May 20, 2013

Haiku Revieu: Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness (****3/4)

Starfleet is at war
You go, Benedict Cumbo
More than meets the eye

DEFINITE SPOILERS AHEAD. You might not know this about me, but I'm a huge Star Trek fan.* I am also a huge fan of the 2009 Star Trek quasi-reboot. I went into Star Trek Into Darkness hoping for a similar experience ... and I didn't quite find what I was hoping for. I really, really liked it ... but upon first viewing, I'm not totally in love with it. (And that makes me sad.)

The movie centers on the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, the same crew we met in Star Trek. When an explosion takes out a Starfleet building in London, the crew is thrust into a manhunt for John Harrison, a Starfleet intelligence officer responsible for the destruction. The manhunt takes the crew to Qo'noS (Kronos), the Klingon homeworld, where they capture Harrison, but quickly learn that appearances are not exactly what they seem.

For the first half or so of the film, I was totally on board. I love the cast—Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Simon Pegg as Scotty, Karl Urban as Bones, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, John Cho as Sulu and Anton Yelchin as Checkov continue to excel in their roles. Benedict Cumberbatch plays an amazing villain; if you weren't a Cumberbatch fan prior to this movie, you will be. The sets and effects and action are all top notch. And yet ...

The second half was marred by the fact that we've spent months being told that John Harrison is a new character. SPOILER ALERT: He's not. He plays Khan Noonien Singh. His character is quite different from the Ricardo Montalban role, but he's Khan nonetheless. I suppose it's silly to allow this to effect my viewing, but it bothers me that time and time again we were told that he wasn't. Even though I assumed he was, when it was revealed, I was a little let down. There's keeping secrets (don't click that link if you haven't seen Iron Man 3 and don't want to be spoiled), and then there's taking the denial too far. The ending, which I won't reveal, was also a little too predictable, although I did enjoy the bit of Kirk/Spock canon reversal.

ALL OF THAT SAID—I really did enjoy the movie on the whole. (The revamp of the Klingons' look was especially badass.) I'd love to go see it again, to try and push through my annoyance over the whole Khan business so that I can just enjoy.

*You should know this about me.

P.S.—The Mister and I both wore Star Trek "uniform" shirts to the movie, and took a few photos in front of our Star Trek posters when we got home. They turned out sort of hazy, but cute, so I made a faux photo strip out of them:



    Yeah, the whole Khan reveal really bothered me a lot. Em and I talked about it after the movie. I know J.J. Abrams likes his mysteries to stay mysterious until the reveal, but I feel like specifically denying the truth makes the reveal worse than staying ambiguous or even admitting to it ahead of time. It just made me mad that he flat out lied for months and really took me out of the movie, and I wasn't even really paying attention to rumors before the release, it was just kind of unavoidable.

    Em and I had a sort of hard time taking the opening scenes seriously because all I could think about while watching that poor guy with his dying daughter was, "Is that Mickey the Idiot? It is! Hooray Mickey!" Then I kind of hoped the Doctor would show up and save the day. **Spoilers** He did not.

    Most definitely the best thing about this movie was Benedict Cumberbatch. In his case I kept imagining him as a dragon and it made both really love his acting in this movie and really excited to see him in the next two Hobbit films even though I didn't really care for the first one. He's so good.

  2. I'm trying to read this post and comment while avoiding spoilers, so I'm apologizing for this comment incoherentness right off the bat xD

    I'm glad you overall liked it. I've been hearing mixed things, to the extent that one can hear mixed things while avoiding spoilers. And I really need to get my butt to the theater now.

  3. So... I love Star Trek but I didn't enjoy the last film if I'm honest - they destroyed Vulcan! I wanted to like it - I really did - but WTF?! So yeah... and now they've changed Klingons again (I did know about Khan but I didn't know that!) so I prob won't watch this in a rush if I'm honest, I'll keep watching the repeats on TNG instead lol

  4. ricky and i were in the theater watching this man crying with his wife over their dying child and a guy 3 seats down from us goes (not loudly but loud enough "holy shit! that's mickey the idiot!" and then later "can't he just call the doctor and have him fix it? or is he in the alternate dimension?"

    ricky and i really enjoyed it. he doesn't really know enough about the star trek canon to be irritated by anything, and i assumed that we were being lied to and that benedict was khan all along. i went into the movie expecting the reveal (whether i wanted it or not) so it didn't bug me too much. oddly what bothered me was spock calling spock. i LOVE both of those actors and i thought they were brilliant together the first time around- i just don't want it to become the thing they do. like "hey i wonder....(insert alternate reality question here)..?" "oh, i know! let's call spock on other vulcan!"

    in any case- BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH! crazy brilliant. the scene with his back turned to kirk & spock where he's talking about his crew and his eye get all red and the SPT* my husband (who has fallen asleep while watching EVERY SINGLE F%&$ING EPISODE of sherlock!!) leans over and goes "man he's good"

    * =on supernatural jensen is known for his delivery of the Single Perfect Tear

  6. It's really the only valid response to seeing any companion (or companion's companion as the case may be) in any other film or TV show.

  7. I agree—the Spock calling Spock thing was a little weird. But Quinto!Spock is much less good at the whole no emotions Vulcan thing.

    Haha, oh Ricky. ;)

  8. I really like the 2009 version, if only because I thought it was a neat alternate-universe story. But I know people who didn't like it (my mom for one) for similar reasons to you.

    The Klingon change isn't a huge thing. I think they've just gotten more advanced with prosthetics since TNG (i.e, the nose isn't as human any more). They also added some piercings to the ridges, which I think totally makes sense in a warrior culture.

  9. Do let me know what you thought when you've seen it?

  10. I didn't feel like I had to connect Mickey to Mickey the entire time, but I noticed it and then filed it away. He was such a minor character that his DW role didn't effect his ST role, for me anyway.

    And yes, everything Benedict. He and Tom (Hiddleston, natch.) were in a movie together that I can't bring myself to watch because the idea of it IS TOO PERFECT for me to handle. ;)

  11. Lalalala-not-looking-at-anything-else-on-the-page-lalalala -- I will totally let you know! As soon as I'm finished with my observation hours in a few weeks I'm hoping to sneak off to a Friday matinee :D