What’s Wrong With STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS? (SPOILER WARNING)

A spoiler heavy look at what’s not quite right with J.J. Abrams 2013 Star Trek sequel. As indicated there will be spoilers. How many? All of them.

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By MrSundayMovies - 5/19/2013


Check out the embedded video below for the comprehensive analysis of Star Trek: Into Darkness or read the transcript found just below that. Though the video has pictures and is better. THANKS TECHNOLOGY.



Although the title indicates otherwise this is not an all-out attack on Star Trek: Into Darkness, in fact Star Trek: Into Darkness is a pretty great film. As of so far it could very well rank as my favourite movie of the year edging out both Iron Man 3 and somehow, unfathomably, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. I liken it to an unrelenting roller coaster, but the good kind of roller coaster. Not the kind that the person in front of you throws up and it somehow ends up on you. Or the kind of roller coaster where it breaks down and you’re stuck upside down for hours and all your blood pools in your head and you die.

Anyways, I do have minor gripes with it however, they are of course only minor, nit-picking petty gripes from someone who spent far too long analysing a film that’s not really meant for analysis. My problems with Into Darkness though don’t really stem from this movie not being what people consider true Star Trek, though that criticism could be fairly levelled at both new entries. I myself categorise this new set of films as their own thing and think we will one day see a return of the Star Trek that diehard fans love, mostly likely in an ongoing TV series. All that aside, let’s look at what’s not great about Star Trek: Into Darkness.

It’s Diet Wrath of Khan
A big issue that can be taken against Into Darkness is the way in which it borrows heavily from Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan. It doesn’t borrow enough that it would be considered a flat out remake however, it picks and chooses the most iconic moments, slots them into the film where deemed appropriate with the end result being like watching The Wrath of Khan greatest hits. Not all the pieces fit snugly either, especially when most of them are relegated to the last thirty minutes of the film. Take for example the scene where Kirk sacrifices himself for the sake of the crew, an obvious parallel to Spock’s sacrifice in the original film. In the 1982 version that scene relies on knowing that Kirk and Spock have a relationship that extends back decades, they’ve been through so much together and this is the final moment they’ll be spending in each other’s company. Young Kirk and Spock have known each other, what, a handful of years? And they only stopped punching each other in the face a few months prior. Kirk dying is sad yes, but I hardly think Spock, especially this new Spock (who’s initial reaction to his planet being destroyed was a completely blank face) would suddenly completely wig out.

In addition to this the recreation of the iconic Khaaaan line as a result of Kirk’s death, as much as I always enjoy seeing it in any incarnation, is really Spock’s anger misdirected at Khan. Khan wasn’t the one who initially crippled the Enterprise, that was Admiral Robocop’s Skeleton. Plus Khan only retaliated after Kirk told Scotty to stun him in the face after utilising his abilities to board the dreadnaught.

It’s Now A Consequence Free Universe
I mentioned this briefly in my spoiler free review but the ending of this movie leaves absolutely zero impact on the on the Star Trek universe. Short of Captain Pike actually staying dead nothing else has changed. I guess Spock’s slightly more emotional and Kirk is a better Captain, probably I guess, but when you have your main protagonist killed then resurrected in the space of about fifteen minutes it kinda lessens the impact of his death. And the next time anyone gets the space flu or even space broken arm they could just defrost Khan, drain his blood, slap him for crashing that Starship into the city then re-freeze him before the handprint fades.

The Twists Are Easily Spotted
Even though at the end of the day 2009’s Star Trek is a very straightforward narrative it’s constructed in a way that you’re unsure which direction it’s heading. With beardless Thor being murdered at the beginning and Vulcan being destroyed you get the feeling that the franchise could go in any direction. Star Trek: Into Darkness however telegraphs it’s moves so far in advance it’s hard not to see them coming. The minute they popped open that missile and there was a person inside it I thought, this is Space Seed, the villain’s Khan, Benidict Cumberbatch is Khan. Of course you’d have to have some basic knowledge of the franchise to know that sure, but if you didn’t know anything about Star Trek the villains reveal wouldn’t mean anything to you anyways. Kirk’s resurrection, another of the films twists could easily be spotted by both fans and non-fans alike. Bones says something like, “Khan’s blood’s not like anything we’ve ever seen, what amazing healing properties it has!” It’s like The Bat’s autopilot from The Dark Knight Rises, how many times do they make mention that it’s definitely not working before that film wraps up?

