PHOENIX COMICON BOOTH LOCATION CHANGE!!!
David and I will be at booth 243, NOT 1749 and NOT by the LEGOs. Come in the main entrance, hang a left and head to the back corner. Here’s a photo of David peeking over a handy map.
Check out the winners of the Fancy Fan Art Contest RIGHT HERE.
!!!BELOW THIS POINT ARE MASSIVE STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS SPOILERS!!!
!!!BELOW THIS POINT ARE MASSIVE STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS SPOILERS!!!
!!!BELOW THIS POINT ARE MASSIVE STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS SPOILERS!!!
!!!BELOW THIS POINT ARE MASSIVE STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS SPOILERS!!!
!!!BELOW THIS POINT ARE MASSIVE STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS SPOILERS!!!
Over the last several months I had done a very thorough job of avoiding all Star Trek Into Darkness spoilers. I was planning to go into the theater NOT knowing whether or not Khan was the villain. Then, at the very last possible moment, a random Internet headline spoiled the secret identity of Cumberbatch’s character for me. It really wasn’t that big of a deal. I mean the movie gives his secret away in the first 25 minutes or so. The thing I was in no way prepared for (similar to the Mandarin reveal in Iron Man 3) was that Into Darkness is an alternate timeline reboot of Wrath Of Khan. It just is. Don’t argue with me. There aren’t just a few parallels and nods here and there. It IS Wrath of Khan, told from the perspective of the new timeline established in Star Trek (2009). Also, it is fantastic.
I will admit that a couple of the “let’s tie this into Star Trek 2 or other Trek canon” moments were (almost) cringe worthy. Spock yelling, “KHAAAAAN!” was certainly at the top of that list. The rest, however, I found entirely delightful. When old Spock said they had defeated their Khan, “at great cost,” I actually clenched my fist and looked at my wife with this dopey grin that screamed, “I CAN’T WAIT TO TELL YOU WHAT HE’S TALKING ABOUT WHEN THIS IS OVER!” When Kirk was in the radioactive chamber and he and Spock went in for a SciFive, I was audibly chanting, “SAY THE LINE, SAY THE LINE!” He totally said it, and it was awesome.
Other things that were badass: The Klingons, the idea that this is the Federation BEFORE it becomes Earth’s military and that it serves more of a NASA role at this time and how that is inevitably going to change, the idea that Admiral Robocop is essentially right about the impending war and the need to fortify Earth’s defenses despite being a despotic, mass murdering mad man, BENEDICT MOTHER FUCKING CUMBERBATCH, Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice, every line Cumberbatch delivers, BENEDICT MOTHER FU… you get the idea, how Spock has grown since the first film and getting to see the emotional side of him, how he deals with his emotions and how is reacts when he can’t deal with them, how it finally makes sense (by the end of the film) for Kirk to be a captain (this is a MUCH LONGER discussion, but I think the ONLY reason Kirk was made captain in the first film was in service to the expectation that the movie have a guy named Captain Kirk. He was certainly a brave, intelligent and heroic man, but in NO WAY was he a leader or able to accept the responsibility of taking care of all of the lives on a ship. By the end of Into Darkness, he’s earned it.), and pretty much every moment Scotty is on screen.
Things that were less badass: Not enough Sulu (seriously I think he had just that one line), too much “Everyone changes jobs and ranks and quits and is rehired and whatever” in this one (there was enough of that in the last one), Peter Weller (Admiral Robocop) already played a Starfleet officer with designs on being a warlord in an episode of Enterprise WHICH ISN’T CANON SHUT UP IT ISN’T SO WHY AM I COMPLAINING?!, the unrealistic stupidity of the security guard on Admiral Robocop’s ship that finds Scotty, and the “We need to get on the GIGANTIC, WAY MORE POWERFUL THAN OUR SHIP” ship to stop the big bad plot that seems incredibly familiar to the first film.
All of that said, I can HIGHLY recommend this movie to anyone who isn’t necessarily a Star Trek fan but enjoyed the first film and appreciates a good scifi action movie, AND to Star Trek fans who enjoyed the first film as well. If you hated Star Trek (2009) then you will hate Into Darkness for the same reasons. It’s not as cerebral or philosophical as any of the series or most of the TOS and TNG movies (which I think is a positive, since it makes a lot more sense to explore the really heady stuff in hour long snippets over the course of a 24 episode season that it does to spend 2 hours in a theater on space metaphors for race relations and equality), and it isn’t as inaccessible to the masses as some nerds would probably prefer it to be. Regular people can enjoy this movie, which will certainly piss off some hardest of core fans.
I don’t love J.J.’s Star Trek in the same way that I love classic Star Trek or even for the same reasons, but I do love it. At this point I consider it to be a very high budget fan fiction that just so happens to entirely enjoyable and present fans with at least 10 reasons to love it for every 1 reason to groan or complain. I really hope after Star Trek 3, J.J. opens up the door for a new series set in his Trek universe. Even something set in the TNG timeframe of his timeline would be fantastic.
