Star Trek: Into Darkness

StarTrekIntoDarknessEnterprisePosterI went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness on opening night, and can happily report that I thoroughly enjoyed myself…although in the end, I feel mixed about the movie.  It was a very good time–and yet there are issues.  I feel rather that way about the previous movie too, although the particular issues are different ones.  The first (eleventh) movie had rather a mess of a plot but excellent characters and some fantastic moments.  This one had an engaging plot, made rather a mess of the characters…and had some fantastic moments.

The movie opens with the Enterprise on a routine survey mission that is on the brink of going horribly awry.  This felt a lot like an old-style Trek adventure, and was a very fun way to start the movie.  Kirk breaks regulations to pull a victory out of chaos, but is still smacked-down by Starfleet for breaking the rules.  This is quickly set aside, however, when Starfleet comes under attack from the mysterious John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the Enterprise sets out to round up the fugitive.  Beyond that, it’s hard to discuss plot without serious spoilers.

Suffice to say, the plot was at times implausible or convoluted, but also exciting and engaging.  There are some good twists and very good chase sequences, although some of the action parts went on longer than necessary.  And there were far too many flashing lights!

Cumberbatch2But  there was also Benedict Cumberbatch.  Pardon while I gush.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed this movie half as much without Cumberbatch.  Whatever was wrong with the characters (I’ll get to that), the problem was not the villain.  He was completely awesomely amazing  every time he was on screen.  He was one of those villains who is just so damn cool that you want to root for him–while realizing fully that he’s a horrible person who must be stopped.  I’ve only ever seen Cumberbatch before in Sherlock, and this was like the evil Sherlock.  Sherlock if he really was a pyschopath, and not nearly as funny.  So.  Brilliant.

They hold back the reveal on his, shall we say, secret identity for quite a while and I won’t reveal it either.  But I heard a definite exhale go through the audience when it finally came out.  If you’re on the fence about seeing this movie, it’s worth it for Cumberbatch alone.

But he isn’t the only good thing in the movie.  Scotty, McCoy and Chekov are all really delightful every time they’re on screen–which, in the case of McCoy especially, was not often enough.  There are some very funny moments, which was good and bad–and I think that brings me up to why I feel mixed.  Some of the lines made me laugh…except that the characters shouldn’t have been saying them.

I had problems with the portrayal of the characters, and when I say “the characters” I think I mostly mean Kirk, though not exclusively.  Part of the trouble is the whole “prequel” concept that they set up in the last movie.  At the end of that movie, a group of (essentially) college students were put in charge of the top-of-the-line, pride of the fleet Starship Enterprise.  In this movie, the college students are running things–but they’re still behaving like college students.  They flirt, they argue, they have relationship discussions in the middle of a battle sequence, they disregard regulations and blithely expect to get away with it.

Now I’ll grant you, the original series characters always had their moments.  But there was also always a baseline of professionalism.  There was rank, there was protocol, there were regulations and procedures and a rational chain of command.  And they behaved (mostly) like professionals.  They felt like mature adults.  The dynamic and the interactions in this new movie just didn’t feel right to me for Starfleet officers, or for these characters.

I know this sounds like a nitpick, but the continued unprofessionalism was threaded throughout the movie, and when something is just a little bit wrong every third line of dialogue, that’s not a little thing anymore.  It was everything from Kirk making pointed-ear references (which is McCoy’s sole prerogative) to Sulu or Chekov saying things like, “I don’t know if I can do that but I’ll see what I can manage,” when the only appropriate response is “Yes, Captain.”  And then there was Scotty calling Kirk “Jim,” repeatedly.  Only Bones calls him Jim regularly, that’s what makes him special (or maybe I should say, his specialness lets him do it–not that anyone writing this seemed to understand that McCoy is important.  A different issue).  The worst was when Uhura and Spock had a relationship spat mid-landing party.  People: professionalism!  (The fact that they even have a relationship to have a spat about–that’s so wrong I can’t even touch it.)

The lack of maturity was especially a problem for Kirk, because they apparently decided to give him a character arc about needing to grow up into the role of captain.  And yeah, I know, prequel–except that he’s already captain, with the same crew he had on the original series, and the idea in that context that he doesn’t know what he’s doing yet and that, I don’t know, his pre-frontal lobe is still developing or whatever…no, it just felt wrong.  I love Kirk because he is every bit as awesome as he thinks he is, he always knows what he’s doing, and he always bends the rules in exactly the right way to get a victory and stay out of trouble.  Always.  If they want to tell a story about how he became that person, it should have happened before he was sitting in the Chair.

