Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Into Darkness" : Spoilers and harshness

No one in our family was overly excited when the release of  "Star Wars  Trek : Into Darkness" was announced, and it turned out that no one in my family except me went to see it. In fact, I went while my daughter was away at camp at her request. Further, I was not only glad to use a gift ticket, but that I saved all those other gift tickets for a movie I expect to actually be cool, like Man of Steel or Pacific Rim.

The sins of this movie- from the perspective of someone whose very first childhood memory is of watching ST: TOS  with her mom- were many. The largest was pretty obvious from the last movie: the man does not get Star Trek.

One thing Abrams has never been, though, is a Trekker. Or a Trekkie. Or even a Trekkist. "Star Trek," he says, referring to the original TV series, "always felt like a silly, campy thing. I remember appreciating it, but feeling like I didn't get it. I felt it didn't give me a way in. There was a captain, there was this first officer, they were talking a lot about adventures and not having them as much as I would've liked. Maybe I wasn't smart enough, maybe I wasn't old enough. But The Twilight Zone I was obsessed with. Loved it."
Any new addition to the Star Trek universe must manoeuvre through a dense asteroid belt of existing Trek lore that has accumulated after 79 episodes of the original series, its TV successors (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise), 10 movies and innumerable other spin-offs. But Abrams's ignorance was, he says, an asset: "I had no idea there had been 10 movies! I still haven't seen them all. I didn't want to become a student of Star Trek. I felt that was actually one of the few advantages I had. I was trying to make a movie, not trying to make a Trek movie."
That last sentence, Mr Abrams, may be why you fail to deliver.

Into Darkness very much had that  ST:2009 feel of "I really wanted to be making a Star Wars movie, even down to a ship that look remarkably like the Millennium Falcon making moves we've seen that ship make before. Or the fact that Abram's future San Fransisco looked strikingly like Coruscant. Don't even get me started on the sound effects. 

To make thing worse, Chris Pine turned in a performance every bit as wooden as his Star Wars counterpart, Hayden Christiansen. And the plotholes? You could pilot a Dreadnought class starship through them. Without having to turn your ship sideways. The fight choreography was consistently terrible and some scenes gave me that same feeling in the pit of my stomach that driving up a twisty mountain road with my speed freak father-in-law (Godresthissoul) used to.

It's not all bad: Benedict Cumberbacth turned in a *brilliant* performance ( which we all expected) and Karl Urban reprised as Bones his role of "the only actor who truly pays tribute to his predecessor in his performance". Oh, and extra bonus? WAY less lens flare!


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