Oh, and one more thing about Cumberbatch and his voice and his charisma and his whole deal… set panties to melt.
- Lindelof reveals how (and why) they changed the opening to Trek 2
- Complicated ‘Star Trek’ Rights Could Push J.J. Abrams Into a Multimedia ‘Star Wars’ Universe
- ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Is Enjoyable for All
COMMENTERS: I wrote a lot of opinions up there. Tell me what you think about them or what you think about Into Darkness in general. Spoilers are cool for this thread so be warned:
!!!THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS TOO!!!
Comments (76)Life long Trek fan, literally grew up watching the various series, I also liked the 2009 Abrams Trek. That is to establish where I come from when I say the following: Star Trek Into Darkness was a terrible Trek film, a bad movie, and it’s only redeeming quality is that it’s a fun action ride to turn your brain off and eat popcorn to.
Into Darkness is the movie equivalent of being explained Wrath of Khan by a girl who doesn’t like Sci-fi and spent the whole movie texting instead of paying attention. That I could let slide though, they want to reboot Wrath of Khan poorly that’s fine by me. The real problem is the way they did it made so little sense. After watching and desperately trying to make sense of it I can’t decide if they started writing it and half way through opted to reboot Wrath of Khan but not restart the script, or if they just wanted to be able to air 20 minutes of film as a “sneak peak” without giving away that it was Wrath of Khan.
Why do I feel this way? Lets look at major plot points to find out!
Khan is a genetically engineered Human from 300 years in the past who is awoken by admiral robocop. Khan then uses his futuristic knowledge of 300 years ago to help admiral robocop make a ship that is triple the power, triple the speed, and triple the defensive capability all while only taking one person to pilot of the “Most advanced ship in the fleet” a claim made both in the 2009 movie and the opening of this one. I don’t know how 300 year old technological brilliance of Khan pulled that off but as soon as you read that you’ve probably hit one of the major reasons I found this film to be bad.
Next we have torpedoes, the contents of which are so classified that Scotty resigns and leaves the Enterprise. Why does he do this instead of a stereotypical Kirk move of letting him pop one open anyways? Because otherwise how would they defeat the 300 year ago super tech ship of Admiral robocop of course! So we get a scene where Kirk acts completely un-Kirk like because they’d written themselves into a corner already.
Now we’ve got Admiral Robocop’s daughter, who’s ONLY there so that they can pop open a torpedo to convince Kirk to work with Khan. A job that could have been done by Scotty if Kirk had just acted like Kirk earlier in the film instead of acting like a plot cabby. As if her superfluous character isn’t bad enough she gets a bonus scene where she’s naked for literally no reason, not even a love scene, she just strips in a shuttle pod (why?) infront of the captain (also why?) and ends up in a normal uniform next scene so we cant even claim it was to put on protective gear. Bonus points also gained for Spock telling us on multiple occasions that there’s literally no reason for this character to exist in this movie.
Next we get to watch as Dadmiral Robocop discovers his daughter is on the Enterprise and then instantly beams her off the ship. He couldn’t manage to find Khan with his sensors but his daughter is a breeze to lock on to. Now she gets to be a damsel in distress, doing nothing but screaming and falling down in the ensuing scenes, even though we have less than no attachment to her, we actively want her gone because Spock has been telling us she’s a pointless character.
Finally to top this whole mindless drivel off we get absolutely none of the emotional impact of Wrath of Khan (also a bad movie actually but that’s not what we’re arguing about today) because instead of the dead person staying dead (till the next film) they get revived because earlier in the film we had a pointless scene where the film screamed “PLOT DEVICE HERE LOOK AT IT, REMEMBER IT, IT WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER!” with Bones injecting a tribble for what can only be described as shits and giggles, and it turned out to be the antidote for death.
All of that adds up to a mindless piece of popcorn flick that looks pretty but if you try to actually think about it reveals that the writers had no idea what they were doing. Bad movie, Bad Trek movie, good popcorn seller, enjoyable ride if you, like me, can turn your brain off.I loved that tribble scene, because it totally was for shits and giggles.
While somewhat established in the film, I think the best establishment for the technical brilliance of Khan was in TOS, the episode where they find him and his family. If that were still relevant, I would buy the part where the Admiral forced him to design a starship.Yeah, Khan and his crew figured out in short order how to take over the Enterprise in TOS, so I considered that precedent for Khan being able to look at Federation starship tech and figure out how to improve it.
