[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.
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