian Knot on this one, on pretty much every point.

But can someone please tell me why did they need Khan's blood to save Kirk when they had 72 others potentially just like him, one of which they had already taken out of his stasis tube so they could put Kirk in it?
I wondered about this too. There may be a logical explanation as put forward above, but the most likely story is that the writers just didn't think about it. If they had, they could have pugged that gap in ten seconds.

As for the transporters, the ship's powerful transporter can't take someone from a volcano but Khan's vacuum-cleaner transporter can put him on a planet IN A DIFFERENT SOLAR SYSTEM!!!

And they traipse to the Klingon homeworld, to a "deserted continent" (?!?!) and are surprised when the Klingons notice? Did they think the Klingons had reverted to a pre-warp drive in the time it took them to get there?


Overall, it has less plot holes than the last (which is faint praise) but it was enjoyable, up to a point.
 

Anthony G Williams

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While we're picking holes, the idea that Scotty could fly a shuttle into a starship hold and berth there, without anyone on board the ship noticing or any alarms being set off, struck me at the time as being more than a little incredible. Given the level of tech involved in a starship, monitoring a volume of space around it in case of asteroids or just for shuttle traffic control would seem a basic requirement.
 

Triceratops

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While we're picking holes, the idea that Scotty could fly a shuttle into a starship hold and berth there, without anyone on board the ship noticing or any alarms being set off, struck me at the time as being more than a little incredible. Given the level of tech involved in a starship, monitoring a volume of space around it in case of asteroids or just for shuttle traffic control would seem a basic requirement.
Yep, at least a proximity warning device would HAVE to be a standard system/component on such an extravagant, technically complex ship. That wasn't no ore freighter.
 

Jonathan C

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Yeah, that grated. Why did he go there, though? Was it ever explained? After all, it wasn't him trying to set up confrontation with the Klingons, was it?
I think he was just goading the Admiral into daring to chase him there. Alternatively, it was just a safe place because it was in enemy territory.
 

Einstein's left ear

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I haven't seen this movie yet and judging by some of the comments I'm thinking of giving it a wide berth. Before I make up my mind, can I ask, did Abrahams use that horrible lens flare technique, which I would argue ruined the last movie. If he did I wont be going to see EoD.
 

alchemist

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I don't remember any lens flare, but I wasn't looking for it and could easily have missed it. It all boils down to - if you liked the last one, you'll like this to the same extent.
 

biodroid

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Good to hear Alchemist, I love the new reboot Trek movies and JJ Abrams is proving to be a worthy successor to Spielberg and Lucas.
 

Starbeast

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I thought the film was surprising and very entertaining. I was happily stunned when I discovered what it was about. Very cool man!
 

Krayhayft

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Jun 6, 2013
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This movie was a disgrace to Star Trek and a failure as a movie in general.

The plot was childish and asinine starting from the beginning with the Enterprise being underwater (are you kidding me?) to the end where they brought Kirk back (who didn't see that cop out coming) and everything shoehorned and badly written in between.

Why people praise this horrid piece a crap and the one before it is completely outside my understanding and reason.

I mean how we went from a masterpiece like Wrath of Khan to this abomination show just how far we fallen.

P.S. I don't know what those were, but they were not Klingons.
 
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