I also enjoyed the tribble scene, and think McCoy’s resurrection of Kirk is great because it now allows Dr. MCCoy to add yet another miracle to his resume. 🙂
I think Kirk normally Kirk would have allowed Scotty to open one of the torpedoes, but he had just been spanked. OTOH, he had seemed unrepentant at the time, so @Cyrankoss might have called that one right.I also thought Kirk was acting un-Kirk-like with Scotty and the torpedoes… but I figured they wrote it that way on purpose. I mean, everybody’s yelling at him telling him this is a stupid mission, and he just lost his one father figure and is a bit unhinged. His acting out-of-character and the firing of Scotty and dismissal of Bones’ and Spock’s concerns all contribute to the feeling of “this is wrong no stop it this is not right” that I thought was very effective at that point in the movie.THANK YOU! Yes, I agree entirely. I’d place the film on par with Battleship or the most recent Transformers film; in Trek terms, on par with Nemesis. Enjoyable if you wilfully aren’t thinking about it too much, but a terrible movie from a sci-fi point of view regardless. The parts Joel found “(almost) cringe worthy” I found physically painful. Even if you exclude what others have termed ‘nitpicking’, the movie just doesn’t hang well together. But my main problem is that it’s lost so much of what made the Star Trek series (even Enterprise) great, trading those thoughtful plot lines in for Michael Bay-esque explosions and action set-pieces.I only saw Wrath of Khan for the first time a year or so ago and it wasn’t that great. That is – it wasn’t that great as ‘a film’. As ‘a Star Trek film’ it was brilliant, but that’s because there are so many bad Trek films and so few good ones.
I saw Into Darkness with a group of friends of varying orders of geekitude. Of the 5 of us I was the 3rd most geeky. The 2 major nerds were torn throughout the film between enjoying seeing something bright and shiny involving Cumberbatch and Star Trek and apoplexy about the lack of Roddenberry-esque soul.
That said, we all loved the film.
I wanted more Karl Urban – for science reasons – but it was a fun movie. It aint art, but none of the Trek movies are. Few movies are. And art movies aren’t necessarily enjoyable movies (cough*TreeOfLife*Cough).
What shits on my whiskers is when people argue that brand X is better because its more philosophical. More philosophy doesn’t make something better, especially if its piss poor philosophy. When I watched Khan it was because my friends wouldn’t shut up about how deep and thought provoking it was. “Its like a meditation on man’s place in the cosmos and the nature of friendship as a catalyst for change.” Sure, it is. Here’s some first-year Aristotle; read that and then we’ll talk philosophy. Khan is the finest of original Trek, but nostalgia is what makes it taste so good.
Anyway, I’m hoping Nu-Trek III just fucks with everyone by introducing a transgendered French cyborg time-traveller named Jean-Lucy Picard…And I just realised that there’s a chance Wil Wheaton may read what I wrote. I can’t handle that level of meta.
I’m not sure if I should perform an act of penance now or wait until instructed.
Suggestions for acts of penance anybody?Eh…in the new canon, Singh appears to be a mastermind villain; superweapon and all.
In the old canon, Singh was a brilliant warlord, trained in the tactics of the most famous conquerors in his history. He displays this in the series (where he’s established and quickly learns to suborn starships), as well as in the movie.
There was drama and suspense. There was spectacle, but it made sense for the plot. It probably is nostalgia, but I would much prefer the SFX from that movie to this one…because not once did I feel ANY suspense in this flick.At every point in WoK you understood why everyone was doing what they were doing and how they felt about it.
It sounds so basic, but I can’t say the same for STID.I also had a blast. If I have any complaint, it’s that we could have used less time spent on people hanging from ledges and more time explaining who Khan was in the past. The guy should be as recognizable as Hitler, but nobody knew who he was. I mean, we did, but we have the benefit of three hours of previous screen time with him.
I had no problem with Khan being able to design advanced weapons, as I see some other silly people do. Give him an hour with a technical manual to catch up, and he’ll then surpass you. Because he’s better. At everything.
And can we just have Uhuru speaking Klingon all the time, if ya know what I’m sayin?
Kirby· 106 weeks agoNot to mention, as they say several times, they live in a time of peace and exploration. Khan came from a time where technology meant trying to blow the **** out of each other.
The Hitler thing could kind of be explained by it being 300 years ago that he was around, during a part of history that Humanity is largely trying to ignore/cover up. I mean, I don’t know if I can think of many historical figures from 1713 that I’d recognize right off the bat… or at all.
Besides, he’s got a common last name. Unless Data’s creator’s a direct descendant or something… which would make an interesting movie on its own.
(side note: Tom Hiddleston for Data reboot. Seriously.)
Adwxx· 106 weeks agoGod damn it JJ, try and get the a little of the fake science right. Just call it a super conducting absolute zero bomb.Abrams’ genius is this: despite the fact that NOT A SINGLE ONE of the plans of any of the characters made a lick of sense, and despite the fact that so much of what happened was clearly in the service of “this would look so cool” first and logic last, I still thoroughly enjoyed the movie.Thank you.
Thank you for giving a well-reasoned, balanced review. The fact that it exactly mirrors my feelings about the movie notwithstanding, I appreciate that you were able to reflect upon the movie without obsessing over Trek canon. Too many other reviewers have tried to measure the movie off of the classic serieses (precious) and forget that each awesome movie and episode was built on the backs of previous episodes/series/movies that this new franchise simply does not have.
