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Into Darkness or Into Dumbness?


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Report this May. 28 2013, 11:30 am

Just returned from my third viewing in IMAX of Into Darkness over the last 3 weeks. Being in the UK i was fortunate enough to have watched the film ahead of release schedule. Over 30 years I have been a devoted Trekkie across all series and films including the 2009 JJ reboot and at that time I had grave doubts of JJ's ability to reboot the franchise. I left the cinema in 2009 very very impressed (apart from some minor gripes including that damn awful engine room set in a brewery factory!) but after the 3rd viewing of Into Darkness im still having mixed feelings about Into Darkness for a number of reasons.

JJ's 2009 film felt more inline with the Star Trek Universe and a much simpler to understand story. Into Darkness suffers from a number of badly executed script holes and a total lack of understanding of the Trek universe. Whilst the cinematic visuals are stunning! and the actors who portray the crew are simply amazing (love Quinto's performance!!) this new film somewhat falls short compared to the 2009 reboot.

Reviving the character of Kahn himself as a British actor was a big mistake. This new Kahn does not look anything like old Kahn nor in visual appearance or mannerisms or in his classic embrace of Shakespeare. Clearly the writers neglected this characteristic which was heavily portrayed in Wrath of Kahn. Whilst Cumberbatch does a fantastic job he is no where near the performance of Montalban. It would have been far more convincing if John Harrison was indeed one of Kahn's senior people who was found on another sleeper ship without treading on the Kahn iconic character.

The death scene is simply lazy writing and a bad understanding by the script writers who merely have mashed together scenes from previous Trek films. Directly taking lines from Wrath of Kahn is WTF! moment! Clearly the writers thought it was a good idea but really? did they have to? Spock shouting Kahn is definetely going past the line! The space jump between the two ships is Data from Nemesis? including the USS Vengeance over warping the Enterprise and firing on it. Hmmm Nemesis again with the Schimitar?

The film suffers from a serious lack of normal physics and Star Trek Universe physics. Enterprise falling to Earth just near to Earths moon? Really? would that happen soo quickly? Also lots of inconsistences in the script is shocking. Take for example the Enterprise re-entering the Earth's atmosphere and them being on the verge of burning up as the crew grapple to restore power. They need to get main power restored. They eventually do but the Enterprise has already re-entered the atmosphere and is just above the clouds when the warp core is restored! Doh! Hang on. the ship has already re-entered and survived without the main power being restored! Another example is the space battle between the Earth and the moon. OK so where is Starfleet in this? Not one ship is around to find out why are these two ships engaged in battle despite Admiral Marcus stating that the Federation is on the verge of war with the Klingons. So where are Earth's defenses? Doh! Again badly executed. Lots of inconsistences again especially when the crew visit the Klingon home world. Does this feel like the Klingon home world? no it dosent! Does the music score sound like the classic tones of the Klingon themes we have come to love in the movies? (see the opening scene of The Motion Picture/battle with the Enterprise in Star Trek 5 for reference). Giachinno has failed here to embrace the Klingon tones compared to his excellent rendition during the 2009 reboot and his Vulcan score. Amazing piece of work there!

Am I nitpicking? Yes! but after seeing the 3rd viewing of Into Darkness I can't help but feel theres something not quite right about this film. Amazing actors, Amazing visuals and immensly cinematic. It's a shame that the script wasn't as good as I was expecting. When Harrison revealed himself as Kahn I couldn't help but slap my hand over my face in horror! The scene when Kirk dies and Spock yells Kahn still does not make sense. In Wrath of Kahn Kirk had already known Spock for around 15 years as a close friend but in this reboot the two new characters merely only have known each other for a much shorter time? Spock losing his emotion at this stage does not make sense especially as he had little regard for Kirk at the start of the film.

There are other scenes which clearly just dont work in my book. The scene in London just feels like iRobot or Dr.Who! and those uniforms whilst walking around in Starfleet academy look more like Galaxy Quest or Nazis in space. Who ever thought wearing all grey uniforms with a hat would make for a great look? Why didn't they add a touch of red or gold to the top of the uniform across the shoulders like an inverted Voyager/Next Generation look?

Watching interviews of JJ he clearly shows a lack of true understanding of the Trek universe and this is to be expected from someone who has openly admiited to being a Star Wars fan rather then knowing anything about Star Trek. The scene of the Enterprise under water at the start of the film is definetely caters to a more visual effect rather than something which we would have seen in previous Trek. He has also made reference to the 2009 engine room and being as large as it was due to the fact that the ship had to travel faster than light. He then later referenced the Titanic's engine room and it running on coal! Clearly this man has no knowledge or appreciation of Trek technology and any Trekkie would point out that Scottie never ever had an engine room ever that large! Nor does a starship need the size of Titanic's engine room as it dosen't run on coal!

While the credits roll I cant help but feel that I have enjoyed the film again. Its a great film dont get me wrong but not as fresh and original as it could have been! This was down to a serious lack of understanding by JJ's inbred script writers who didn't truly understand and appreciate deep within their hearts as to what Trek was really about. Lets hope the third film will only seek to improve on their mistakes and its a shame that the original/Next Gen production crew and creative staff have been alienated completely from the JJ reboot (everything done in-house under Bad Robot is clearly evidence of this) as the traditional creative cast and writers were really talented people who made Trek magic over its history. Get these people back for the next film!


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POSTS: 498

Report this May. 28 2013, 12:51 pm

Good review James1701NX,

I'm afraid the next film whenever it happens will just be more of the same. The keys to the Star Trek franchise were handed to Abrams specifically to get them out of the hands of Rick Berman and his creative team of collaborators, who were blamed for the low TV ratings of Enterprise and the poor box office returns of Nemesis.

What I don't understand is how you could think Abrams' Star Trek (2009) was more inline with Classic Trek than this film. I noticed far more errors in that film. I also didn't know what I was watching when I first saw it, a serious action movie, or a parody on TOS characters.


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POSTS: 200

Report this May. 29 2013, 9:58 am

My only comment is Trek movies aren't what trek is about.


Trek TV is.

I just found this great Star Trek MB!!  photo ac1685424929087bf1b7e7e0d734f861.jpg


GROUP: Members

POSTS: 113

Report this May. 29 2013, 11:57 am

ER.. Star Trek Into Darkness is now the number 3 movie after Fast and furious and Hangover 3, it's going down slowly............

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