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Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the to-boldly-flare-where-no-lens-has-flared-before dept.

Movies 514

J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot of Star Trek was wildly successful. It raked in hundreds of millions at the box office, and revitalized the Star Trek franchise, which had languished for 7 years without a new film and 4 years without a TV presence (after 18 consecutive years of new shows). It also did something no Trek movie had done before; it made Star Trek ‘cool’ in the public consciousness. Combined, those factors ensured Abrams would get another turn at the helm of a Trek movie, and sooner rather than later. With today's release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, that trend is very likely to continue. It's a movie with all the same strengths and weaknesses of its predecessor, and if it worked before, it'll work again. Read on for our review.

Spoiler level: minor. This review contains character and actor names and a couple references to scenes without going into their content.

Let’s get this out of the way up front: Star Trek: Into Darkness is a very entertaining film, and you will probably enjoy it.

Into Darkness hits the ground running, quickly reintroducing the rebooted crew and the Enterprise in all its glory. The opening act reminds us of everything we like about the 2009 Star Trek; snappy dialog, direct references to important parts of the original TV show, and cinematography that shows off the power, grace, and majesty of a Federation starship. It also highlights many of the differences between classic Trek and Abrams Trek.


In Abrams Trek, everything is fast. Kirk runs fast, Spock talks fast, crewmembers are always scrambling about the bridge and engineering at top speed, and as soon as a decision is made, action is taken. Tension and conflict arises with immediacy, and is resolved at the same pace. In Abrams Trek, no screentime is wasted. If a section of dialog is a bit technobabbley or it’s just providing background, something shiny will appear to keep your eyes and your attention engaged. In Abrams Trek, the lens flare deserves its own billing. Oh my, the lens flare.

But the big question about the Abrams films, both in 2009 and 2013, is: are they Star Trek? It’s a complicated issue, but one that's worth answering to fans of the various Trek TV series. Let's start by answering a somewhat simpler question: are they sci-fi? Not really. They fit the Hollywood definition of sci-fi — after all, they're flying spaceships and talking to aliens — but of course sci-fi is more than that. It's about ideas; it's about taking some part of life and changing it, then seeing what happens as a result. That's why Leguin, Dick, and Vonnegut are celebrated as sci-fi writers alongside Bradbury, Asimov, and Niven.

Into Darkness and the 2009 Star Trek before it aren't about ideas. They're unrepentantly character-driven. They're space operas. Perhaps more importantly, they're action films. I say this not to be exclusionary, but so we can evaluate in the proper context: as a Trek-themed action movie, Into Darkness is fantastic.

But Trek isn't about action (space opera, sometimes — action, no). It has certainly incorporated action; Kirk didn't get the reputation for always having a torn shirt for nothing. But in the TV shows, the action was punctuation; it was the set-up to the plot, or a way to resolve it once a moral issue had been defeated. In Day of the Dove, we were constantly shown fight scenes, but their purpose was to show the exaggerated hatreds of the characters, and to set up the we-must-work-together ending. And let's be clear: Abrams Trek isn't the first time the movie franchise departed toward action, either. Star Trek 2, widely regarded as the best of the films, was certainly a space opera, and you could make the case that it's an action film. The last three Next Generation films tried to be action films and failed. Abrams Trek tries and succeeds.

So, is it Trek? Well, it doesn't pass the sci-fi test, but let's look at the characters. Christopher Pine's Kirk is an exaggeration of Shatner's Kirk. All the characteristics of Shatner's Kirk are present in Pine's Kirk, but magnified tremendously. On the TV show, Kirk had a reputation as a womanizer. In Abrams Trek, Kirk is shown waking up in bed with space-babes and hitting on almost every female he comes in contact with. A lot of times it's for comedic effect, and succeeds at being funny, but it also feels like a caricature. Zachary Quinto's Spock felt much more natural to me this time around, in some ways. He pulls off Vulcan stoicism well. The only downside is that his emotional control feels like a simple prop; he maintains his facade until the writers need to show how important some event is, then it breaks.

The other familiar crew members each get a brief moment in the spotlight, but the limitations of a two-hour movie prevent any significant depth. Bones exists to crack jokes and repeat his catchphrases. Chekov exists to run around looking overwhelmed. Scotty exists to solve whatever problem is keeping the plot from moving forward. Simon Pegg's Scotty is still jarring, to me. His role as comic relief doesn’t mesh well with my perception of Scotty. (People unfamiliar with the original series probably wouldn't notice, or care; he is funny.) Doohan's Scotty was funny sometimes, but not in such an intentional way. It seems odd to have that character cracking wise. Sulu's screentime is brief, but it's good.

The one character I truly lament is Uhura, though not because of any complaint with Saldana. She serves to highlight one huge difference between Abrams Trek and classic Trek: Abrams Trek is a guy-movie. The majority of Uhura's role in Into Darkness is to be Spock's love-interest. She has one brief moment of being her own person, showing her own strengths — and (very minor spoiler) she fails and has to be rescued by men. Aside from Uhura, there's only one other significant woman character in the film, and her main purpose is to be both eye-candy and a bargaining chip for the men. In fact, thinking back, I'm pretty sure Into Darkness fails the Bechdel test. It bothers me that this happens in a Star Trek film. One of Trek's driving principles is a future of equality; a future free of the sexism and racism and classism we deal with today. It's not always an easy thing to write into a story, especially one limited to two hours — but we should at least try.


But let's step back to the more mundane aspects of the film, for a moment. The visuals are absolutely stunning. The alien planets, outer space, and a futuristic Earth are all fascinating to see. More importantly, Abrams shows us the Enterprise as we've always wanted to see her. Whether it's tearing off into high warp, diving through the atmosphere of a planet, or having the hull torn open by phaser fire, the ship looks amazing. The inside looks amazing, too — engineering looks much more like the belly of an enormously complex spacecraft than ever before. The special effects budget was well spent. ...Mostly. Abrams is known for his use of lens flare, but rather than toning it back, it seems like he's doubling down on that reputation. There are also a few action sequences where camera shaking and flashes of light get a bit excessive. I get that moving the camera really fast around a completely CGI environment helps to mask the imperfections, but there are times where you'll know a whole lot is going on without being exactly sure what. I'd happily take a slightly-less-crazy chase scene if I can get a clear look at it.

