Why I Walked Out of Star Trek into DarknessPosted: May 16, 2013
For the few reading this that don’t know me, I have been watching Star Trek since I was seven years old. That was 1987. I started off on Next Gen and quickly fell in love with the original series as well. I didn’t play GI Joe. I played Star Trek. My friends and I would sit in the living room with one of the movies playing. I was in the Captain’s chair (a lazy boy) and my friends were at their stations. We’d watch the film and pretend we were in it. The point here? I’ve loved the Star Trek universe for a long time.
Let me start off by saying this was not the worst Trek movie ever. Nemesis takes the grand prize. In fact, I think this is a far cry better than Nemesis or Insurrection. I sat through both of those and have watched them a few times since. But even though they were shitty movies, I did still care for the characters. That was missing for me in Star Trek into Darkness.
It’s no secret that my original expectations were high. I was very happy with the 2009 reboot and wanted more. In the latter part of May I read some early reviews that tempered those expectations. I was prepared to be disappointed, but my preparation was not adequate.
I won’t write a full review because I think Devin Farcai’s has already written one that encompasses the bulk of my feelings. It’s full of spoilers but accurately represents how I feel about this film from start to finish. (http://badassdigest.com/2013/05/14/star-trek-into-darkness-spoiler-review/)
It wasn’t all bad. It’s an attractive film on screen. There are some beautiful visuals, and of course the CGI is excellent. The score is solid and the cast does an excellent job with the exception of Chris Pine. As in the 2009 film, Zachary Quinto IS Spock. He embodies the character through and through.
Why did I hate it? As others have written, the plot was sloppy and the screenplay uninspired. I watched until we learned Khan has “magic” blood. At that point, I decided I had seen enough. I walked out. I may sound like the bitter canon trekkie who hates all new Trek. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I simply didn’t care what happened. The plot was so broken for me that the outcome was irrelevant. Even more disappointing, I really didn’t need to watch to know how it was going to end. Every plot point is predictable.
More importantly, I didn’t want my memories of Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan to be in any way intertwined with this movie. When they announced into Darkness, I wanted Khan to be the villain. After watching most of the film, I can say Abram’s Khan isn’t Khan. He was present only in name. What a waste of talent. Benedict Cumberbatch is a brilliant actor and could have brought the essence of Khan into JJ’s universe. But that was impossible with the screenplay he was given. It was full of holes – a sinking ship.
The movie is doing well and I have no doubt will surpass the 2009 film in terms of revenue. I expect they’ll soon begin the planning for the third movie in their series. Fortunately, my expectations are now permanently tempered when it comes to JJ Abram’s Trek universe. It will be hard to disappoint me in 2016.
And with that… I end with a quote from the real Khan. To JJ and company I say:
“He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ‘round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares Maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!”