So much for my rant.  Just when I was getting thoroughly frustrated with things, though, we got into the last half-hour or so…which will be a spoiler to discuss.  So I’m putting it in white, highlight the next paragraph if you want to read it.

Loved the last portion of the movie.  I thought the role reversal of Kirk and Spock was mind-bendingly brilliant.  This is by far and away the best example so far of taking the altered timeline and doing something really clever with it.  Loved the chase sequence with Spock and Khan.  Loved that a tribble was part of the key to saving Kirk.  Loved that Khan was shown still alive–and smiling–at the end.  That man’s not going away (I hope).  Loved that Leonard Nimoy had a cameo.  It was a pretty much unnecessary cameo–except that he’s Nimoy, and therefore is necessary unto himself, it doesn’t have to do anything for the plot.

And though it is about the end, it’s not a spoiler to say that using the original music for the end credits gave me the warm fuzzies.  🙂  Suffice to say as a non-spoiler, the last half-hour was brilliant, and while I stand by my issues with the other portions of the movie, it brought me around to a positive on the movie overall.

Next time–because I trust there will be a next time–I’m hoping for more McCoy (please, more McCoy!), less flashing lights and weird reflections, more maturity from the crew and especially Kirk, and with any luck, more Benedict Cumberbatch!

Movie site:

35 thoughts on “Star Trek: Into Darkness

  1. I don’t know, I can’t see the unprofessionalism thing as an issue myself. Don’t forget, these are kids. In the original Trek Kirk and Spock and McCoy were not young men. They had years of service underneath their belts when we started seeing their adventures on the screen. Not so with most of the crew in the reboot. If you are willing to accept the implausibility that an organization would turn a billions of dollars starship over to a bunch of young kids, and you have to in order to truly enjoy this, then it only makes sense that they would crack wise and blow off steam and act unprofessional.

    Just my two cents, but I found the whole thing to be a lot of fun just the way it was played. It would be harder for me to believe if these young people were suddenly acting like seasoned officers.

    1. “If you are willing to accept the implausibility that an organization would turn a billions of dollars starship over to a bunch of young kids…”

      And that would be my problem. I understand what everyone’s saying, they ARE younger…but I feel like if I’m going to be able to accept that they’re running the ship, I need to see that they actually can handle it. I’d rather we just ignored how young they are and went on with them acting like adults. However, despite major sticking on that particular point, I DID still enjoy the movie–so it’s possible to have a good time while finding that element absurd.

      1. I pretty much just accept the premise of absurdity and honestly barely even notice it anymore. It doesn’t detract from the entertainment value of the work, for me. And I guess I felt like in the first movie and in this one, given that they indicated that time has passed, they demonstrated well enough that they all knew their jobs. Good-natured quipping and banter and a comfort level with one another doesn’t, for me, necessarily mean that they do not know what they are doing. Are they less professional than their older selves, certainly and I think some of that will come with time. But honestly I think the writers are doing a really nice job of showing these more exaggerated characteristics when they were younger that are present in their older selves as shown in the original series and in the original series films. Again, just an opinion.

    2. That’s part of the problem! You don’t put a guy who just graduated from the acadmey in charge of a starship! Certainly not the flagship of the fleet. It was a problem I had with the ending of the last movie.

      But I also think you’re not giving enough credit to young people. They know how to be professional, too. First, these guys have all been through the academy, and I assume they’ve been together at least a year since the last movie. I don’t see it as a problem that they’re friends and that they can be loose with each other… but that sort of thing should be saved for off-duty or at the very least, non-critical situations. They joked and laughed a lot on the original series, too. But Spock and Uhura arguing while they were headed into a dangerous mission while Kirk and two security officers sat uncomfortably trying not to listen in… I can’t believe they would do that. Those two characters especially.

      Chris Pine is 32. 28 in the last movie. We don’t know how old Kirk is, but I’m going to assume it’s somewhere around that range. I got the feeling that he was older than most incoming recruits to the academy. McCoy was older still and already presumably with job experience in his field. Spock is already a lieutenant when Kirk takes his Kobayashi Maru. Scotty and Sulu are also veterans when Kirk is still in the academy, so it’s not as though this crew is completely made up of young, unexperienced folks anyway. Shatner was 35 when the original series began. Not that much older than Pine is now.