The scoring is solid. Into Darkness takes its main theme from the 2009 movie, with a few improvements. It doesn't get in the way. The acting is generally fine, as well. The regulars are more comfortable in the roles; this time around, they're playing themselves as much as they’re playing the original crew. Benedict Cumberbatch brings his talent to a leading role, and he does well with what he was given, but he could have been utilized better. His character exists in two modes — complete stillness and furious action. There’s very little in between, and I think that middle-ground is where Cumberbatch thrives, as on BBC's Sherlock. Still, his character made a far more compelling opponent for Kirk than 2009's Nero.


There were a few points where the acting did strike a discordant note for me. To explain why, I'm going to step back for a moment and discuss one of the major themes of the Star Trek reboot. J.J. Abrams and the others running the show constantly use aspects of the original show — props, plots, attitudes, and characters — to inform the reboot. However, they’re very, very consistent about re-interpreting all of those aspects. Everything is close enough to be familiar, but different enough seem new. In most cases, it works; new phasers just look better than old phasers. New Spock is different from Old Spock, but not in a bad way. In Into Darkness, we meet a familiar alien race, and the re-interpretation makes them feel a bit alien again. But it doesn't always work, and this leads me back to the acting. Without spoiling the content, there are a few scenes that are much more direct adaptations of old Star Trek scenes than we saw in the 2009 movie. It is a really interesting and cool concept, but the execution felt very odd, for me. I'll try to describe it: knowing how the scene was "supposed" to go, it felt as though the actors were trying to recreate it, but failing. Obviously, this is not the case; it was clearly planned, scripted, and shot with painstaking care, until they got exactly what they wanted. Still, the similarity hit an uncanny valley between original and re-interpretation. Fortunately for most viewers, anyone who isn’t much of a Trek fan isn't likely to notice or care.

As a long-time Trek fan, Star Trek: Into Darkness occupies a conflicted spot in my mind. At the most basic level, I went to a movie and really enjoyed it. I don't regret the $10 I spent on it, and I suspect most people would feel the same. At the same time, I'm a bit troubled by the direction the franchise is taking. There are a whole generation of kids who are now growing up with a very different perception of Star Trek than I did. To them, it's going to be just another Transformers-style action flick with no lasting importance. There's none of the idealism, optimism, or broadmindedness that was inherent to classic Trek. It's not hard to see why that is; stories like that are much harder to tell on the silver screen, and even when done well, they don't make as much money. They're much better suited to episodic TV. Unfortunately, if we see a new Trek TV series (more likely: when we see a new Trek TV series), you can bet it will be done in the style of the Abrams reboot, and I worry that the true sci-fi stories and the thought-provoking allegories will be subsumed by over-the-top action and relentless special effects. At the same time, I think some Trek is better than no Trek, and the two Abrams films make a better legacy for the franchise than Insurrection and Nemesis. I almost envy non-Trek-fans for not having to resolve the conflict of What Trek Is versus What Trek Isn't.

Bottom line: go see it.

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not a fan (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756027)

i prefer the older star treks. didn't care for the last one by Abrams and not seeing the others.

Re:not a fan (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43756195)

Yeah, I know how you feel. Star Trek was a rare bastion of (semi)intellectualism on television, technobabble aside. To see all that removed in favor of violence, pretty colors, and snappy writing, makes me feel sort of depressed.

Of course, the reality is that everyone who likes the non-Abrams Trek's tone has options. The current incarnation of Doctor Who on BBC has exactly the same mix of high-concept, technobabble, silliness, and mystery uncovering plots that Star Trek used to have.

Re:not a fan (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43756237)

Now all they need to do is bring Tennant back. Matt Smith is decent, but not that great.

Re:not a fan (3, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43756727)

Check out the 50th anniversary special this year. I have heard that your wish will granted(temporarily).

Re:not a fan (3, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year ago | (#43756281)

Can you tell me what's wrong with pretty colors and snappy writing? Those are the kinds of claims that infuriate me. Would I want to have more science-fiction in Abrams Trek? Yes, of course. Why would it need to come at the expense of good visuals and snappy writing, though? All it does is reinforce the idea that modern "cool" movies or TV shows can't possibly have depth, or that deep movies and TV shows need to look shitty and have wooden, sluggish dialogue.

Re:not a fan (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756509)

Talking fast is not equal to intelligent, or witty dialogue. Usually, its just a way to mask over the inanity of the script.

Re:not a fan (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43756747)

It's not that it can't be. It's that it isn't. Name one intellectually interesting occurrence in Star Trek(2009), that raises questions of any sort.

Re:not a fan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756975)

Bet that wet blanket is a blast at parties.

Re:not a fan (2)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#43756381)

I'd like to see what Steven Moffat could do with Star Trek.

Re:not a fan (3, Insightful)

emag (4640) | about a year ago | (#43756817)

Probably make me dislike Star Trek as much as I'm beginning to dislike Doctor Who. Which is ironic, considering my favorite Tennant episodes were written by Moffat, but now that he's in control, it feels like every episode has to be more over-the-top than the one before it, especially in series 7.5.

Re:not a fan (1, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#43756463)

Star Trek was a rare bastion of (semi)intellectualism on television, technobabble aside.

Wow. Really?

Re:not a fan (3, Interesting)

dublin (31215) | about a year ago | (#43756767)

And Firefly was a bit higher on the scale, while Max Headroom may actually have been the zenith...

Re:not a fan (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43756401)

I like the older ones for what they were. The newer ones are good for what they are. It's just an action flick and has little to say but it's a cool action flick. Not being a purist that's good enough for me, I just wish it was more.

Re:not a fan (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#43756675)

I don't consider these movies Trek. Trek was about societies working together to solve problems and striving to become better--not about action scenes and explosions.

Khan (1, Troll)

ravenswood1000 (543817) | about a year ago | (#43756097)

Yep. He was there.

But did they reverse the polarity? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756099)

characters, plot, action, blah blah blah. What I really want to know is: did they reverse the polarity of the bussard collectors and bring to warp a tachyon beam?

