REVIEW: “Star Trek: Into Darkness”

Posted: May 20, 2013 by V in Review
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(So I watched Star Trek: Into Darkness this weekend and enjoyed  it. I had a great time watching it, this action movie set in space. I have a special Brain Treaty which states that brain is to disengage when I watch action movies. And thus, I enjoyed the shit out of alt reality Star Trek.  –v SPOILERS AHEAD)


So I want you all to know that despite my harping, I did like it. I still like the cast, I loved the music, I certainly loved the SFX because visually this movie was glorious. I liked it because I had fun watching it, and because I am accustomed to suspending belief and am infinitely willing to sink into a sea of preposterousness as long I’m having a good time drowning. Afterwards, once the immediate feelings have faded, the fun can be rehashed by tearing the movie apart. Like a dog and his squirrel toy, I spool out its innards, roll about in the mess, eat the squeaker, and regretfully have to have it removed from my esophagus…That is, sometimes writing reviews hurts me?

I previously admit that I was not part of the Star Trek fandom, and am now glad of it as I pity greatly those fans who chose to see it. Their blood must boil. The little I know of Star Trek is that it was well known for and proud of its roots in sound science and plausibilty. There was little to be found in “ST:ID”. Beyond the terrible science, there was little logic to be found in the motives or objectives of the characters either. They made perfect sense for the progression of the film, and the progression towards the obvious conclusion, and to showcase some really nice special effects, but were bewilderingly illogical otherwise. I’m certain there are plenty of exhaustive lists out there, so I’ll only pick out the ones that /really/ niggle at me.

It starts off on a red planet (which again, looks amazing), where the Captain and the Chief Medical Officer, are running from angry natives and serving as a distraction. While these important people are off playing bait, the Helm Officer and the Communications Officer are lowering the First Officer into an active volcano. But that’s okay, we didn’t really want to see new characters anyway, we liked the guys from before. But why are they lowering Spock into this volcano with a suitcase of “cold fusion” (which I will generously think of as a fancy new future space technology and a decision to forget archaic nomenclature). More importantly, was there any reason why they couldn’t  do any of that bomb assembly before getting into the volcano? If they were unable/unwilling to reveal themselves to beam it in, couldn’t they just maybe lower that suitcase in and cut the cable?  But I can see why Spock’s calm acceptance of death, and his crewmates’ upset will be needed for the building circular plot structure.

Moving on, Kirk and Bones leap off a cliff into the sea and make their way to, not some sort of flying amphibious landing craft, but The Enterprise herself. And she is beautiful, with her decks lit in welcome, and her beautiful sleek lines, platter shape, and spaceworthiness. You know, space, with all of its complete lack of pressure. Perhaps consider the fundamental structural differences in “-craft” which can be designed for water or space. One built to keep outside pressure from crushing the delicates within; and the other dedicated to keeping the pressure within from escaping to the outside, along with all the delicates.

I missed some of the coolness of water streaming over The Enterprise’s plate shaped body trying to recall the Futurama joke which I will quote here:

Professor: Good Lord! That’s over 5000 atmospheres of pressure!
Fry: How many atmospheres can the ship withstand?
Professor: Well, it was built for space travel, so anywhere between zero and one.

And at least Planet ExpressShip was of an aerodynamic shape…

But, and HATERS CANNOT DENY, it looked fantastic! If it was at all feasible that something with that much surface area could rise out of a body of water like that, it could only dream of ever looking that cool.


Or maybe I didn’t miss the coolness, since all the screenshots seem to be obscured by lens flares.

So Khan was awoken and his crew held hostage while he was used to make top secret weapons for the Admiral. And he attacked Starfleet to avenge his crew. which he had somehow hidden in his photon torpedos in the place of fuel, and subsequently believed were destroyed by the Admiral.  How did he gain access to all 72 of his crew for long enough to seal them into a torpedo. Did no one notice when 72 meatpops disappeared? Why didn’t he just wake them up ? 72 Khans would be way more useful than 72 missile shaped warheads with a juicy meat filling. Was no one suspicious that there were 72 shiny new torpedos left behind? Did no one…EVER…examine the torpedos? A general x-ray scan would tell you that fuel looked awfully bony. If Khan believed his crew destroyed, was he not curious that no one came up and asked him “so what was with those weaksauce photon torpedos you built us?” If he believed them alive, why seal them up in a torpedos he thought would be used, and then bomb the place they’d probably be housed?

