Friday, September 13, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness (Review)

Okay, this is old news, and everyone else has already had their two cents worth about this movie release, but now I'd like to put it to bed with my own three cents worth overview.

First off, I'm an unashamed Trekkie, who grew up watching reruns of The Original Series, and saw the new episodes of TNG, DS9, and Voyager as they aired.  In 1998, however, the crappy Canadian broadcast station that aired DS9 and Voyager dropped them, so it wasn't until almost a decade later that I finally had the chance to see the last season of Deep Space Nine and the last three seasons of Voyager (when they came out on DVD), as well as the four existent seasons of Enterprise.  As a teenager, I also read a lot of Trek books, including those by William Shatner, himself.  Okay, Trekkie credentials established.

When they did the first "reboot" with the unimaginatively entitled "Star Trek," I had my doubts.  After watching the movie in 2009, I found it entertaining, but it definitely wasn't the Trek I had grown up with.  To be fair, it was more like Battlestartrek Galactica—a dark and gritty action adventure, which Gene Roddenberry would probably have found distasteful.  Mind you, DS9 was pretty dark at times, but it was flowers and roses compared to this thing that J.J. Abrams directed.

Now, jumping ahead to "Into Darkness," here we have a continuation of that dark and dreary "alternate" universe of Trek, with some familiar villains and a lot more bloodshed.  It was a wild, vicious ride, with a limited storyline that doesn't require a lot of thought from the viewer.  In other words, it's just your typical Hollywood shoot-em-up sci-fi flick. To be blunt, if it weren't branded "Star Trek," this film would be suited to little more than being a cheap made for tv movie they would air on SyFy on Saturday night.  I'm sorry if that comes off as harsh, but it's how I feel after watching this thing in its DVD release.  Of all the Star Trek movies, it had the weakest storyline, bar none.

Spoiler Paragraph:  Amidst that weak story are some pretty lame "revisions" to the franchise.  Since when is Khan's blood a magic healing elixir?  Didn't see that in TOS or Star Trek II.  A Klingon with piercings all along his ridges? A really ugly pop-culture homage mistake there!  Peter Weller as a psychotic, heartless Admiral?  I mean, he's a great actor, but this was a really poor role—his schemes came off as shallow and almost cartoonish.  He should have had a mustache to twirl as he bragged about planning to kill Kirk's entire crew all along.  And this new version of Spock is way too emotional.

Star Trek: Into Darkness is mildly amusing, but it really isn't Star Trek.  I dream of a day they actually bring back a real Star Trek television series; something that has substance, intelligent writing, and a future vision that isn't trying to look like some dark, gritty Star Wars/ BSG clone.  I want the old universe back so bad!  Hopefully, we'll get something going with Star Trek: Renegades!

1 comment:

  1. Good review Martin. Apart from being a fun, sci-fi, action adventure film, the movie has a surprising amount of layers to it, which got me when I least expected it to.