Re:But did they reverse the polarity? (2)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43756239)

No, he is very sparing with the technobabble but it is absolutely B.S. when it gets used... completely unrealistic. Not that the original technobable was good. I think they may have been trying to be intentionally humorous there.

The plot was simple. But the meaning behind the characters interaction with the plot was deep enough if your not completely mentally retarded. You will enjoy that. It had a Star Trek message in it.

Not MY Star Trek... (5, Funny)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a year ago | (#43756115)

If I wanted to watch attractive, young people doing exciting things, I'd watch sports.

Re:Not MY Star Trek... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756307)

Or the original series? Ok, well DeForest Kelley's attractiveness is debatable, but the young William Shatner is an 8 out of 10.

Re:Not MY Star Trek... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756905)

Or the original series? Ok, well DeForest Kelley's attractiveness is debatable, but the young William Shatner is an 8 out of 10.

I don't care if DeForest Kelley was attractive or not. I'd rather have his McCoy as my medical doctor any day.

Re:Not MY Star Trek... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756313)

It seems you're part of the 1%.

zzzz (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756117)

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz snort.

Really? (5, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year ago | (#43756125)

You're trying to claim that the original StarTrek wasn't a chauvinistic, womanising series in which Uhura was portrayed as an independant woman?

Seriously... What?

You can many points about how this differs from the original StarTrek, but that sure as hell isn't one of them.

Personally, I think this StarTrek is probably the most StarTrek that StarTrek has been in a long time.

Re:Really? (5, Interesting)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a year ago | (#43756261)

It was the 60s, Star Trek TOS was very progressive for its time. Gene Roddenberry had Majel Barrett playing the first officer in the pilot, but the network made him change it.

Re:Really? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year ago | (#43756323)

Sure, but "progressive for its time" is not the same as "uhura was an independent woman".

If you're only going to look for what wasn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756753)

If you're only going to look for what wasn't progressive, then you're going to be able to find it.


1) Women did have genuine roles other than T&A
2) Wanted a mixed race kiss onscreen
3) Often too the "What if it were different" theme and really ran with it to check out what about the current society we had was absolutely batshit nuts.

Re:Really? (0)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about a year ago | (#43756349)

You're trying to claim that the original StarTrek wasn't a chauvinistic, womanising series in which Uhura was portrayed as an independant woman?

Seriously... What?

You can many points about how this differs from the original StarTrek, but that sure as hell isn't one of them.

Personally, I think this StarTrek is probably the most StarTrek that StarTrek has been in a long time.

Star Trek had degenerated into some candy ass soap that was one step up from a cross between Guiding Light and the Teletubbies. These new movies are a definite improvement... less hippie love and more nasty. But our heroes are still stepping out of space shuttles onto planetoids and alien planets that for some strange reason always have a breathable atmosphere, earth gravity and no hostile micro organisms their immune systems are unfamiliar with... And why do they need space ships if Khan can beam himself accross hundreds of light years to the Klingon home world? Ahhhhh... The joy of science fiction (mostly fiction but with a pinch of science sprinkled on top for total realism).

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#43756481)

You're other points are also invalid, but this one:

But our heroes are still stepping out of space shuttles onto planetoids and alien planets that for some strange reason always have a breathable atmosphere

Stood out as the worst for me. Why would they step out of a space shuttle if the planted didn't have a breathable atmosphere?

Re:Really? (2)

Zeromous (668365) | about a year ago | (#43756415)

Yeah I'm fairly certain JJ noticed this and is playing it up. It wasn't until next gen and later voyager that we see equality TRULY take hold in star fleet. I even see DS9 as a transition between the two, the idea that women can be soldiers and fight as hard as any man on the station. Next Gen was still very much in the lip-service to equality phase....

Again, more of an element that Star Trek reflects more of current culture than some imaginary future culture.

Re:Really? (5, Informative)

Minwee (522556) | about a year ago | (#43756515)

The problem is that you're comparing Star Trek (1966 - 1969) to television from this century.

Seriously, compare the role of Uhura to anything else that was on the air or in the theatres at that time.

She wasn't the mom or the maid. She wasn't blonde. She was a female character in a position of responsibility, even if her job was just to repeat everything the computer says, and did things which were more important than baking cookies for the male characters or screaming whenever the villain showed up.

You didn't see much of that on "The Lucy Show", "The Jackie Gleason Show", "The Beverley Hillbillies", "Hogan's Heroes", "Hawaii Five-O", "Casino Royale", "Thoroughly Modern Millie", or "Lost in Space".

But don't listen to me, listen to what Dr. Martin Luther King had to say about it [] .

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756549)

Seriously yeah. Go back and watch the original series, yes she had a miniskirt, it was the 60s, but she was her own character. As a bridge officer she played a role as part of the crew. She wasn't a love interest or married to the captain and not talked about as anything other than an officer. The one time she did make out with Kirk it was against their will (bad alien forces, blah blah) and happened to be the first inter-racial kiss on US TV.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756595)

Uhura was shown to be a strong, independent woman in the original series. She doesn't get a lot of screen time, but she holds her own. (Especially considering the time period.) She's almost always shown in a positive, independent light and I think she's one of the few sci-fi women who never (or rarely) needs to be protected or rescued. Look at Charlie X, Mirror Mirror, Search for Spock... compared to most franchises, sci-fi or not, Uhura does surprisingly well.

Re:Really? (5, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#43756773)

Uhura was a major character, she was black, and she was a telephone operator. So take the good with the bad. The woman who is and will always be Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, has, evidence suggests, had a great impact on the self esteem of young black women. So take the good with the bad.

The first episode of Star Trek, The Man Trap,certainly reflected women in a negative light, as demon who will suck you dry as quickly as they say they love you. Predators who are only interested in what they can get, and will give only as much as they have to bleed you dry. When they are done with you they will just find another, and when they are done with them, and you are rejuvenated, they will deal with you. Yes very misogynistic.

But Star Trek changed with new episodes and new series. While this is called the reboot, really ST:TNG did that, by advancing time and creating a new reality in line with what we in the late 80's saw our hopes to be. Then DS9 and Voyager continued to match Star Trek to out expectation of a universe accesible to everyone.