The trek reboot has to take into account that Kirk isn’t the strong, willful product of a Star Fleet officer who groomed him for leadership. In this timeline, Kirk’s dad was killed by dimension-jumping psycho Romulans and he is naturally still having problems because of it. The events of TOS haven’t happened and can only happen now within the context of the new time structure.
I couldn’t buy into Chekov as engineering chief and I agree that Sulu could well have played a bigger part. Ignoring the unfortunate “KHAAAAAAN”, I think the character development for Spock is fantastic. Kiel’s growth is believable. Khan….
Ok, all apologies to my wife, but I wouldn’t turn down a three-way with Benedict Cumberbatch and Ian McKellan. Mmmm. That said, Khan in this movie made me believe that this small group were actually genetically-crafted superwarriors. Khan and gang from TOS and WoK did not sell that fact. Especially his cronies. Leaving them out of it in this movie and focusing on one psychotic superman was the right call.
I can’t wait to see the next installment. I want to go there, boldly.Yeah, I was like, “Why is Chekov Scotty’s understudy?” It was kind of weird.Also, how interesting would it be if the universe of the new timeline was the mirror universe from DS9?You mean the mirror universe from TOS. DS9 grabbed the same universe and ran it into the future.
BowtiesAreCool· 106 weeks agoNerd Text to Follow: I don’t think that makes sense. It’s still the Federation. The mirror universe started thousands of years ago going the wrong way. (We know this because of Mirror Doctor Phlox reading the “great works of literature” from our Universe, saying they were “less agressive”. Except Shakespeare. Mirror = Aggressive and morally-eroded.
But seeing the mirror universe and Kirk being a bigger better badass would be very cool!
Malady· 106 weeks agoThe one thought stuck in my head is “What if we get a TNG reboot in another decade or so?”I was so wanting Wesley Crusher to show up on the bridge of the Killerprise, put his hands on his hips, and say “Robocop!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLyY_aOh4bM
This movie so actively avoids making sense, that I wonder if Lindelof did it on purpose. Or, was his carefully crafted script hacked apart and stitched back together specifically to service the action/effects scenes? Based on Lost, I’m guessing the former.
And yet, I enjoyed the movie. Part of this is that I LONG ago gave up on Star Trek making sense. There have been precious few tightly scripted Trek episodes, and no movies. The whole damn premise is a plot hole. So, I went in expecting big effects, a difficult moral choice, a bunch of fan service, and some awesome Cumberbatch. That’s pretty much exactly what I got, plus some really good Kirk/Spock moments.Knowing Roberto Orci, I wouldn’t be surprised if the script initially had a lot of false flag/9.11 was an inside job nonsense that got taken out relatively late in the production (because it was stupid and potentially offensive) and left everything really muddled.
It would certainly explain why Khanberbatch’s and Adm. Robocop’s plans were so aligned early in the move.I enjoyed the movie riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight up til the last half hour or so (I didn’t check my watch, I was in a theater). When Bones was all “No, we can’t kill him, we need him alive for his blood!” My initial response was: No, you don’t, you’ve said no fewer than six dozen times that you have 72 of these superpersoncicles on your ship. Thaw one out, drain him dry, use his blood. My secondary response was: No, you just need a juicy corpse. Blood works independently of the donor’s vital signs.Yeah, that kind of took me out of the movie a bit.
Twistednic· 105 weeks agoRemember though, they didn’t have the correct codes to open the others. Bones said that had they tried there was no telling how well they may/ may not have defrosted. Lame but at least they acknowledged itI liked it. I thought it was refreshing to see Khan actually doing things that a normal hu-mon would be incapable of. Too often in the past, Trek would hold back on showing characters with superhuman physical attributes actually demonstrating said attributes. But BC’s Khan, Spock, and Nero from the last film all showed their superhuman traits quite well. And the voice… holy shit, it’s like if young Alan Rickman was a Kryptonian Terminator from Hell.
The retelling of WoK was cool. The brief team up, the Kirk/Spock flip, the KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! moment. All awesome. And I think Spock’s yell actually makes sense. In Amok Time, we saw that Spock is capable of losing his Vulcan control (“JIM! Er um, I mean I’m not emotional, shut up!”), but there’s another thing that occurs to me about this scene: As a Vulcan, I’m guessing that Spock usually restrains his physical strength (for much the same reason Spider-Man does). But he knows that Khan is too strong to pull punches against, the stakes are too high, and Khan is not deserving of that consideration. So Spock, at that moment, seems to me to have made a decision to unleash himself. To Khansciously release his self Khantrol. To basically become a Romulan, ruled by his passions instead of logic.
The fight afterward bears this out. Spock is a badass, he is pissed off. He is Spock at 11.
