The latest Trek into the darkness
So last weekend, I ventured back out to the movies again to see the latest Star Trek film. I should let it be known first that I was not crazy about the 2009 Star Trek movie, due to how they made the changes to everything that was previously canon, and I’m not even a trekker (don’t call them trekkies, it only inspires violent responses). I just think the whole time travel thing was a cheap way of rebooting the franchise, but I get that it’s pretty much all hollywood/abrams have in their bag of tricks. Apart from that, it was…meh. But we’re not roasting that one, so let’s get on with it, shall we?
So unlike my previous reviews, I’m actually going to have massive spoilers in this, so if you don’t want it ruined, then stop reading.
To start with, I’m gonna address the “controversial” issue of JJ’s use of lens flares. Simon Pegg actually came out on JJ’s side on this one, saying that the first person to gripe about this was probably some film student who wanted to use a buzzword to sound relevant. The truth is, even I noticed the lens flare thing because I used to mess with photoshop back in the day, and it was a cool effect to use in some situations. I don’t condemn it’s use in movies, it has its place. Pegg mentions how it enhances certain types of scenes, and I could see that. The problem I have is that he uses them in almost every fucking scene. Its overuse makes its artistic impact and scene enhancement completely washed out and pointless.
That out of the way, I wanna start with the statement that I did actually enjoy this movie, much more than the first new one. It was an enjoyable ride, full of eye candy, but not to be taken too seriously. The acting was mostly solid, especially by Cumberbatch. He was seriously the best part of the movie, and if you haven’t watched Sherlock on BBC, you’re missing out. He’s amazing in that as well. The action sequences and visuals were great, at least the parts you can see behind the lens flares are. The fight scenes are great, and the fight with the Klingons was fucking epic. It was great to see Khan’s wicked fighting prowess really shine. The other characters, both new and old, were also written pretty well. Also, seeing the blonde chick in her underwear was fantastic.
I’ll try and go as chronologically as possible with my issues with the movie now. To start out, they are on some planet trying to save the indigenous people from a volcano, but can’t be seen. As such, they land the Enterprise in the ocean of the planet…yeah, I thought that was stupid too. They can’t be seen, so they land an enormous starship a mile or two away under the water. Right. So then, Spock needs to be beamed up, but they need line of sight. You know what has great line of sight? ORBIT! There was literally no logic or point to the Enterprise breaking atmo. None. Next, there’s all this drama about the Enterprise being taken away from Kirk for his actions…which lasted all of 15 minutes. Now he’s back in command as if nothing happened, all because his mentor got killed. Just seemed like a long way to go for that one.
Catching Khan was cool, and Khan himself was excellent. That’s why I have gripes with how they shafted him. Let’s face it, the movie is rife with predictability, and Khan is supposed to have a far superior intellect. Now, all of a sudden, he’s able to be thwarted by a stupid slight of hand trick. When McCoy is trying to open the first torpedo, the Enterprise detects that the torpedo goes active, yet Khan is somehow unable to do so when he beams them aboard the dreadnought. Come on, guys. Why not demand the cryo tubes instead of the explosive devices? It just seemed like they hyped him up to be so awesome, and he was played in such an awesome way, and then they just hose him through the stupidest way possible.
Then we get to the whole Spock screaming “KHAAAAAAAAN” thing, which was so obvious, out of place, and forced. I dunno if it was the acting, or just the absurdity of the whole thing, since we all knew that Kirk was gonna be revived anyways. Why else would Bones inject a dead animal with Khan’s blood? Also, he injected that thing like a day before it came back to life. I”m pretty sure Kirk would’ve been brain dead at that point. But hey, smoke and mirrors, right?
So like I said, it wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t a great movie. The story was very predictable, the plot was full of holes, old Spock interfered with history again, the acting was mostly top notch, and the action was kick ass. This is just one step above a pure eye candy flick. I don’t do the stars or number rating thing. I’ll just say that I’d still recommend this for people to see in the theaters, and I’ll likely pick it up on Blu Ray. It’s definitely worth the big screen enjoyment, it’s just not the epic awesomeness that some folks are making it out to be.