Though they were criticisms, the series and film continued the story, until Enterprise. I think that they messed up on Enterprise because no one really wants a starship that is broken, we saw that from the films, and the earth that was presented certainly wasn't the earth that would be expected given the very rich and varied mythology of the show. The way to deal with the past was not to go to the past, but to jump to another future, as was done with TNG.

That said what Abrams is doing is not a reboot. BSG was a reboot. The new Doctor Who is a reboot. What this Star Trek is more akin to the new Charlie's Angles, a brazen attempt to generate huge amounts of cash based on old ideas. This is, as some characterized the remake of Indiana Jones, purely physical and sexual assault.

There would have been so many ways to use these actors in different characters. What would, god help us, the children of Riker and Deanna look like and do? The DS9 timeline is not popular, but there were some interesting life forms. Everyone is complaining about the mythology and timeline, but that is not the problem. The problem is the characters of Star Trek is stuck in the 60's. Trying to make them fit what we have today is not rational. The black woman is not automatically the telephone operator. The white man is not automatically the leader. It seems that the movie is made to promote the nostalgia that so many feel, that the 60's, when everyone knew their place, was better.

Good review; disappointing about role of women (2)

daboochmeister (914039) | about a year ago | (#43756135)

Very thoughtful, and respectful of the original series. The treatment of women was mixed in the original series, but I always looked forward to an Uhuru, Nurse Chapel, or Yeoman Rand story, because they were more than sex objects. Heck, even when being treated as sex objects (e.g., Plato's Stepchildren), there were depths to it beyond the obvious.

Guy movie? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756157)

I think it's an interesting comment about the women in the film.

This is one of only a handful of sci-fi movies that many of my female friends and acquaintances have actually enjoyed recently. I've received so many good reviews of it from women that I was hesitant to go and see it myself because I thought it was going to be too targeted towards the female audience.

Soulskill (i'm presuming) is a guy, so I find it interesting that you're offended on their behalf and yet a lot of women don't seem to mind it at all.

Note that I'm passing no judgement there, it's just an interesting observation for me.

Re:Guy movie? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756499)

> Soulskill (i'm presuming) is a guy, so I find it interesting that you're offended on their behalf and yet a lot of women don't seem to mind it at all.

You are doing a common mistake here: You assume that a society to be given men power over women is backed by men and opposed to by women.

While usually such social norms are usually enforced by both genders. Sometimes mothers will be the force behind their daughters being chaste and neglecting their interests. And behind their sons prefering stupid helpless women. In groups with a chauvinistic culture I experienced that it are usually the women that bully any men into chauvinistic behaviour, by ridiculing those not "manly" enough to behave disrespectively towards women.

It's not "men" against "women". It's people wanting a 19th century role model against those that want a fair society.

6 word review. (5, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | about a year ago | (#43756159)

See "The Wrath of Khan" instead.

Re:6 word review. (1)

stox (131684) | about a year ago | (#43756483)

Next weekend, at a local theatre, they are doing Wrath of Kahn and Into Darkness back to back with William Shatner hosting. It should be interesting. []

Re:6 word review. (1)

coastwalker (307620) | about a year ago | (#43756751)

"The Wrath of Khan" is still the best. I haven't really bothered with the rest.

All but Nemesis are watchable... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about a year ago | (#43756869) way or another.
Even The Final Frontier gets a free pass on account of that "What does God need with a starship?" scene.

Nemesis is just... bad.
So bad in fact that after that they stopped making Star Trek movies.

Re:6 word review. (2)

denzacar (181829) | about a year ago | (#43756971)

It would be interesting to compare the reactions of those watching The Wrath of Khan first and THEN Into Darkness to those watching them in the opposite order.
I'm just guessing here, but I have a feeling that those watching The Wrath of Khan first (and appreciating it - i.e. not in it for the pretty faces, tits and special effects) would score Into Darkness worse than the others.

Uhhhh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756167)

Aren't you supposed to put "Sponsored Post" on a blatant advertisement like this?

Not Science Fiction - not Trek (5, Insightful)

Punko (784684) | about a year ago | (#43756177)

Science Fiction is always rooted in what it means to be human. Usually by exposing something that is not human, and trying to make sense of it. Its about making you think.

Star Wars does not do that. It is fantasy happening in space. Abrams will do a great job with that franchise. To be honest, I hope the next Star Trek series is a long time coming (if its too soon, we'll get the Abrams treatment - which would suck), so we can go back to the best of Trek : true science fiction with multiple plots going on in a single episode.

Re:Not Science Fiction - not Trek (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#43756331)

Star Wars is mythic fiction set in space. You could even call it a space western. Calling it fantasy is probably something that fans of actual fantasy works would find objectionable.

Much of Trek is also little more than space western and this is exactly how Roddenberry originally sold it too.

A lot of this usual sort of "our fiction is better than your fiction" is mostly nonsense. It's empty pretense.

Re:Not Science Fiction - not Trek (5, Interesting)

mikael_j (106439) | about a year ago | (#43756739)

Much of Trek is also little more than space western and this is exactly how Roddenberry originally sold it too.

While it was pitched that way it actually dealt heavily with various political and ethical issues. That was what made it great, sure there was technobabble and bits of "space western" mixed in but overall it was speculation about the future and the present.

The "new trek" is just action movies IN SPACE which makes it "sci-fi" in the eyes of Hollywood.

Re:Not Science Fiction - not Trek (1)

coastwalker (307620) | about a year ago | (#43756781)

Star Wars is cowboys and Indians in space and just as objectionable to the global village.

Re:Not Science Fiction - not Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756827)

Properly, science fiction introduces a *fictional* *scientific principle* and extrapolates the consequences of it. Neither Wars nor Trek did this - one was swords and sorcery in space, the other famously a wagon train to the stars.

You mention exposing something that is not human, and trying to make sense of it. I'm not entirely sure how a human author could accomplish this, likely at best you'd be exposing some repressed element of the human psyche, not something alien at all. Thing like Trek fails badly at this with their one-dimensional races based on one or two facets of the human personality spectrum.