Regarding needing Khan alive: yeah McCoy could probably save Kirk with dead Khan blood, or with one of the popcicles. but the odds would be lowered. Fresh blood, obviously is better than older blood. And it’s possible that the popcicles’ blood would only be workable if they get revived right. So yeah, Bones probably could have saved Kirk with a popcicle or blood drawn from a dead Khan. But he’s not about to take that chance.
Really the one thing that perplexed me about this was the bit where he’s experimenting on a tribble. Superhuman blood fixing an alien? But then I remembered the TNG episode where it’s revealed that all the major races are from the same space seed and maybe some of the animals were also seeded thusly.On the whole, I guess I agree with your views. Although, I was in a rather poor mood, and so did not appreciate quite as many of the “tie-ins” as you did, Joel.
In the end, I said the same thing as I said at the end of the last one:
“It was a good movie, but a mediocre Star Trek movie.”
I was wrong, though. I’m upgrading this one to “ok” status, due to the exploration of the concept of a Star Fleet before it became a true military organization (despite the name).
However, too little was established in the new canon. You pretty much have to accept a ton of stuff from the old canon in order to appreciate the new Star Trek, like the poorly-established Vulcan strength, and also the Kolinahr (which they’ve tried establishing for two movies, and…well…Spock keeps breaking it). Also, I’m really, really bored of the “falling through space to the tiny target” gimmick. Every time I see it, I think of that Dead Space trailer, and wonder why I’m not playing that game instead. It looks pretty awesome.
It had good fight scenes, great explosions and decompression, some character development, and attempted to recapture the exploration of ideas of the original movies. It was an ok Star Trek movie.I may be mistaken here, but I don’t think either version of Spock ever actually completed the Kolinahr.It is quite true! I couldn’t remember the name of the actual practice of repressing emotions, so I used a sub-optimal word that really didn’t mean what I wished for it to mean.So Spock is the only survivor of the true timeline and is this sage mentor character. AltSpock gets to kiss Uhura, yell KHAAAAAAAAN, is generally more of a dynamic character than PrimeSpock, and Kirk dies (but gets better)?
This entire universe is PrimeSpock writing fanfiction about himself.
Citizen Alan· 106 weeks agoCumberbatch was awesome, but was there any explanation of how a Sikh Indian, previously played by a Mexican, is now the Whitest Man In the World.Yes. He’s a product of eugenics and bioengineering and thus doesn’t technically belong to any one race.I actually posted the following review on my own webcomic, but I feel as though it is not out of place here:
My lovely wife and I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness today. I would like to talk about it if I may. Also, beware. There be spoilers here.
Okay, now I will proceed with no guilt. I found out a while ago that Benedict Cumberbatch’s “John Harrison” is actually Star Trek’s most notorious villain, Khan Noonien Singh. I was a little perturbed that they were remaking The Wrath of Khan, especially given the fact that the very notion made no sense. But this wasn’t a remake of The Wrath of Khan. It was the Abrams-Verse’s version of “Space Seed,” the episode of TOS wherein Khan is first introduced.
First of all, there were some really good things in this movie, things that give me more hope for the next installment. There were repeated references to the Five Year Mission, which as of this film has not yet begun. Kirk is hopeful that the Enterprise will be chosen as the first vessel to undertake a five-year mission of exploration, even as he opens the film by shrugging off the Prime Directive. I thought that all of that was cool, and that right there helped to mitigate my feeling in the last film that Kirk had been given a captaincy far too easily. I got even more satisfied when Kirk was demoted to first officer of the Enterprise for this violations of the Prime Directive. (If this were a television series, there would be some better and more substantial repercussions, but I’ll take what I can get.)
I enjoyed the performances in the film a lot. Chris Pine was good, as were Zoe Saldana and John Cho. I love Karl Urban. Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto, and Simon Pegg were GREAT. Seriously, Benedict Cumberbatch now has what I consider to be the best “villain’s voice” in film. (It’s a shame that we can so casually cast him as someone who’s supposed to be a subcontinental Indian. As much as I liked him, there wasn’t even the barest effort to have a brown person in this role; at least Ricardo Montalban had both ethnicity [if the wrong one] and bronzer in his first appearance as Khan.) If there was a performance that I didn’t enjoy, it was that of Peter Weller, who underwhelmed me as the villainous head of Starfleet seeking war with the Klingons on his terms. He never filled me with dread the way Cumberbatch did, and he seemed pathetic, where Khan’s madness, and his threat, seemed much more dangerous.
Lastly, this film makes a token effort at fulfilling some of the thematic elements that were always present in Gene Roddenberry and Rick Berman’s versions of Star Trek. Much is made in this film about Kirk’s lack of fitness to command, and he has to better himself in order to deserve it. Becoming good enough to be worthy of the gifts of society is a strong theme in Star Trek, especially in The Next Generation. Also, the allusions to the Five Year Mission, both at the film’s beginning and at the end, make a strong reference to what Star Trek is really about…To continue, because I am longwinded:
The mistakes this film makes are really basic mistakes, the kinds that are very difficult to overcome. Only the charismatic crew, and the unbridled fun of the filmmaking save it.