      The previous movie was all about Kirk growing up and getting responsibility and becoming a leader. This one was, too. It’s like he regressed from the last movie instead of moving forward. It’s like what Cheryl said. If they’re going to make stories about how Kirk became the person he was in the original series, then it needs to be before he has the captain’s chair. I would actually really love to see such movies, too!

      1. Whew–I’m not sure I’ve ever written something that generated this much debate, as the question of professional standards in Starfleet! Loving all the different opinions.

        Beedrill, I was actually wondering this morning how old Chris Pine is! The fact that he’s almost as old as Shatner was may also be an issue–he doesn’t LOOK that much younger, but he’s acting younger.

        I’d also love to see a Kirk-before-the-Enterprise movie, but on the other hand, I can see why they (presumably) felt that wouldn’t have the same market appeal.

      2. I’m not certain that is regression so much as that is just being a human being. We don’t develop in a straight line from immaturity to maturity, we bounce back and forth, often making the same mistakes (sometimes in new and different ways) on our road to maturity. I find that whole thing pretty plausible, especially given that the Captain Kirk we see as an adult continues to make some of the same hot-headed decisions, letting his ego get in his way.

        And while I agree that in real life it would be rare (though not necessarily impossible) that they would assign someone so young to such a prestigious position, the writers have to go with the premise that Kirk, regardless of age and experience, is the Captain of the Enterprise. While it would be interesting to see pre-Enterprise films, the fact is that film making is all about making money and there are not enough casual fans that would support Star Trek without the combination of Kirk and the Enterprise. It would be interesting to see them do a Star Trek Academy television series…although I’m not sure I would want to see that with these established characters in the roles. Maybe cameos. I’d like to meet some new Starfleet personnel.

        I’m with you all the way on young people being professional, you bring up many good points.

        1. You’re right; maturing does involve a lot of back and forth and making the same mistakes, and that the business side of movie-making drives a lot of the decision to put Kirk in charge regardless of whether he’s “risen through the ranks.” On the flip side, though (and this is something I read somewhere else), this is a movie franchise; it’s one thing to leave your characters where they started at the end of a television episode and have them mature and grow over the course of a season, but when all you have is a movie every four years, you sort of expect the characters to grow a bit more and for the story arc to move on.

          But this is perhaps the least of the film’s transgressions, and I could overlook it if the rest of the film had measured up. I do wonder, though, how I would feel about the movie if I hadn’t watched and loved the original series. i.e. how much extra pressure am I putting on the movie because it has the name Star Trek attached to it? I do realize they are trying to do something different, and I try to keep that in mind, but then when the moviemakers themselves replay old things… it’s really hard to think of it as anything but a copy. That’s where the movie falls apart for me, and what I think is the writers’ biggest mistake.

          1. Perhaps it is a mistake, but I would argue that, at least in the short term (judging by sales) it is not. You have to remember that by and large Hollywood is first catering to the 18-25 demographic as they generally have the time and funds to invest in going to movies. As for franchises, like Star Trek and Star Wars, for example, they are catering to an even younger crowd, trying to build a whole new fan base. Both of those franchises already know that those of us who grew up with ST and SW will be going to these films. We are a built in audience. They can piss us off, stomp on our memories, or even lovingly try to honor our memories (which is what I feel Abrams is trying to do), but in the end they know they have our money. What they want to do is build an entirely new fan base and by rehashing and referencing old plots they get the best of both worlds because of the nostalgia factor for older fans and the fact that they know those storylines will work with new fans. Then they hope to cash in with the new fans, hoping they will go back and watch and read the older material as well as buy all the new stuff.

            It may not make for the best and most pure “art”, but Hollywood is a business and the business model continues to work. We don’t have to like it (and in the case of SW I didn’t, in the case of ST I’ve loved it so far) but I do think in judging it we have to keep that in mind. Despite what anyone may say, “they” aren’t making Star Trek for anyone 35 and older. They are trying to get a whole new generation to embrace Star Trek as their own.