Not Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756179)

* Action for its own sake
* Characters are plot devices instead of people
* Women as second class characters
* Plot holes you could fit a dyson sphere through (ok, this is just because I wanted to write "dyson sphere")
* etc. etc.

It it not Trek. An apt description of the script would be .... into darkness.

That said, the movie is full of action and shiny distractions so it does have some entertainment value.

Did they get rid of the fake lens flares? (0)

rgbscan (321794) | about a year ago | (#43756183)

I found the first one unwatchable due to all the fake lens flares that were artificially inserted. Is this one any easier on the eyes? I'm really hesitant to see it.

Re:Did they get rid of the fake lens flares? (0)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#43756417)

"Unwatchable"? Did you know that you can turn down the brightness on your TV, grandpa?

Re:Did they get rid of the fake lens flares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756775)

You are fucking retarded. The occlusion from the lens flare blocking seeing other things on screen isn't fixable by altering the fucking brightness you dimwitted fuck wit. Your mom should have fucking aborted you with a coat hanger when she found out her brother knocked her up.

Re:Did they get rid of the fake lens flares? (4, Insightful)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43756707)

I have to ask. Is this really such a huge deal for everyone? I don't even notice lens flares. I'll go back and look and think "oh yeah, I guess there was one in that shot." But other than, I mean, there's an entire movie to be watched. Judging its overall quality based on the presence or absence of one minor, irrelevant special effect just baffles me.

Re:Did they get rid of the fake lens flares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756743)

I'm genuinely surprised that there has been no reports of this or the 2009 film causing seizures among audience members who have epilepsy. The lens flare shit is a cheap cinematic gimmick and made the first film nearly unwatchable. I'm not going through that again.

Don't worry... (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#43756189)

There's a very easy way to avoid all sorts of "conflict[s] of What Trek Is versus What Trek Isn't" - don't watch it.

I've read elsewhere (0)

sasquatch989 (2663479) | about a year ago | (#43756207)

That this movie wsa total crap. Flame away

Re:I've read elsewhere (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756681)

you can't even spell "wsa" correcly? wow.

meh (1)

Jerslan (1088525) | about a year ago | (#43756217)

I'll wait until it's on Netflix.... "Generic Sci-Fi Action Thriller" just isn't something I'm willing to pay to see in the theaters. Not worth the time or money.

I would rather have no Trek for ~20-ish years than bad Trek. Bad Trek lowers the standards and takes a shit on the legacy of TOS, TNG, DS9, etc..

IMHO The best two of the "Main Universe" movies were Wrath of Khan and First Contact. Both had a lot of tense action and fantastic (for the time) special effects, but they still had fantastic writing and plots that included ethical and moral dilemmas as well as emotional ones. That, to me, is what a good Star Trek movie should strive to do.

Re:meh (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43756265)

Watch TOS again. Most of the episodes were truly terrible. TNG was not too bad after season two, and DS9 was fine until the last season. The TOS movies however were much better.

Re:meh (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43756375)

Watch TOS again. Most of the episodes were truly terrible. .

Yes they were. The acting was terrible, the sets and special effects were cheap and cheezy, but somehow, that was part of the charm. The new Star Trek, just like the new Dr. Who, is too slick and polished and lacks the quirky character of the original.

Re:meh (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43756399)

That is called nostalgia. Watch this, enjoy it and you will complain when it gets rebooted again just the same.

Re:meh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756385)

I *am* watching the original series again (on hulu) and to the contrary, I'm surprised on how well they hold up.

Yes, they are a bit cheesy, but for example 'the enemy within' made a pretty good point about good and evil - that the distinction is false - that we need the animal half of our nature in order to be effective.

Or the menagerie, with its central take-away that truly immersive VR is a drug, and that with it we may face destruction of our civilization from ppl wanting to retreat back into it and letting the world go to hell. We are probably going to be facing *that* particular dilemma in the next five years, if we aren't facing it already, here in america.

so lay off on the original series - for its time, it put up on the small screen a great deal of philosophy that otherwise would not have permeated popular culture.

Re:meh (4, Insightful)

coastwalker (307620) | about a year ago | (#43756843)

There is a good reason that the middle ages spoke Latin and that we still teach Greek plays. Once something has been done well it is difficult to beat it. 60's idealism driven Star Trek is very unlikely soil for our miserable in-looking times to beat.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756577)

The third season was mostly awful, but the first two had top-notch writing. Far above anything else related to sci-fi at the time. Better than even most dramas of the time as well.

Two words: "FIRE EVERYTHING!" (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about a year ago | (#43756249)

I was hmmm-ing and hawww-ing over the 2009 movie, right up to that point, beyond which I started throwing things at the screen and demanding my money back.

I seriously doubt I'll see this new atrocity in the theatre. I may just wait for someone else to rent it so I don't have to pay a penny. J.J. Abrahms and associates make pretty good television shows (liked Fringe very much) but I am dubious at best about their movies.

JJ Abram's FAILED Star Trek reboot. (2, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#43756255)

The Star Trek movie, although it may have been a financial success, was a failure in several key areas, like believable physics (Red matter?), faithfulness to Trek canon (Spock and Uhura? Spock is mated to T'Pring), cinematography (lens flare overkill), and most especially, franchise continuity (it's been four years, where's the new TV series? We should be waiting on the third movie by now)

JJ may have made a popular movie, but it wasn't Trek, and it wasn't a successful reboot.

Re:JJ Abram's FAILED Star Trek reboot. (-1, Troll)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#43756485)

Your mom called. She wants you to take out the trash.

Re:JJ Abram's FAILED Star Trek reboot. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756637)

Your mom called. She wants you to fuck her in the ass again tonight.

Re: JJ Abram's FAILED Star Trek reboot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756551)

If you're measuring success in terms of following the themes and spirit of what it's rebooting, I wholeheartedly agree. Sadly, most people measure success by the amount of money.

ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756257)

Too bad Spike Milligan never made a star trek movie. It would be more interesting.

ITT: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756275)

-- science fiction is defined so narrowly that pretty much the only thing that qualifies is technical documentation;
-- old guys whine about the "perversion" of Star Trek into some sort of "jocky action film"
-- People miss the fucking point by 3 country miles.

