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My STID review-major spoilers ahead


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Report this May. 21 2013, 12:51 pm

Sooo many problems with this film, don’t know where to start. It’s a mess. In terms of visual effects and action, it’s an FX/action aficionado’s dream. But what about the narrative, logical plot development, and adherence to Star Trek? Major spoilers ahead.

Pike is more logical than Spock? Spock lectures Kirk about the Prime Directive being violated before beaming down to a planet to stop a volcano from erupting-which is a major violation of the Prime Directive! Where’s your logic this time Spock? It was a violation of the Prime Directive to take the ship down into low planetary orbit to begin with, much less immerse it underwater. How is it not a violation of the Prime Directive to bring a shuttle near the mouth of a volcano, but a violation to take the Enterprise over the mouth of the same volcano? Why did the device Spock brought with him down into the volcano have to be manually set anyway? Does Wifi not exist in the future? How is Kirk able to wirelessly send a call to Scotty on Earth from the Neutral Zone, but not able to wirelessly detonate a device inside an active volcano 100 years into the future while on the same planet? Answer: There’s no logic or coherence to what is possible in Abramsverse tech-wise, because every possibility or impossibility is just a plot device. Why does violating the Prime Directive only become important to Spock when his life is in danger? Why does Kirk have to violate the Prime Directive to prove his friendship to Spock? The Prime Directive in Abramsverse is just another casualty to advance the plot.

What’s next? Pike’s murder. Yes, one of the only truly mature characters in Abramsverse is sacrificed to advance the plot. Kirk loses command of the Enterprise for a total of fifteen minutes (film-wise) during the span of which he hits his favorite dive bar, is made first officer by his mentor, Admiral Pike, who demotes himself to Captain? Good, now Kirk can finally learn what it really means to be a Starship Captain first hand as Pike’s OX, but wait…Pike gets killed, so Kirk is re-instated as Captain. Darn!

WTF Starfleet: The whole of the fleet’s Captains and first officers consists of about twenty or so officers? Does this mean there are ten or less ships in the fleet? Admirals have ships too? Seriously, WTF?

Scotty: Why is Scotty, a Starship engineer, able to track down John Harrison’s location, when nobody else in Starfleet could? Since when do Starfleet engineers double as Homicide investigators? Maybe it has something to do with Scotty’s expertise in trans-warp beaming? Ok, so why is John Harrison able to beam to Q’onos, but Kirk has to fly there, even with engineer Scot in his back pocket? That is, until Scotty resigns! When Scotty refuses to sign for experimental photon torpedoes to be put aboard Enterprise, instead of backing his engineer like William Shatner’s Kirk would have done, Chris Pine’s Kirk orders Scotty to throw aside his concern for the safety of the crew and sign the damn log. When Scotty refuses and resigns, Kirk accepts the resignation. When Scotty resigns, Keenser goes along with him. Question: Is Keenser Scotty’s personal slave/pet/child? Scotty later reappears deux ex machina aboard Admiral Marcus’s Starship, the U.S. S. Vengence (nice name), which dwarfs the Enterprise. Wait, I thought the Enterprise was the flagship of the fleet? Didn’t Kirk say that in the beginning of the film? WTF is Keenser when Scotty needs him the most to open the airlock? I hope he got sucked out into space.

Carol Marcus: Yes, Alice Eve is a cute little blonde, but why does Kirk not have the sense to check out her transfer orders? Was he thinking with his little head again? When Spock discovers the truth he keeps it to himself, until such a time as it became relevant? We hear Zachary Quinto’s Spock repeatedly say Vulcans don’t lie, but they withhold things?! The whole purpose of Carol Marcus in the film is to give Scotty extra time to shut down Admiral Marcus’s ship. Oh, wait! And also to deactivate a photon torpedo that was never going to explode anyway, by pulling out the wires. Abrams also gives us more examples of sophistication when he has Kirk kick the dilithium chamber into alignment like a monkey. Oh, and did I mention a barbaric Khan that loves crushing peoples’ skulls with his bare hands? In reality, Abrams is just throwing in a sci-fi babe to sell tickets to the dominant male demographic that will see this film, especially after that trailer with her stripped down to her undies.

Prime Spock cameo: What was the point of Prime Spock’s interstellar phone call to ZQ’s Spock?  To warn him about what the Khan in his universe was like? Totally illogical. Then he asks how to defeat Khan, but we never get the answer. Are we to assume Spock’s eventual capture of Harrison was inspired by Prime Spock’s advice? The capture consisted of Uhura firing stun blasts in succession at Harrison and Spock punching the daylights out of him. What did Prime Spock tell ZQ’s Spock? Punch his face off?

Admiral Marcus: Why did he send Kirk to the Neutral Zone to deliver the photon torpedoes to Q’onos when he could have done it himself? Yes, send an irresponsible, order defying, liar on the most important mission in the fleet. How did you get to be Admiral? And Kirk, blinded by his lust for revenge, fool heartedly agrees to release photon torpedoes into Klingon space in order to kill John Harrison, and how many other Klingons? Yes, Kirk changes his mind before carrying out an order from a Starfleet Admiral to assassinate a suspected terrorist, and become a mass murder of Klingon women and children, but…

Klingons: Harrison’s one man war against the Klingons was impressive, but it makes the Klingons look like a bunch of slow, blade wielding amateurs, instead of a warrior race the Federation should fear. Just unfreeze the rest of Khan’s crew, deliver them to the planet, and they’ll pussy whip the Klingon Empire!

John Harrison: I liked how the reveal of Harrison’s true identity is kept from the audience initially. Cumberpatch does a good job of portraying a heartless criminal superman/terrorist, a lot better than Del Toro would have been in the same role; his performance is the stand-out performance in the film.

Kirk: There is some character development with Kirk as the film progresses; he begins listening to his crew more instead of just barking orders. The Kirk death scene was cheesy TWOK fanwank compared with Shatner’s death scene in Generations, or Spock’s in TWOK. Kirk’s resurrection leaves open the question if Kirk is now a Khan-like superman, and what about that little girl in the hospital who received a blood donation from Khan?  

Abrams is good at producing disorienting non-stop action adventure with amazing, gritty visual effects, but not a coherent, albeit fictional vision of the future that is in line with the intelligent writing and moral compass that defined classic Star Trek. This movie proves once again that Orci and Kurtzman don’t know how to write Star Trek, or even good sci-fi. Star Trek Into Darkness is nothing more than a highly budgeted, studio-backed fan fiction movie with professional actors and state of the art visuals.  


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Report this May. 21 2013, 1:44 pm

Utopia Planetia

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Report this May. 22 2013, 2:27 am

I agree with almost all of that.

Still, it'll probably get us a new series, so I'm cool.


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Report this May. 22 2013, 3:42 am

This is by far the best review I have read. Didn't agree withh all of it but you nailed the central issues.


If it gets us a new series that is like it, that would be tragic.

What other people think of you is none of your business.


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Report this May. 22 2013, 6:46 pm

I gotta saw I agree with everything in your review. I also just got to see Fast 6 and that film shows that with some tight writing you can retcon some character deaths set up an amazing 7th movie in a franchise that prints money. Have less plotholes than Star Trek Into Darkness and be much more marketable to the masses sigh can Justin Lin direct the next trek....

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