It’s A Frankenstein Of An Action Film
On top of this Into Darkness feels likes collection of scenes from multiple action movies thrown together in a very obvious way. All filmmakers of course do this to some extent, some more obviously than others, but with this one there are times when I felt like I’m Neo from The Matrix, and no, not in the sense that I was blinded by my arch enemy with an electrical cable…yet…but in the sense I feel I can see the code behind everything. As I watched Into Darkness it’s blatantly obvious a lot of this is just Khan’s original story from Space Seed forward, crushed into one third of a film and that moments like the Alice Eve underwear scene purely exist to be put in the trailer.

The movie is just a tad uninspired in its execution, like it was assembled through a focus group comprising of males aged between fifteen and thirty five. Hell the entire film is bookended identically to that of Raiders of the Lost Ark, opening with our protagonist running from natives and closing with the dangerous weapon locked away in some kind of restricted storage facility. There is of course the odd original concept, one of which being the Enterprise being run down and fired upon whilst still in warp, (though that may have already happened at some point I have no idea) but overall this movie brings not much new to the table.

See this is what worries me about the upcoming Star Wars Episode 7. As much as I think J.J. Abram's is a good film-maker, and he is, he’s not really a risk taker. He’s developed a heavy reliance on recycling ideas, from the entire movie Super 8 to the Ethan Hunt revival scene from Mission Impossible: 3 lifted straight from Charlie’s revival scene from Season One of Lost. I’m sure I’m wrong and Star Wars will turn out great, and backed by Disney with a flat out terrific writer in Michael Ardnt behind it, there’s a good chance it will be.

One Last Thing
I couldn’t really fit this into anywhere else but I feel it’s worth a mention. Am I right in saying Spock outwits Khan not through his own volition but by calling the future version of himself who responds by saying “I’m from the future and I can’t tell you anything, that being said here’s what we did in Star Trek 2.” That’s gotta be the most blatant cinematic cheat in movie history! It also explains why Spock steered clear of the radiated area of the Enterprise this time around, that crafty Vulcan bastard.

All in all, as mentioned Star Trek: Into Darkness is a great summer movie, you’d be hard pressed to find those who flat-out hate it, though I’m sure they’re around. There’s one right now fuming over their keyboard as they read this. Calm down chief, don’t use too many exclamation points. It’s easy to forget that these days we’re spoilt for choice for big budget movie releases, we’re lucky enough to get at least one standout film annually with a handful and pretty decent titles scattered throughout the year. Seriously remember when we’d get the likes of Godzilla, Armageddon, The Phantom, Double Team, Anaconda, Speed 2: Cruise control, Twister, yeah check back on Twister it ain’t great, Zorro I’m assuming though I don’t remember and Wild Wild West? Grim times.

But what did you think of Star Trek: Into Darkness? Love it? Hate it? Somewhere in-between it? Let me know by leaving a comment here, or via my twitter or facebook account both ending in mrsundaymovies. Thanks everyone, take care.
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141 Comments
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tonytony - 5/19/2013, 4:39 AM
Good stuff. Entertaining movie but def had faults
TheSoulEater - 5/19/2013, 4:41 AM
Inspite of all this, loved it
JGAR - 5/19/2013, 4:45 AM
Don't tell me this guy is going to make a ''WHAT'S WRONG WITH:'' with every movie this summer.
Brainiac13 - 5/19/2013, 4:59 AM
I enjoyed it....better than IM3!!!!

They should have used tanning cream for KHAN!!
Martay - 5/19/2013, 5:03 AM
When he says 'regulated' does he actually mean 'relegated'?
Screwger - 5/19/2013, 5:05 AM
It is better! Then what? Iron man 3
If you look closely there are a lot of wrong things with every movie! So, stop complaining like a lil' bitch and just enjoy the cosmic experience . Yes! It was Wrath of Khan greates hits but reverse! It was good!
SuperDude001 - 5/19/2013, 5:08 AM
I agree with him. The fault didn't ruin the film, the film was great, but it did take away from the experience by being overly unpredictable and so on...
NeoBaggins - 5/19/2013, 5:08 AM
Good film. The entire audience was into it. It was a great time at the movies. Way to kick off the big movie season!
Screwger - 5/19/2013, 5:08 AM
In old movie they knew each other for a long time and Spocks death was more tragic to Kirk but in this one events actually set that strong friendship they'll have in the future and nothing wrong that events happened in wrong order especially if timeline was altered by Romulans.
FreedomFreeLife - 5/19/2013, 5:11 AM
This is still better than shitty Iron Man 3
I mean all reviews, RT and imdb score proves it. Also yahoo reviews.
TheOzmaofOz - 5/19/2013, 5:11 AM
I enjoyed the movie quite a bit and am more than happy to admit it had its share of faults--- but do we really need an article on every movie talking about what did or didn't work?