News flash: Star Trek was never as good as you remember. It was never about "ideas," it was never "sci fi" in the narrow definition presented above, it was never NOT a caricature, and the reason it was never "cool" is because it was a plodding, meandering mess with shitty dialogue and poor production values.

If you don't like the new movies, that's fine, but stop pretending like the old Star Trek was some sort of masterpiece. It wasn't. The fact that geeks like it is more a testament to its imaginative world building than to its rigorous scientific accuracy, devotion to ideas, or fair & balanced treatment of characters. Maybe the reason you liked the boring old series so much and can derive no joy from a departure from the original formula is because you're boring, too.

And full disclosure: I watched the original & tng, and have seen most of the movies. I'm quite familiar with Star Trek, and I always enjoyed it - but I never reached the level of zealous worship apparently required to be a "fan." Christ, people. Get a grip. It was fine entertainment, but it was far from perfect, and wasn't as good as you like to remember it - that's nostalgia at work.

Get A Life! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756569)

Christ, people. Get a grip. It was fine entertainment, but it was far from perfect, and wasn't as good as you like to remember it - that's nostalgia at work.

I mean, how old are you people? What have you done with yourselves? ... have you ever kissed a girl?

Re:ITT: (2, Insightful)

coastwalker (307620) | about a year ago | (#43756937)

My you do enjoy broadcasting your superior view of the world and how we should just be getting on with being entertained. The original trek does have the reputation for taking an idea about humanity and throwing it into a fantasy scenario where we could see the idea evaluated. So enjoy your empty action movies by all means but some people would like to see a bit more than that.

What happened to Spock's emotions? (1)

dublin (31215) | about a year ago | (#43756299)

No doubt, the 2009 Trek reboot was rollicking good action fun with a bit of insider snark thrown in. What I've never understood, though, is how Spock managed to turn out so differently - clearly the "new" Spock has little control over his emotions, and apparently, little desire to control them. It was always that tension that made the half-breed human more human than the real humans in some circumstances. And although the new Kirk is a bit over the top, he was always meant to be - Roddenberry intended him as an exaggerated Horatio Hornblower. (And, to the point of the reviewer, StarTrek was deliberately intended as a "space opera" twist on the "horse opera" genre - he pitched the show to network execs as ""Wagon Train" to the stars"...)

Although I enjoyed the original, the idea of the Spock/Uhura lustfest just doesn't work for me at all. (First of all, did Uhura happen to just fall into Spock's seventh year rutting season? We'll never know, apparently....)

  Anyway, it seems Spock's lust handily outstrips his logic, and we're left with the most improbably romance in history. (In the immortal words of the Trek take-off Galaxy Quest (which may well be the best "StarTrek" movie yet), "That's just *wrong*...)

Re:What happened to Spock's emotions? (2)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#43756893)

No doubt, the 2009 Trek reboot was rollicking good action fun with a bit of insider snark thrown in. What I've never understood, though, is how Spock managed to turn out so differently - clearly the "new" Spock has little control over his emotions, and apparently, little desire to control them. It was always that tension that made the half-breed human more human than the real humans in some circumstances.

  Anyway, it seems Spock's lust handily outstrips his logic, and we're left with the most improbably romance in history. (In the immortal words of the Trek take-off Galaxy Quest (which may well be the best "StarTrek" movie yet), "That's just *wrong*...)

My thought is that that we will see a story arc where Spock is highly emotional (now), experiences Pon Farr for the first time where something bad happens, this pushes him to fully embrace logic, then he gradually realizes that there has to be a balance. My guess, having yet to watch Into Darkness, it that we will see this over several movies.

Spoiler Alert (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756309)

At least 4 of those guys in the last photo die at the beginning.

Brain Dead Action Trumps Philosophy & Ethics (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#43756321)

I haven't seen Into Darkness but a lot of this review covered what was painfully realized in the first movie: no longer is Trek about philosophy, ethics, tolerance, gray areas and real world problems. It's mostly absolute good versus absolute evil. I think the driving force behind the bad guy in the first movie was largely a misunderstanding ... which is incredibly boring. His motivation was confusingly laughable.

Unsurprisingly I'm pretty sure I heard JJ Abrams tell Jon Stewart that "he never liked Star Trek" [] on The Daily Show. Well, now he's had a chance to kill it by turning it 100% into a modern day blockbuster action flick and shirking any attempt to tackle an interesting philosophical or ethical dilemma as the main plot. As the modern reemergence of comic book and super hero movies have shown, those films are a dime a dozen that anyone can do. Tackling something deeper while still holding our attention is the hard part. The Watchmen was a good candidate for it but fell short. I'm sure JJ Abrams would rather cover up the complicated parts that question good versus evil with another lens flare.

Re:Brain Dead Action Trumps Philosophy & Ethic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756661)

no longer is Trek about philosophy, ethics, tolerance, gray areas and real world problems

No longer?

When was Trek EVER "about philosophy, ethics, tolerance, gray areas and real world problems?"

Seriously, what fucking alternate universe did you watch Star Trek in?

Re:Brain Dead Action Trumps Philosophy & Ethic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756873)

This, to plus six moderation, please.

And, disagreeing with the original review, Wrath of Khan was ***not*** the "Best" Star Trek movie. It was the Most Popular/Profitable (measured by domestic and worldwide box office to production cost), because of the same reasons that 2009 and Into Darkness were/are popular. Dare I say, REAL Trek was never about Popular - just enough to survive on.

For my money, Undiscovered Country. That movie had the action, adventure, humor ("Not everyone keeps their genitals in the same place..." "I believe I would say.... go to hell.... if I were human....") and ideals that were understandable and after conflict become brightly shining. And Captain Sulu, who might have been able to carry the legacy of TOS forward.

And I cannot see how one could be conflicted about Into Darkness' trek-ness without lumping 2009 into the same category. It will just be more of the same, without Nimoy.

Yes, I'll go see it. Yes, I'll hope. Yes, I'm prepared to be entertained by a movie. ("Are you NOT entertained?" uh, well, i suppose...) And yes, I'm fully prepared to realize that Trek isn't Trek anymore, and the world should be mourning it. Maybe it could never be again, especially after Enterprise, the final season of which became Trek again after trying every other fracking-popular-scifi-show-trope on and was killed for it.

