[personal profile] dmaze
I was not overwhelmed by Star Trek: Into Darkness. Wrath of Khan was one of the best of the "old" Star Trek movies, and trying to remake it inevitably brings comparisons. I found Darkness Khan to be angry, but unclearly motivated, and the sheer amount of characters not doing things in their better interest to move the plot along nagged me a lot.

I don't do well with fictional media about terrorism; REAMDE's "OMG the world blew up and now this is a terrorism novel" rubbed me badly too. To review, Khan is a genetically engineered superman from our time. In Classic Trek, the Enterprise finds him and his crew, they take over the ship, Kirk manages to regain control and exile them to an uninhabited planet which they can master with raw muscle and genetic superiority; but then the planet over explodes, and Khan's vendetta against Kirk is fairly soundly rooted in a sense that somebody should have come and checked up on them, rather than letting them struggle on what became a desert planet with mind worms. Darkness Khan is really upset...with Star Fleet?...because the rest of his crew never got woken up?...and so the answer is to randomly kill people? If I had a starship so big and powerful it could readily crush any other single vessel in Star Fleet, and it was so secret that nobody knew it existed, "crash it into San Francisco" would not be on my priority list.

I'm unclear how this incarnation of Star Fleet functions at all. Darkness continues the ongoing Star Trek trope that, while Earth is the single most important planet in the Federation, Star Fleet can't be bothered to actually defend it. Their emergency plan is to physically gather the captain and first officer of what can't be more than four or five nearby ships in one specific room on the surface, and this is the entirety of Star Fleet's local presence. Kirk flagrantly violates the Prime Directive on one of his first assignments after a questionable path to command at all, but still manages to be in the room of all of the senior officers. This Star Fleet is maybe a dozen ships...total?

The pandering to Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock bugged me a lot. Why introduce a Carol Marcus character? (I think the Internet has already covered the gratuitous stripping scene.) Why does somebody need to go in and kick the warp core, and why doesn't the Enterprise have radiation suits? Why does somebody need to scream Khan's name? There is no point to these scenes other than to invoke the older movies...and the older movies were better.

I will say that the current Enterprise looks good. If I was going to spend billions of dollars to build a spaceship, its interior would in fact look shiny and glitzy and science-fictiony, especially in the command area, and main engineering would probably in fact look like a machine room. That's probably the most reedeeming feature of this installation of the series, though.

Date: 2013-05-24 01:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] firstfrost.livejournal.com
A lot of the plot holes (and Starfleet weirdness) and UNDERWATER SPACE SHIP (Futurama continues to be my reference point for that) bugged me, though admittedly not nearly as much as the whole Nero plot did.

New Khan's motivation is, I think, more like "he's upset because the rest of his crew is being held as hostages to ensure his cooperation", which I can accept as a motive; the rest of his actions seem to be "as a very smart villain, I can predict every response of my enemies, thus everything they do is playing into my final plan." It's implausible, but common enough that I bet there's a TVTrope for it.

I'm probably the target audience for the "pandering" - the references to the original crew feel to me like the Mirrorverse, where despite probability, a different timestream has conspired to show you the same people, writ different. The reboot feels to me like a non-evil mirrorverse, so the references are reflections, and they work for me. Other people's mileage obviously will vary. :)

Date: 2013-05-24 03:26 pm (UTC)
bookwyrm: (skerrigan)
From: [personal profile] bookwyrm
Bleah. I hate the "hoho, I'm so clever I anticipated your every move!" villains. Thanks for the warning.

Date: 2013-05-24 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] firstfrost.livejournal.com
I think all action movies secretly want to be Die Hard, which did that trope well ("if we pretend to be terrorists, they will cut the power, which is what we want for our heist plot"), and most do not succeed very well. I'd say that here, about 1/3 of the predictions are decent-ish, 1/3 of them are justified in world but require that the world be stupid, and 1/3 are "and you guessed that HOW?".

Date: 2013-05-24 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] plymouth.livejournal.com
io9 had some similar criticisms but even more (comically) harsh:


Date: 2013-05-25 01:31 am (UTC)
bookwyrm: (skerrigan)
From: [personal profile] bookwyrm
I think I had more fun reading that than I will watching the movie. Thanks!

Date: 2013-05-30 03:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eichin.livejournal.com
> machine room

That's because they *did* spend billions of dollars building a (very sophisticated) machine room - a bunch of those settings were shot in the National Ignition Facility :-)
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