            1. It’s interesting that you should bring up Star Wars; it seems to be an unpopular opinion, but I actually like the newer movies. Much better than the older ones. Then again, the first Star Wars movie I saw was Episode I. I suppose I’m the sort of person they were making those movies for. And that’s the sort of person they’re making these Star Trek movies for, I know. But I did expect to see something new. I mean… that’s why I went to the movie, to see new Star Trek! Even reusing villains wouldn’t have been so bad (though I do think he was underutilized as a character), but when they take scene-for-scene and line-for-line from the original and expect me to have some sort of emotional reaction just because it broke my heart the first time, that’s going too far. I don’t want to go into that too much because I really am glad that you and so many others seem to have liked the movie, and I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind, here. I hope it does serve the purpose of bringing in new Trek fans who get interested in the whole Trek universe.

              1. I’m glad you shared your experience with Star Wars because it is one shared by many younger (than me) fans and is exactly the point I was making. I have fond feelings about parts of the new Star Wars films but feel overall they are pretty awful. But I also love that people love them as it created a whole new generation of Star Wars lovers. That is exactly what they are trying to do with Star Trek. And I think that is where we, as fans of the older stuff, have to judge things by their intentions, not our expectations. I would like to see them go from here and go in some new directions too, but what I expect is a continuation of films that pull in older references while they continue to walk that line between building a new audience and throwing a bone or two to the established audience.

            2. Huh, funny where this debate went, as I was having the same kind of conversation with a friend last night–she enjoys the new movies but has never seen the originals (believe me, I’ve tried…a different story) and insisted that she didn’t see a problem with making changes to the characters–putting their own touch on it, I think was how she put it.

              To a point I think that’s true–but I also think when a new movie is based on a previous source, there’s a line that you can’t cross before you’re so far from the original that you should have just done something different to begin with. There’s a balance between putting a new touch on things and honoring the original source. I do think the new Star Trek movies are, for the most part, walking on that line–but at times they slip over.

              And I also think, sadly, that Carl is right–they are to large extent targeting the people who don’t have context and so don’t care. And granted, that’s working at the box office–which means we get to see more movies, and that’s worthwhile, so it’s not all bad.

              However–I think they ought to be careful about this. I would like to believe that many people who saw the 2009 movie as their first introduction to Trek then went back and watched at least some of the original, especially with four years to wait between movies. Therefore, by the time the next movie came out, the pool of people with context should have grown…

              1. I’m not a fan per se of rebooting any series. I cannot say I’m entirely excited about the new Star Wars films, but will be the closer they are to coming out. I don’t like the rumors about appearances by the original trilogy characters, but understand why Abrams would want to do that to pull them in because that will essentially do exactly what they are doing with Star Trek, trying to build a new crowd while pulling on the nostalgia-strings of the old crowd. I would much rather the new Star Wars be many, many eons in the future and be an all new take.

                And of course I would have rather had that with Star Trek too, but once they decided to go down this retread road, and did a really nice job of it with the first film, I felt it was my “duty” to then judge the rest of the series by that standard. They are remaking Star Trek, the original series. I thought the alternate timeline/parallel universe was a pretty brilliant move on their part as they can then justify having some of the same people exist in that timeline while putting their own spin on it.

                While I think we all have a right to air our frustrations about what something is not, and we all do, myself included, I think to be fair in a review we also have to judge it by what the intentions of the creators are and by that standard I think the second film did a nice job in continuing to pay homage to beloved characters while veering things ever so slightly off course. Was it flawless, oh no, not even close. But I think the spirit of what makes Star Trek beloved is there in full force…at least for me. It certainly isn’t for those whose reviews I’ve read who have hated, or barely tolerated, the film.

  2. Kara

    You wrote a great, non-spoilery review! I saw it on Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed it even though they did the exact thing with the plot that I was hoping they wouldn’t for the entire 3 years it was in development. In the end though, I thought they did it well enough that I didn’t care too much. A lot of this has to do with Cumberbatch’s acting and ability to carry his character. He was, in fact, basically Evil! Sherlock and it was FANTASTIC.

    As a disclaimer to all of what I’m about to say: I really like pretty much everything Abrams has done and in general I am a person who doesn’t mind it when Beloved Things get reinvented, as frequently happens on shows like Doctor Who. This makes me perhaps not the best person to argue the relative merits of this movie. Also, THAR BE SPOILERS AHEAD.