But I can hope that watching JJ will become old and the fad will fade.... and then the next generations Nick Meyer can come along and give us our Trek again.

Its science fiction (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#43756365)

sci-fi is more than that. It's about ideas; it's about taking some part of life and changing it, then seeing what happens as a result.

So this movie count as science fiction. Took something i enjoyed in life, like the philosophy [] of Star Trek (i'd say, most of the series had plenty of it) and changed it to a mindless action flick. Some transmutations could turns lead into gold, but others go in the other direction.

Re:Its science fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756749)

The correct term would be fantasy, not science fiction.

JJ Abrams is the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756403)

Abrams daily show interview is all I needed to understand to stay away from this movie.

To be successfull you must fully whore yourself to the mass market and keep those action and cgi dials to maximum at all times. I pass.

Fail (4, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43756411)

"It's a movie with all the same strengths and weaknesses of its predecessor, and if it worked before, it'll work again."

It is nothing of the sort. They went a long way toward throwing away the tremendous gains of the 2009 "new" Start Trek movie.

The first movie took great pains to give them a brand NEW Star Trek world with all the possibilities that implies. It breaks all necessary ties with the past, and gave them a new start.

So what did they do? They made the second movie a blatant derivative of "The Wrath of Khan".

With all that possibility, they came close to throwing it all away. As it is, it was WAY too similar to that other Khan movie.

Pardon me, but I go to movies to see new things. This wasn't it. My rating: FAIL.

I like OLD ST (1)

p51d007 (656414) | about a year ago | (#43756421)

Ok, I admit it, I'm an old fart (53). Grew up with the "classic" version of ST, seen them all, pretty much have them all memorized. When Next Gen came out, watched it, for the most part enjoyed it. DS9, watched it, didn't really care for it. Voyager, watched 1 season, didn't care for it. Enterprise, watched it, LOVED it, but know how they are. I've seen all the movies, including the reboot in 09. As for the new one, yes, I'll see it. Not cause I'm devoted to one version or the other, but because it's an action movie, it's summer, and it takes your mind off the "real" world, if only for a couple hours.

Let's Keep Our Feet On The Ground (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756445)

and revitalized the Star Trek franchise, which had languished for 7 years without a new film and 4 years without a TV presence

..has been fixed by yet another remake of the same old.

Seriously! Does anyone make original stuff anymore. Last night I saw and ad for Johnny Depp as Tonto in the fucking Lone Ranger!

Hey! I have an idea, let's remake Gone With The Wind with Reese Witherspoon. Then we can enjoy a remake of Metropolis with Who Gives-a-fuck.

Write something new! Make up your own fantasy FFS!

Great for kids. (1)

ikhider (2837593) | about a year ago | (#43756493)

It's a nice children's movie.

Captain Lens Flare Strikes Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756513)

The only thing worse than the original Star Drek series is this epic fail created by JJ "Lens Flare" Abrams. If you enjoy any of his movies, congratulations. You are a fucking retard. Seriously. Try watching some REAL movies for a fucking change.

Anagram (2, Funny)

O-Deka-K (1520371) | about a year ago | (#43756527)

Star Trek Into Darkness => Kirk Dates Nonstarters

A gay Spock! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756531)

A gay Spock! Naw, that's not the issue. I probably won't watch it until it hits the $7.00 Wal-Mart bin.

You know what did it? The actual preview! When they showed the scene where Spock is telling them to let him die 'cause
the needs of the many out-weigh the needs of the one/few, complete bull-stuff!!! Think about it - they don't want to interfere
but yet they're there to interfere by stopping the volcano. How do they know letting the volcano blow wouldn't ultimately be
the best thing? Look at humans - if that rock hadn't hit Earth 65 M years ago, Barney would rule the planet today. There
is a (fictional) valid reason for stopping the rock from hitting the Earth, in which case we wouldn't be here.

Logic wouldn't allow that! Actually, the new Superman looks like it might pretty good. IM3 was okay, but I'm still trying to
figure out if there was an actual story/plot/point. Should've just adopted the kid - not like he doesn't have the bucks...

Why so late (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43756589)

This film has been out on general release for 8 days already!

Stan Kelly said it best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756641)

JJ Abrams is a Star.. TRAITOR.

He's not even a fan of star trek! And now he's doing the star wars movies!,32408/ []

It can't end well (1)

tigqc016 (754659) | about a year ago | (#43756745)

If Khan is the new villain (and dispatched, note: haven't seen the movie yet), and Vulcan the planet is destroyed; where will Kirk and the crew be so that they are not stranded on Earth when the Whale Probe (from Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home) comes calling. In the reboot, there are still no humpback whales on Earth. And thinking about it, Spock wont be killed requiring them to go to the Genesis planet and get exiled to Vulcan.

Let’s get this out of the way up front: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43756771)

This barrage of on-your-knees, head-bobbing, knob-slobbing positive reviews is not to be trusted. JJ Abrams is on record stating he doesn't like TOS, and thinks that ST is too cerebral. One could argue that every ST, movie or series, to be flawed in one way or another. Yet, they all stand in a different category from the reboot in that the reboot discards the underlying principles that made pre-Abrams ST worthy of attention in the first place.

Big booms, pretty colors! Generic summer 'splosions, woot. Abrams will deliver plenty of that. An aspirational ethical perspective? Not so much.

WTF?! (4, Interesting)

Libertarian001 (453712) | about a year ago | (#43756833)

Why do people keep saying that JJ Trek 1 was a good movie? No, no it wasn't. Ignore whether it was Trek or not. Ignore whether it was SciFi or not. It was a bad movie. The casting was great (except for Chekov), the performances were great. The sets were... like watching how Apple would design something...

But the plot. Ugh. The entire time I was thinking about how I saw that exact scene in some other movie. Hey, JJ, you know the Spinning Blades of Doom (TM)? Yeah, Galaxy Quest was making fun of you with that, not encouraging you. Sure, make Kirk the youngest CO ever. I'm cool with that. Right up until, apparently, there's not a single officer on the entire ship... except for Spock... and you can just bring up his mommy issues to take command.