First off, what was at stake? War with the Klingons was the big threat for the first half of the film, and WAR IS BAD, we all know. But we’re never given much reason to fear the Klingons. By the time they make an appearance onscreen, it’s just in time for three squads to get beaten down singlehandedly by Khan. It’s hard to take a war with them as much of a threat, because it’s clear that Abrams is expecting their reputation to do his dirty work. Trekkies see the Klingons as allies and noobs don’t see them as anything, so I think that was a real error.
In the film’s second half, the threat is, I guess, “What happens if Khan gets loose?” We are given a cursory snippet of exposition about the Eugenics Wars and how Khan was once a despotic ruler who wanted to kill everyone who was inferior. He describes himself as “savage,” a superhuman soldier who was tagged by the shadowy elements of Starfleet to optimize the fleet for war with the Klingons. But he never does anything REALLY evil. Even his acts of terrorism are explained away as an effort on his part to get out from under the yoke of Admiral Marcus, who holds him in sway by threatening the lives of his cryogenically frozen comrades.
Heck, once they get away from Klingon space, the only thing at stake is the crew of the Enterprise itself. That doesn’t quite work in a film like this. In the first film, the Earth was at stake, and we knew it was so because the Romulans had already taken out Vulcan. At that point, I believed that anything was possible for these filmmakers who seemed to respect the sanctity of nothing. In …Into Darkness, the stakes are highest when Captain Kirk loses the Enterprise…but then he gets it back ten minutes later. Crisis averted.
But the thing that bothered me most, the thing that was the most poorly handled, was the obvious homage to The Wrath of Khan. In this film, it is Kirk was saves the day in the engine room, and Kirk who pays with his life. However, we’d already seen, in a pair of very heavy-handed foreshadowing scenes, that Kirk was to be revived by the blood of Khan. Khan’s healing blood is used in the film’s opening, and then again on a dead Tribble. (Why Khan’s blood was so vital when there were 72 sleeping genetically superior beings, like Khan himself, aboard the ship, is beyond me. Once they put Kirk into cryogen to preserve his brain function, they had the time to figure it out.) I fear that Spock is going to have an emotional meltdown in all of these films. Sigh.
Basically, this was a movie where a ton of cool stuff happens for no good reason. (Why was the Enterprise underwater in the opening scene? Because having it come out of the water looked cool. They could have done what they did from orbit.) Sometimes, the cool stuff managed to outweigh the lack of reason. Sometimes it didn’t.
Nevest· 106 weeks agoI really didn’t like the first movie. Way too many illogical plot holes, just pulled me out of it and made it unenjoyable. The second movie was fantastic. Everything fit, everything made sense and flowed. Very enjoyable.
Liam· 106 weeks agoAnother actor playing Khan who isn’t Indian? At least this time they got an actor from a country that has some history with India.
Jay· 106 weeks agoIn regards to Peter Weller already appearing on Enterprise, I think it’s GOOD they’re keeping up the Star Trek tradition of reusing actors from previous movies/series’. (COUGHDavidWarnerCOUGH)Am I wrong, or was that Tony Todd playing the one demasked Klingon. He was Worf’s brother Kurn (Kern?) and at least one other Klingon.
firstfallen· 100 weeks agoHe was Kurn. IMDB says he wasn’t in STID, but I remember him as adult Jake Sisko from DS9 :P. Also apparently Alpha Hirogen in a Voyager episode!
StephC· 106 weeks agoAm I the only one who wasn’t surprised by the reveal of the true Mandarin in Iron Man 3? I wasn’t expecting Trevor to be so hilariously strung out, but the fact that Killian was the mastermind? Called it after Tony left him waiting on the roof. And the fact that Cumberbatch is Kahn wasn’t a shock either. If you’re going for a Big Bad Baddie, Kahn’s an obvious choice.Yeah, I was spoiled (in a thread about the original WoK, the day before ID came out, and the guy had the audacity to say “what, I said ‘spoilers’,” as if we’d know what movie he was spoiling) but it’s not really a surprise. They were doing so much denial that he was Khan that he was at LEAST going to be a Khan-with-serial-numbers-filed-off.I was shocked by the Mandarin thing just because of how it defies the role of the character in the comics. I didn’t hate it. I thought it was pretty clever for movie continuity, but I did think Kingsley laid it on a little thick.
I thought BC was Khan from moment one but then they started the whole “SHUT UP YOU IDIOTS HE’S TOTALLY NOT KHAN!” campaign.I was SO DISAPPOINTED when they revealed the Mandarin. They had been building to it since the beginning of the first movie and the terrorists who belonged to “the Ten Rings.”