    I’m not that bothered by most of the unprofessionalism because I feel like that’s sort of the hallmark of how the Abrams posse is writing these characters. Is it sort of ridiculous as compared to the Starfleet we’ve seen before and in comparison to the actual military? Yes, of course. However, let’s face it that being in the actual military is probably kind of boring, and professionalism in any setting is kind of boring even if it serves a purpose. Also, I sort of interpret the casual way in which Kirk interacts with his senior staff as a sort of shorthand representation of the bonding and interpersonal regard that they have for one another. In TOS and the TOS movies we had many episodes and hours of television in which to watch the crew develop this bond, but Abrams!Trek only has a few hours of our time to build the same feelings with these crews.

    Sorry, but I adore Spock-Uhura. I really like that Quinto!Spock seems to be a little more half-human than Nimoy!Spock, even though I obviously adore Nimoy!Spock as well. The only *failing* I thought Uhura had was that she did have that sort of inappropriate argument with Spock in the shuttle. It was an important scene to develop Spock/Uhura and so I get that the writers had to shoehorn it in somewhere but it still was a bit weird and a little insulting to Uhura’s intelligence. It might not have bothered me so much if it was just Spock/Uhura and Kirk, because he’s like their BFF anyway, and I can kinda see why if you were going to set professionalism aside and have an argument in front of your captain, you would be willing to do it in front of someone who is also your friend, especially when your boyfriend can’t escape. However, when I remembered that the two security guys were on the shuttle too, it kind of pushed it over the edge into inappropriate/embarrassing for me. Otherwise, I really enjoyed that Uhura got to do more this movie, including kick some butt and use her language skills. One of the things that I like about Spock/Uhura is that viewing Uhura through Spock’s eyes gives us a chance to see that she’s really quite a powerhouse and a force of nature to be reckoned with, which her regular job duties do not always bring to the forefront. (It’s one of the great tragedies of Trek that Nichelle Nichols was so underused in this regard, though of course she was still incredibly awesome and groundbreaking for the time.)

    I adore pretty much everything about the alternate reality set up, even though I was ont the fence about it when I first saw the last movie, because it is a brilliant move that allows the two paths to diverge farther and farther apart while retaining shout-outs to one another. I would rather they not make a 3rd movie in which plots are similar-but-not-quite-the-same but I ended up really liking how in this movie they used similar events to show the development of the characters, because it provided a framework for the audience and because frankly, there were a lot of cute little callbacks to TOS that seemed to be there just to please nostalgic fans.

    The music and cinematography in Abrams’ work continues to shine in these movies and you can really tell that whatever you think of the writing, the actual world-creation, acting, and overall picture really come together under his direction. There were a number of small callbacks to the last movie that I really loved, the least spoilery of which was when the Enterprise rose up out of the clouds in the exact way it did in the rings of Jupiter in the last movie, and set to the exact same piece of music. This adept recycling of scene and song is does an incredibly effective job of creating leitmotifs for Star Trek much the same way it did for LOST. The same thing was done with the once-again beautiful end credits that re-used the same re-imagined original theme that the last movie used. (The theme which is, incidentally, my ringtone). For my money, I *pray* that Abrams uses Michael Giacchino for the music in the new Star Wars because while I love John Williams, I think the Abrams/Giacchino pairing is critical to the overall feel of their projects.

    1. I really like your point about the relaxed interactions as a kind of short-hand way to indicate the closeness of the relationships. I’m not sure I’m impressed by that as storytelling, but it still makes me feel a bit better about the whole thing.

      I am all in favor of giving Uhura more opportunities to be awesome (which the original did not usually) but I actually feel like dating Spock is NOT doing that, because most of the focus on her character is now the relationship, not who she is or what she can do herself.

      But I’m with you on the shout-outs and cute callbacks. Those are such fun little (and big) things for any fans who can catch them. And the music not least of all!

  3. Dennis

    You pretty much said it all, Cheryl, but just a little more on the Spock-Uhura thing. It’s bad enough that their conduct is unprofessional. It’s even worse when that conduct comes from the characters who should be the two most professional officers on the Enterprise! Uhura is straightlaced, proper, cool, and in control of the situation, even wearing a micro-mini. There is no way the Ohura we know and adore would have a lover’s spat in the midst of a crisis. As for Spock: his hormones only kick in once every seven years. In the unlikeley event Uhura did exhibit a crush on him, he’d be as clueless as he was to poor,long-suffering Christine Chapel. Next movie, the writers have really got to give us back the characters who endeared themselves to us. (By the way, I do recall that, in the very first episode that ever aired, Uhura did try to flirt a little with Spock, with absolutely no success. Her character in that early episode was a little ditzy, and thankfully Roddenbury had the good sense to change her personality soon after.)