I'm not a Trekkie. This isn't about not liking how things are now. I find much of Old Trek to be unwatchable. That was just a crap movie, and I saw absolutely nothing to make me want to watch this new one, and every reason to just skip it.


Not your fathers Star Trek! (5, Interesting)

msmonroe (2511262) | about a year ago | (#43756849)

I think the comparison between the Star Trek of Today and the Star Trek of yesteryear is vastly unfair. The world of today is very different. The original Star Trek was set in a time that was practically before manned spaceflight; The concepts of space travel as well as technology were new except to the select few original nerds and geeks that read sci-fi by the masters or followed comic books. If the original Star Trek did anything it was to try and bring these ideas of technology and space flight to the masses. Some of the ideas are rather anachronistic and taken from old westerns, don't get me wrong it's great stuff. It also dealt with some social issues of the day, which was pretty common back in the day for classic sci-fi. Now everyone knows about technology and spaceflight nothing really wows anyone so it's really pointless to try and push that button; people are pretty jaded. Westerns are gone, for the most part anyway, and most of those concepts are long gone and if you tried to make a series with those concepts people would probably laugh and think it was kitsch. The awesome thing about the reboots is that it brings back to life for today's generation and it IS more of a space soap opera but that is what is popular today, like westerns were at the time of the original trek, and to bring people in you have to film something that is marketable and sell-able. If you want to see something classic like Star Trek, go watch the masters; the original crew, love those guys. I love the new crew as well, their just freaking awesome; I just realize that this is a different time and a different world. Besides I wouldn't want a line for line reboot anyway, I want to see something new.

JJ Abrams reboot sucks (1)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | about a year ago | (#43756927)

What Abrams did with the Star Trek Franchise was use all young/beautiful actors to portray the characters, use modern movie special effects, and take away most of the science that was usually the hallmark of the series (note: I said USUALLY) and replaced it with a lot of fast-paced action sequences. This may make the reboots "Cool" in the public consciousness but for me, the reboot was totally mindless and boring. I'll wait until the second movie in the reboot is available on That's right, I wouldn't even pay to see it on streaming video. I can't wait to see the disaster the JJ Abrams makes of the upcoming Star Wars trilogy, a la Disney. I'm sure I'll get down-modded by any ST-Reboot fanz here and I don't care. I like the old school ST...ST-TOS and ST-NG. Now, get off my lawn!

SciFi requires Sci! (1)

jackb_guppy (204733) | about a year ago | (#43756931)

This movie and part of prior failed at basic science.
1) The ship is not a gaint beer factory with volumes of empty useless space between things. If you have leak there are no comaptments to stop the leak. See Titanic.
2) Build stairs to stairs to stairs show ship was not designed for use, but for only a movie.
3) Items inside of ship without power falling in planet's gravity well. Do not fall faster! You will not be runninng on the walls or sliding as it you are on a slide.

On another note...
1) A prefect human would have good teath.
2) An Asian 1990s charcter is not a white english guy.
3) Charcter of strong controled though - does not run in croward, does not fight stupily after controled battling, basicly being to opposite of his character.

The Golden Gate Bridge does not go east and west, nor is visual in fine detail from transamerica building! At least the real Start Trek gets that right.

Bechdel Test? Really? (1)

SampaioX (1039540) | about a year ago | (#43756933)

Okay so I just read the wiki page on the Bechdel test, and now I'm wondering if any episode/film of the Star Trek franchise has ever passed it ... EVER. I mean even in Voyager I imagine if Janeway was talking to Kes or B'Elanna it was probably about Neelix or Paris. Maybe Janeway + Seven of Nine convos? But then can we really consider Seven of Nine's character to be a woman in the sense intended by the Bechdel test?

not just "new trek" and "old trek" (5, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#43756939)

I don't think it's a matter of how Abrams' Trek compares unfavorably to the scientific and philosophical "Old Trek". This is not an entirely accurate characterization of Old Trek, and completely ignores the substantial difference between Old Trek and Middle Trek. Whereas Original Kirk often resolved things with a directed phaser burst or clunky fight scene, the series of the Berman era, starting with ST:TNG, went too far the other way, preferring to move the plot forward with endless meetings and discussions and existential crisis and long meaningful stares. (Side note, I think this was primarily because meetings are cheaper to film than fight scenes, but feel free to disagree.) This is where the technobabble reached a peak, as babbling nonsense to get out of a predicament is viewed as somehow more cerebral than kicking ass. Or actually coming up with a plausible predicament with a plausible solution.

And as we know, Berman's Super Talking Trek eventually collapsed in upon itself. Personally, I've seen every single episode of TOS several times, but I stopped watching each of TNG, DS9, and Voyager before they played out. And I only ever saw perhaps four episodes of Enterprise. (Of which, one was the arguably decent follow-on to "mirror mirror".) Why? Because with a few exceptions, it was boring as hell. The same endless discussions scored by the same eight bars of cello and viola until you want to claw your eyes out. It was an exercise in frustration.

I submit that Abrams' trek was meant as a direct counter to the Super Talking Trek of the Berman era. It's not necessarily TOS reinterpreted as a space opera, because, let's face it, a lot of TOS *was* space opera, just with less money and lower technology. Abrams' Trek takes the action qualities of TOS and gives it a huge boost of technology and caffeine, without losing sight of TOS beginnings: Horatio Hornblower in space. I haven't seen Into Darkness yet, but noticed the "wooden ships and iron men" feel to the battle scenes in the trailer, which Previous Trek had seldom been able to convey. I really don't have a problem with that.

But the lens flare, that has to go. What idiot thought that up?

I mean really, if Roddenberry and Coon and Fontana and the rest had access to something that looked like a decent space suit and the ability to film EVAs and descents into volcanos and small vehicles dogfighting in space, and the Enterprise in atmosphere, don't you think they would have used them?

Boring (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#43756955)

I am not a fan, but nevertheless i did like the previous Star Tek movie. This was boring. At some point i was about to ask, where is the alien enemy!!! Where is the fight? Where is the ACTION?
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