Also, maybe this is just me, but when Spock said there were 72 photon torpedos on board, I thought he was lying. I was a little proud he managed it, but confused as to why he’d bother. It only got worse when I realized that they did pack up 72 top secret torpedos. No wonder Scotty had a bee in his bonnet  No one else thought 72 top secret weapons that couldn’t be scanned might be weird? Maybe a bit overkill for just one guy? One guy they were supposed to be quietly killing? Maybe they were afraid they’d quietly miss 71 times?

Well to be fair he probably would miss 71 times since they had people instead of fuel. Were theyactually fired, would they even have any forward momentum? There’s no fuel, but perhaps a residual puff of positive pressure from the torpedo tube might gently loft the meatpop in some sort of forward direction. So had Kirk followed orders, he’d just have to…go home after all his missiles were slowly floating towards the Klingon planet? Or rather, since his engines were disabled, they’d sit there, the Klingons would have a nice meteor shower, and eventually Space AAA would come and give the The Enterprise a tow?

As the plot unwinds, each subsequent reveal disqualifies previous motives. There is no logical reason why some guy from the past would be an expert at future weapons technologies. If you only made one badass ship to fight in this inevitable Klingon battle, why did you give away all your special weapons? If you want your people to survive why didn’t you share any of the cool and non-militarized tech with the rest of your fleet? If its such a huge horrible secret why have such shit security at your secret warship building station?  Admiral’s daughter, why are you British and what is the point of your existence at all? Khan, if your prime directive is to destroy imperfect races, you really need to start thinking bigger, at the very least you could have tried to start a species war with the Klingons, you disappoint. Seventy-two warheads just went off in your hanger, Starfleet Warship, 72 either precision strike weapons, or planet destroying ones, and yet still you manage to finish warping to Earth and crash into San Francisco? Khan’s blood reverses death — that’s awesome! Cause you have like 72 blood bags on board, right now!

alice eve

“I’m confused, what purpose do I serve?”

My favorite part is when Scotty declares they’ll never live long enough to climb up to the reactor, and Kirk not only makes the climb, he does some minor acrobatics to KICK it into alignment (cause all technology can be fixed with a good kicking), makes the climb back down, through the 2nd set of doors, have his moving goodbye, and finally wrapping up the circular plot we all saw coming, actually die, for realsies. To which Spock cries out in his rage and grief and with no apparent reason “KHAAAAAAAAN!!!” which for all I know is probably the standard exclamation for “This guy is deaaaad!”  in the alt future and only coincidentally happens to also be the name of the enemy. Spock’s relationship with Kirk, his character up to this point, the circumstances of Kirk’s death, his last words; there is genuinely no excuse for how misplaced that cry is.

Oh well, what’s done is done. Its probably time for Bones to realize that tribble is alive right?

Well yes, but to REALLY have closure, we have to have a Spock Khan fight. It wont be satisfying without one. Having survived 72 warheads detonate on his ship, careening through Earth’s atmosphere on half a ship and and then crashing it into the city, Khan jumps out of a window, brushes down and he and Spock go on a merry footchase. There’s even a fight on top of a moving vehicle. Khan took out an entire troop of Klingons, he made a leap of like 3 stories on his own power, he crushed a human skull between his bare hands. How was this fight not immediately over?

Final Score: Four out of five bullets. Is what this movie could be given a single caveat:  accept everything that happens without question. THE MOMENT you start to point out plot holes, check yo’ self. Seriously, quit it immediately or the entire precariously balanced jenga structure of the story disintegrates. It falls apart and the trip to the vet is miserable and your squirrel squeeky toy is ruined forever and YOU’RE SORRY YOU EVER DID IT.

Writing this review made me recall in detail everything that made no sense. I could FEEL myself liking it less the more I thought about it. An honest assessment would probably be around 3 or 3.5 but I really really did enjoy it while watching it. Just… stop thinking for 2 hours and you’ll have a fantastic time.

Last note I promise, they said they’d bring Khan back for a fair trial. So how come he’s sentenced to cryofreeze like the 72 other superpeople-o-yesterday who committed no crime? One of these sentences seems unfair somehow.

cumberbatchOh wait, right, that forearm…aww yeahh….That needs to be saved for posterity.



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