  4. Haha, I wondered if you’d be tackling Trek today! I have so many thoughts about this movie (and most of them are not positive) I don’t even know where to start! (**This is a spoiler warning for anyone who might be reading the comments.**)

    I agree with you 100% on the characterizations. It’s ike college kids running a ship. Sure Kirk is sometimes brash and brazen, but not like that and not all the time. It’s like they made him an overblown charicature. This was a major problem I had with the ending of the last movie. Kirk gets his own command without even having graduated the Academy first? How about… not?

    If they want to tell a story about how he became that person, it should have happened before he was sitting in the Chair.
    Ugh, I couldn’t say it better.

    Professionalism! Putting the 18-year-old navigator who’s your friend in charge of engineering! Yeah, sure, it’s not like there’s a chain of command in engineering! Arguing about feelings while about to go into a dangerous mission. OK, yes, a Vulcan would totally do that. 😐

    Spock! Spock with an attitude? Spock talking about his feelings? NOPE. I feel that so much of Spock’s character was compromised to get the audience to laugh.

    when something is just a little bit wrong every third line of dialogue, that’s not a little thing anymore.
    Once again, yes.

    McCoy… I swear the only good thing about these movies is Karl Urban’s McCoy! That’s how it’s done, man. I agree, there seriously needed to be more McCoy in this (and the previous) movie. And no, I don’t think the writers know that he’s important. I remember all the posters from the last movie had Kirk, Spock, and… Uhura. *sigh*

    But then we disagree on the ending. It made me so mad! I was pretty mad when Harrison’s identity was revealed. I mean… of all the things in the wide universe of Trek to make a movie about… it’s that? It’s been done before. And I thought the ending was a pretty poor rip off of the best Trek movie ever. I still feel like the friendship between Kirk and Spock is contrived, and they don’t have enough of a history to play that out and have it have the same emotional impact. It was something that should have had me at least feeling sad, but had me fuming and growing more outraged by the minute at every single parallel. Plus, Spock would grieve, but he would do it on his own. He certainly wouldn’t go off after Khan with a vengeance. He’d go after him, sure, to bring him to justice, but he wouldn’t be so… wrathful about it. Once again sacrificing Spock’s character just to play with the audience’s feelings, and I didn’t appreciate it.

    Benedict Cumberbatch was fantastic, yes! 🙂 I wish he had been a different character, though. When the previews were first coming out, I thought he might be Gary Mitchell! How cool would that have been! Instead they decide to mess with the greatest Trek villain and the greatest Trek movie… there are some things you do not touch.

    Let’s see… I liked McCoy. I liked the little model of the NX-01 in Wallace’s office. I liked Section 31! They could have done more with revealing Section 31! But character was sacrificed for laughs, plot and logic was sacrificed for cool action scenes (don’t get me started on the starship underwater… what the heck were they thinking??), and on the whole I feel like this movie was very disrespectful to fans, and I probably won’t go watching any more of them.

    And sorry if that was a rant… I don’t have anyone to really talk to about this, ha. I’m really glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Feel free to rant any time–I always enjoy your analysis of stories!

      I’m glad you brought up when Kirk put Chekov in charge of Engineering. Because…Scotty had no one else on his engineering team? The ensign navigator has to take over? Sigh. The original series may have been a bit silly with their red-shirt deaths, but at least they let non-regular characters do things sometimes.

      I’ve also noticed that the posters have all been Kirk, Spock and…Uhura. With all due respect to Uhura, NO. Especially because she only seems to be more prominent because she’s dating Spock, not for any of her own qualities.

      We do disagree about the ending, but I still agree with some of your points. The movie felt more like a tribute to Wrath of Khan to me. You’re right the two characters are not in the same place in this movie that they were in Wrath of Khan, but I felt like it was effective for what it was–just different. Not as good! But effective.

      I was also hoping for a Gary Mitchell story though–it’s a story that hasn’t been told that would be fascinating to see on screen. Next movie?

      And seriously, starship underwater… Scotty endeared himself to me immensely when his first line of the movie was about how ridiculous it was to hide a starship underwater. YES. I’m pretty sure that’s physically impossible. The Enterprise is not designed to enter the atmosphere, let alone the water.

      Mixed. Very mixed.

