First Officer’s review of Into Darkness

Over the next week or two we will be publishing reviews of Star Trek Into Darkness from our crew members.  These reviews are the opinions of the individual writing the review and not of the chapter in general.

Review of Star Trek Into Darkness

So the movie finally came out.  People are raving how great it is.  “It’s better than the last”.  I wonder if I saw the same movie.  The effects were great and the action was edge of your seat, but where was the story?  Where was the decent writing?  Don’t we deserve that?  This movie has turned Star Trek science fiction into pure unbelievable fantasy.

As a warning, there will be spoilers in this review…

So let’s start in the beginning.  We open with McCoy and Kirk running from natives on an alien planet.  Why? We don’t know.  Maybe to distract them from seeing the shuttle trying to fly into a VOLCANO that will destroy the planet.  Ok, alien planet, could be strong enough to kill everything.  Of course the shuttle is in the plume and couldn’t be seen by anyone (they even said they were hiding in the plume).  But I guess we had to get two of our heroes doing something in the first scene to make them JUMP OFF A 300 FOOT CLIFF!

So of course the shuttle gets tore up because it’s in an erupting volcano.  Spock, hanging on a cable, falls in to the volcano and the shuttle must abandon him.  Then Sulu says “you ready to swim?.”  Wow, they’re going to ditch the shuttle in the ocean…  They are going in to the ocean because that’s where they PARKED THE “STARSHIP” ENTERPRISE.  Really, no foolin’.  So here is a ship, the size of a small town, made to fly in space, is equipped with transporters and shuttle craft and they have to park it under water?  WHAT?  Water pressure notwithstanding, just sitting that much mass on a planet would make it collapse in on itself.

Ok, ok.  Crazy stuff but it’s a movie, calm down.  So here we are Spock is trapped in an erupting volcano, trying to stop it from erupting with some magic ice cube, and Kirk needs to decide whether or not to try and save him.  You know if the natives see the Enterprise that would violate the prime directive.  Well so does stopping a volcano on their planet from blowing up and risking getting caught by a mob of screaming natives.  So why is there a question?  You already blew the Prime Directive out of the water.  Speaking of out of the water….here comes the Enterprise rises out of the water, saves Spock and departs leaving a bunch of confused natives behind.

So in the opening scene we have violated the prime directive, made the Enterprise into a  submarine and have saved a species that nature was trying to destroy.  Wow, all before the opening credits.

Now I will back off on some of that kind of detail.  Hell I’ll be rewriting the whole movie if I don’t watch out.  Instead I will break my problems with the movie down and maybe even say what I liked.

The first things that floored me were the TERRIBLE uniforms worn at Starfleet HQ.  Holy moly.  They looked like a cross between something from Starship Troopers and Nazi Germany.  I mean those hats…my God!  While Starfleet is a military organization, Roddenberry took great pains to not make Starfleet people wear militarily intimidating clothes.  Heck, he didn’t even want phasers to look like guns.  But here we are with ridiculous looking uniforms on Earth.

So the main plot is the admiral in charge of Starfleet is scared of Klingons so he finds Khan, covers his identity, holds the rest of the Botany Bay people on ice as collateral and makes Khan be a consultant on technology and tactics, because humans have become soft…..Whoa Demolition Man!!  That’s it!  Khan is John Spartan!

So Khan eventually says screw this and turns…because he’s Khan stupid.

Something that really bothered me was what they did to Khan.  This character is probably one of the best villains in Science Fiction.  (Not better than Darth Vader, but close).  This movie turns a great mind and adversary into a cheap terrorist.  He has no relation with Kirk and crew.  He kind of just treats them with disdain.  So the relationship, with its tensions, is not there.  Kirk wants revenge for Pikes death but that’s just hollow nonsense.  So bringing Khan into the story was just a cheap gag used to create buzz before the movie release.  They could have had a rogue android, an ancient alien they dug up, anything!  There was nothing Khan-like about Khan.  No eloquence, no “it is very cold in space” moments.  He was just a super-powered thug.

Now, on to the crew.  Ok I get how we need women to be more heroin.  But they really need to either dial Uhura back or promote her from communications officer.  This is a military organization and no matter what sex a person is, rank and position means something.

McCoy was well done.  So was Sulu, Chekov and Scotty.  Even the Carol Marcus character was pretty good.  Although inferring that Kirk did Christine Chapel was a bit much.

I really have a problem with how Kirk and Spock are being treated.  First, Kirk would NEVER say someone was better or deserved the Captain’s chair more than him.  Not even Spock.  He still acts like he’s in college.  Even walking to Starfleet in the beginning, his talking and movements were sophomoric.  Like an A.D.D. child. Of course he was the only person that didn’t wear that God awful hat…what a rebel.  Also, with Kirk, in the past, it was always about the ship…the Enterprise.  Not once was that brought up.  It was all about the crew…the family.  Ugh!  Touchy feely nonsense!  Finally, Kirk would not ball like a flippin’ baby.  Yes he would get emotional, eyes water, a choke in the throat, but not openly weep.  C’mon, these are men!  These are leaders!

Now Spock.  Wow have they screwed him up.  I think the writers need to understand an emotional Vulcan is no longer a Vulcan, but a Romulan.  I can’t remember when Spock ever showed this much emotion.  It’s all in bursts and borders on being unstable.  Even he openly wept when Kirk died, (before he came back to life thanks to midiclorians).  Do the writers today have to prove that emotion is more important than logical thought?  Do all men need to be wussy little girls?  Are we only supposed to make decisions with our hearts not our heads?  I swear, I thought Kirk and Spock were going to kiss.  Making Spock an emotional wreck is not logical.

So the death scene.  All I have to say is what a bunch of lazy writing!  I mean it was almost word for word from Wrath of Khan.  Oh wait Kirk died instead of Spock.  That makes it different.  And then the biggest cheese in the entire movie….SPOCK YELLING KHAAAAAAAAAN!  What a bunch of crap!  I can’t even begin to put words to the anger.   First, Kirk died because of what the Admiral did…shooting up the ship.  Khan had no real relationship with the crew.  Finally, at that point Khan was thought dead from the detonation of 72 photon torpedoes.  Stupid nonsense!

This whole movie is insulting to Trekkies.  They bring in Khan, repeat the death scene, and have Spock yell the most famous line from the Trek movies.  All this thinking they’re appeasing the true fan base.  Like all it takes are cheap gimmicks to make Trekkies like the movie.  This just shows the people who made this movie are not fans and they have no respect for the people who have kept this franchise alive.

It’s just another cash cow.


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