I was ready for some real magic vs tech throwdown, and, in a perfect world, Fin Fang Foom. Instead it was just a pothead actor. What a waste of potential awesomeness.As a dyed-in-the-wool Trekkie who grew up on TOS, I enjoyed the film, although there were a couple of plot holes other commenters have already mentioned above which took me out of the movie. That being said, TOS episodes *never* had plot holes. (Said wryly.)
It didn’t bother me that Peter Weller was used again in a similar role. TOS re-used actors for different roles a couple of times, too, so there is precedent. (I guess they thought no one would notice?!?)
As far as the underuse of Sulu, to be fair, he was actually a supporting character in TOS, who did not appear in every episode. That being said, he and Chekov were my favorite characters when I was growing up, although that was primarily because I had crushes on George Takei and Walter Koenig. OTOH, he did get to be awesome for a bit while Acting Captain.I really enjoyed the movie but yeah, it’s not the same as the old Star Trek. The old Trek had a greater emphasis on the details and continuity. You can’t really nitpick the Abrams Trek the same way you can nitpick the old Trek. The dialogue, action, acting, and effects were all great but the plot was probably on the level of a Voyager or Enterprise episode.
Regardless, I still wished the movie had been a bit slower and more subtle. The old Section 31 used elaborate secret plans filled with political manipulations, lies, and betrayals. It kind of sucks how they’ve been turned into a bunch of dumb warmongers who barely even try to hide their existence. Also, I wish there had been a greater focus on Khan’s intellect and charisma rather than his physical strength.
Orion M· 106 weeks agoI was mostly very happy with it.
But yeah, not even Zachary Quinto could keep a straight face through Spock yelling KHAAAAAAAAN! The whole theatre was laughing uncontrollably. Possibly because it was the Cinnebarre and they serve all the boozes, but still.
Benedict Cumberbatch sold Khan to me as measured and superior in a way Ricardo Montalban never did. I’ve seen basically the gamut of Trek, and for all I was told it was The Awesome Special Sauce, I never cared much for Wrath of Khan. I felt that Khan in ST2 showed severe devolution from his remarkably well-crafted appearance in TOS. He wasn’t brilliant or deadly or even particularly dangerous.
(And the Space Magic that resurrects Spock is no less ridiculous than the Space Magic that resurrects Kirk. More ridiculous, actually. But Star Trek has always been about ridiculous Space Magic, so I forgive them both on that count.)
Anyway, I don’t agree that it’s entirely 100% a reboot of ST2 – it’s the main story threads of ST2 and The Undiscovered Country rolled into one, with some name-drops of things from DS9 and TOS to establish background flavor. It’s my hope that Section 31 gets some more love in Trek 3.
On a completely unrelated note, if I ever work with Benedict Cumberbatch, I will only ever call him by his full name. “Would you like some more coffee, Benedict Cumberbatch?” “Strange weather today, isn’t it, Benedict Cumberbatch?” “You make a very good point, Benedict Cumberbatch!” “My good friend Benedict Cumberbatch is an excellent actor. Oh, Benedict Cumberbatch, I was just talking about you!”
I’m sure he’d deck me after like half an hour, but that would be totally worth it. I mean, how many people get punched by Benedict Cumberbatch?Saw it again tonight and thought of a couple more things I would have added to my review. I LOVED the inclusion of Section 31 from the DS9 Canon. Considering how Section 31 is never fully understood in DS9 or even an official part of Starfleet, they could totally be hopping over from the Abrams continuity into the Berman/Moore-verse.
Does Carol Marcus change her name to Carol Marius at the end, or does Kirk just say her name weird when he welcomes her back on the ship?
I totally blanked on the fact that when the dad at the beginning goes to work at the “archive,” that he walked right past the missiles and a bunch of non-archive weapons manufacturing equipment. Also that the archive was named the “Kelvin Memorial Archive.”
I missed the reference to “the Mudd incident” the first time through.
Right when Bones looks on in disbelief at Kirk’s dead body, my friend Rob goes, “You’re dead, Jim,” and I lost my shit.OH! And the model of the Phoenix on Marcus’s desk. That was an additional bit of badassery.Nice list of easter eggs here: http://screenrant.com/star-trek-into-darkness-eas…
I was a little disappointed that Bones didn’t tell Kirk that he had only been “mostly dead”, because Princess Bride references rock 😉They (Lindelhoff, et al) also wrote another prequel comic for this movie, like they did the ’09 one, which has a good deal of set up for this movie, along with a nice backstory to another captain of the Enterprise.They kind of missed the point of Section 31. It’s supposed to be a super secret organization that almost no one knows exists. Its methods are supposed to be almost impossible to track. Most importantly, people are supposed to be surprised and appalled by its existence. The very idea that something so antithetical to what the Federation stands for can exist within the very heart of Starfleet is supposed to be extremely controversial and hard for people to believe. It’s kind of like learning that your nice friendly neighbor who gets along with everyone and is a pillar of the community turned out to be a mafia hitman.
