Dineley on Movies: Star Trek: Into Darkness

As I'm sure any of you who remember the blog's old William Shatner centric masthead would assume, I am a man who enjoys a good Star Trek movie. So reviewing a new Trek movie is something I'd jump right on especially a movie with such strong ties to one of my favourite movies of all time, The Wrath of Khan. However due to the time constraints imposed on me by fatherhood I was unable to see the latest Trek film in theaters despite my borderline unhealthy love of Star Trek.  I was finally able to get it on Blu-Ray and watch it last week and figured I'd unload some thoughts about it now that I've had a few days to reflect.

Visually this movie is pretty awesome, lots of impressive epic shots and all the other good sci-fi stuff you'd expect. I feel once again they went a little overboard with the gigantic enemy ship but overall a nice looking movie with all the lens flare your heart desire... with one big exception.

They introduce several new star fleet uniforms in the movie, and they are bad news. Think Queer Eye for the Straight Guy meets Battle Star Galactica, obviously no good. Why couldn't the plain red shirt uniforms make the jump to the alternate timeline.

Now lets move into the meat of the critique. When I finished watching this movie I couldn't help but feeling like I had been involved in an airtight, sure I was entertained but it felt like the movies attention was overly divided in an attempt to please to many people at once. For some reason Abrams feels some unhealthy need to fill the new films with forced allusions to the first generation of movies, in this case mainly The Wrath of Khan. While the first reboot featuring the Kobyashi Maru scenario from the original films was a great bit of nostalgia and fit the story they take it way to far in this movie.

While Michael Bay having Leonard Nimoy dropping a "needs of the many" in the latest Transformers movie was cheap this movie goes above and beyond that ten fold in jamming in unnessecary legacy lines. Don't want to be too much of a spoiler for those of you who are yet to see it, but they go out of their way to sneak in a KHAAAAAAN yell and a "needs of the many" and touching Kirk and Spock through a glass door scene its just bush league, at least in my opinion. If you have never seen the Wrath of Khan these little things will likely not bother you, however if you have it feels insulting to have things being blatantly ripped out of the original movie as if we will have no choice but to like it because its from old Star Trek.

What makes things even worse though is that is still sticks to true summer blockbuster form with an abundance of terrible one liners the worst of which is cutting off someone mid sentence so that the sound of the fancy space doors provided the word "shit" to complete the "I don't give a ..."

Moving on to music, the original Wrath of Khan had one of the better orchestral sound tracks out there and in general Star Trek has had awesome scores in both TV and the big screen. Even the latest iterations of the series have a great main them and such but then for the second movie in a row the Beastie Boys get inserted into the film for some reason. Perhaps this is some contractual obligation due to all the prior Beastie Boys Trek references, but really hardly anybody listens to the Beastie Boys in 2013 I'm guessing by whatever Star Date they are in Mike D and the boys would be but a footnote in the annals of history. Not that I don't love the Beastie Boys but it just really distracts from the universe the movie is supposed to be immersing you in. I'm not sure if its more or less cheesy than Magic Carpet Ride in First Contact but hey it's still a thing.

While all these are pretty minor gripes that have less to d o with the movie being any good but serve more as indicators that I need to get a life this next issue is super cereal. The original Khan had a look that fit the name Khan Noonien Singh in both skin colour and wardrobe selection. Joke as much as you like about Ricardo Montalban and his chest piece but he at least fit the part.

The new Khan is whiter than white and looks like he'd be more at home in a Twilight movie than in Star Trek. Anyways while this was a solid movie overall it did have some areas of weakness. What troubles me the most though is to think what the hell J.J. will do with the Star Wars movies he's set to be at the helm of, hopefully those will be DYN-O-MITE!!!!


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