      1. Kara

        I wondered about the underwater thing too, and really loved that Scotty said something about it, though I don’t think the ship’s materials would be particularly susceptible to rust, since I figure they aren’t actually using regular ol’ steel to build starships. However, I was curious about it, so I just googled this and this Yahoo help answer seems to have some good commentary (not all of which agrees) on whether the ship could go underwater.

        If you don’t have time to read the responses, the main thrust of it is that any space-traveling ship would be designed to pressurize outward (because the atmosphere outside, such as it is, is very low pressure) rather than inward (as a submarine would, to keep the more pressurized water out). Theoretically, if exposed to the pressures of the ocean (or even the atmosphere) the inward-pressurization would be compounded by the pressure of the air/water and fail, though at what rate is hard to say.

        I remember it irritated many people that in the last movie the ship was being built in a cornfield. I personally thought that this was kind of brilliant and more realistic, since it would be a giant pain in the butt and incredibly expensive (not to mention, unnecessary) to build ships in outer space. Realistically, all of our contemporary spacecraft were made on Earth and have survived in outer space, thus proving that building a ship on Earth will not hinder it’s air-tightness in outer space or in our atmosphere. This doesn’t prove much about whether or how long it could underwater, but I sort of assume that a ship that has shields/systems which can prevent it from being torn apart at warp speed, can keep it from being crushed by the ocean, at least for a little while.

        Also, in this particular case, I got the feeling that it was very shallowly submerged since Kirk and McCoy swam back to it with minimal equipment/protection.

        On the whole, though, Spock’s fall into the volcano and the jump off the cliff both bothered me more as “hey, they should have died!” events that they of course survived. (At least Spock was surprised he lived).

        1. Wow…that was more scientifically explored than I was thinking. Love it! I got stuck on the much simpler question of how very heavy nacelles and saucer can be balanced by those very slim supports once you enter a gravity situation… They also didn’t explain how the ship got INTO the water in the first place without being seen.

      2. Though thinking back on it, I admit it was almost worth it to see the look of sheer terror on Chekov’s face when Kirk told him to “put on a red shirt.” I was the only one in the theater laughing. I’m pretty sure it was a red shirt joke…

        Yeah, Uhura’s a great character, but most of her character seems to revolve around the fact that she’s dating Spock! I do love that she got a great bit of talking to the Klingons, but that was almost over before it began. (Oh, and the Klingons looked pretty cool, for all we saw of them.)

        Then I went reading other reviews and someone brought up something very interesting… why did they need Khan’s blood for Kirk when they have “72 human popsicles” right there on the Enterprise, and McCoy had to take one out of the chryotube to put Kirk in? He didn’t see this and say, “oh, I can just use this guy’s blood.” Haha. Ha.

        1. When Kirk told Chekov to put on a red shirt, I’m pretty sure I said out loud, “No, don’t do it!” 🙂 That was definitely a red-shirt joke.

          Good plothole point re: the rest of Khan’s crew. Maybe Khan has super ultra-modified genes…?

  5. I loved Cumberbatch in this movie too and my husband and I both think Karl Urban is just perfect for McCoy. Every line he delivers is a delight. I will have to read your spoiler paragraph later because I am on my phone right now, but looking forward to seeing those thoughts.

    I think Kirk’s immaturity is excusable in this film because it’s an alternate timeline to the original series, and in this timeline he grew up without his father, so he is bound to be different. I have to admit I didn’t notice the other inconsisties you mentioned. The Spock/Uruha relationship has been weird to me since the last film, so I see what you are saying there. It does reveal more of Spock’s human side though, which is nice.

    I’ll have my review of the movie on my blog hopefully by tonight!

    1. Karl Urban was great as McCoy–though it was jarring to also see him as Eomer in Return of the King, which I also watched this weekend… 🙂

      I see your point about how it’s a different Kirk with a different past…but I think they’re walking a very strange line here, and falling off it at times. They’ve changed the past but set up the present to be as much like the original series as possible–so when the different past causes changes in the present (everyone’s younger, Kirk is more immature, etc) it feels jarring, when we see it in a setting so much like the original series. So I found it, at least!

      1. I can understand that for sure… as I mentioned in my review I sort of struggle with the alternate reality timelines (not just in this movie but in various Star Trek episodes where so much is the same and so much is different, because I don’t know what changes would actually happen and which ones wouldn’t… so I try not to think about it too much!

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s