Bryce· 105 weeks agoWhile Kirk was hot on the revenge warpath when he was told about it, the reactions of everyone else on the Enterprise to the torpedoes seems to be about what you wanted. I loved that Scotty put his foot down and they actually carried that through to the repercussions, even if it was to get him in place to come back into the picture in Act 2/3. Chekhov’s look upon his “promotion” was both a meta “oh crap I’m putting on a red shirt” and an “oh crap I need to keep this ship running.”One thing that bugged me at the beginning of the movie: when Cumberbatch appeared on screen for the first time, the score was just way too over the top. This is our first shot of the character and, instead of some foreboding music that this guy may be trouble, it’s full on FINAL BATTLE WITH THE VILLAIN IN HIS LAIR music. “I can save her.” BWAAM BWOOOM BWOHM BAH-WAAAAAAAAAAAM.
Lots of small nits to pick about the movie, but it’s still enjoyable, even with the whole “let’s revision the ending of Wrath of Khan” thing at the end. Here’s an article I really found myself agreeing with: http://www.goseetalk.com/star-trekking-into-nitpi…Yes, I found a lot of the music cues too intrusive/instructive. For example, when Kirk is trying to kick the warp core into place. It takes forever, which is great for suspense, but you know EXACTLY the kick when it’s going to start working again because the music SUDDENLY CRESCENDOES before he kicks it. Which kind of momentarily ruins all the suspense they were trying to build.
This is not a subtle movie.I’m just glad to know that kicking things to get them to work is still a valid repair technique, even into the 23rd century.I am very glad you liked it! The fan community that I’m a member of that sprang up around the 2009 movie has been… less than supportive. I guess the first time around people would only join if they’d liked the movie, and now everyone’s been hanging around for four years waiting and there’s no guarantee they’ll like it.
I enjoyed it. On second watching I found the plot holes and glaring inconsistencies more bothersome, but I still love most of the character beats and all the funny quips. And I really loved the first part of the plot where Kirk loses his captaincy because yes, he is an irresponsible ass at that point. I think a lot of things about the movie were very well done.
And Benedict Cumberbatch… I believe I am permanently melted into a puddle of goo about that man. Between my recent re-watching of Sherlock and then seeing STID twice, I just can’t stand what an excellent actor he is.It was… enjoyable on the whole, I suppose. But there were just too many moments that utterly killed the tension and/or pacing for me. One in particular really just ruined the rest of the movie for me; The scene where Kirk “dies” has NO WEIGHT WHATSOEVER, because of poorly delivered, heavy-handed foreshadowing about magical anti-death-blood. The premise is… silly, but forgivable, BUT I literally spent the entire scene between Kirk and Spock at the radiation shield screaming in my head, “SHUT UP, HE’S GOING TO BE FINE”.
There are a million little details that bug me, but those can be overlooked in service of the story. Sort of. But a major point of dramatic tension being ruined by sloppy writing is a serious no-no. (I mean, we knew Kirk wasn’t staying dead, but there was NO MYSTERY AT ALL COME ON.)I love J.J.’s alt universe as long as I keep reminding myself that he is rebooting the franchise. Frankly, anyone who wanted this movie to be a remake of Wrath of Kahn or “Space Seed,” the episode where you actually find out everything about Kahn, is an idiot in my opinion. I’ve heard it screamed on forums that Cumberbatch is great, but he didn’t get to be KAHN in the sacrosanct, undiluted, original series way they wanted, but you know what? Cumberbatch can walk over my cold corpse any day (feel free to interpret that anyway you want to) and his Kahn is just as compelling as Montalban’s. I don’t want to sit through a remake of the Wrath of Kahn. I want new, fresh material, and new takes on the most frightening villains and that is exactly what J.J. gave me.
Rev-e· 105 weeks agoI was thinking that the old school original timeline movies made more of a point about taking on big-picture real world issues…then I remembered starfleet authorizing a drone strike on someone else’s sovereign territory to take out a terrorist and got the point.
Sam· 105 weeks agoSpot on review. Well done Joel. Big ups.
manbeardman· 105 weeks agoi just saw it last night and …….. meh i couldnt get into it i think cause i loved the original wrath of khan so much still a good movie
Chaucer59· 99 weeks agoI hated Chekhov in the original series, and I hate that JJ brought Jim back–and WAAAAAAAYYYY too early in the first movie. All the crew were seasoned veterans in TOS compared to Chekhov. Why do we need a cheesy Russian accent? I was thrilled in the beginning of Star Trek II when they infected Chekhov with that brain slug that was SUPPOSED to be fatal, but then they miraculously saved him at the end. Of course, I was the rare exception to all the Star Trek geeks at the time Wrath of Khan came out–I hated what they did with Khan. In the original story, Khan was a powerful farkin’ genius–a truly remarkable opponent. In Wrath of Khan he was a raving whack-job who they defeated because he got a case of the dumb and forgot that space is three-dimensional. COME ON, that wasn’t Khan–that was Khan’s crazy, Alzheimer’s-addled uncle Bernie Noonien Singh.