There really are no flawless movies and we've gotten into this habit of just finding flaws in everything.

Or maybe I'm just crazy.
TheOzmaofOz - 5/19/2013, 5:12 AM
@Screwger

You bring up a good point. I think this one sets up a third film quite well with the Klingons.

It also sets up the Kirk/Spock relationship which will carry these films for quite awhile hopefully.
Screwger - 5/19/2013, 5:14 AM
But I agree that about cinematic cheat is Old Spock! But it is not biggest! Biggest cheat was in TDKR when they show Batman in Bat while 5 sec left on a bomb timer - and then it is revealed that he wasn't in Bat.
FreedomFreeLife - 5/19/2013, 5:17 AM
Metacritic:
Into Darkness - 73 out of 100
Iron Man 3 - 62 out of 100

imdb:
Into Darkness - 8.4
Iron Man 3 - 7.7


rottentomatoes critics:
Into Darkness - 87%
Iron Man 3 - 78%

rottentomatoes audience:
Into Darkness - 89%
Iron Man 3 - 83%

Yahoo!Users:
Into Darkness - 4 out of 5
Iron Man 3 - 3 out of 5
DoubleD - 5/19/2013, 5:19 AM
Whats wrong with this movie ? It's Star Trek. Over the years it's fan base has shrunk.
didich - 5/19/2013, 5:19 AM
@FreedomFreeLife

If you use Metacritic/Rotten Tomatoes/Imdb to justify why a movie is better than another the only thing you're showing is that you're a mindless drone with no personality whatsoever who simply follows the mass.

And I liked Star Trek more than Iron Man
Maxi91291 - 5/19/2013, 5:21 AM
Always nitpicking ... Star Trek ID is an awesome movie .....
TheOzmaofOz - 5/19/2013, 5:22 AM
Such anger here.
Tainted87 - 5/19/2013, 5:29 AM
Errrrrrr, they had to call it out quick (Bones' idea to restore Kirk) because time was a factor. They cryogenically froze him to preserve his brain activity. By doing that, they just saved an entire third movie from becoming a disaster.

Your nitpicks are stupid.

Remember immediately after 9/11, Enterprise went in a radically different direction where an advanced alien race came and went, but not after carving a line through Florida, killing millions? Starfleet's tagline might as well have been "this time, it's personal". T'Pol didn't even object like she should have. They retrofitted the NX-01 with THEIR advanced weaponry and shielding, and sent the crew out into the unknown to pretty much avenge those lost in a senseless attack. The morality wasn't questioned on the show.

Here, I'm very happy to say that it does become an instance of "is this what we're becoming now?" Especially considering, that's how I felt when we invaded Afghanistan, triple when we invaded Iraq. It asked the right questions without being too condemning. There was an actual point to either side, a reason behind each one's argument.

What was the last Star Trek movie that had you asking questions like those?
FreedomFreeLife - 5/19/2013, 5:37 AM
Star Trek: The Motion Picture - 6.3
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - 7.7
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock - 6.5
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - 7.2
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - 5.2
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country - 7.1
Star Trek Generations - 6.5
Star Trek: First Contact - 7.5
Star Trek: Insurrection - 6.3
Star Trek: Nemesis - 6.3
average score: 6.6

REBOOT:
Star Trek - 8.0
Star Trek Into Darkness - 8.4
average score: 8.2

Old Star Trek movies are shitty.
stoptheworld - 5/19/2013, 5:38 AM
I haven't watched old Star trek movies so most of his complaints don't matter to me :D

And I disagree that traitor general should be blamed for Enterprise' almost destruction cause Simon Pegg stopped his giant cannons from shooting did he not? It was Khan who bombarded the ship in the end.

The one thing that confused me was why mr. Spock contacted another mr. Spock???
FreedomFreeLife - 5/19/2013, 5:39 AM
I don´t look at scores, i watched those all, and Into Darkness is best Star Trek movie yet!
DoubleD - 5/19/2013, 5:40 AM
Batmaniac, This Star Trek movie will make less or equal to the 2009 movie
FreedomFreeLife - 5/19/2013, 5:41 AM
@Batmaniac

Thanks for saying this. Fully agree 100%
FreedomFreeLife - 5/19/2013, 5:42 AM
If Into Darkness flops, just as old Star Trek fanboys want, then this means studio will cut next Star Trek movie budget, and will hire cheaper director and writter, which means Star Trek 3 will be bad, very bad.

For example, people wanted their A Good Day to Die Hard movie, now they got it. You want same fate?
Azazel1 - 5/19/2013, 5:44 AM
Stupid article. You say you liked the film and then nit pick it to death.

87% on Rotten Tomatoes

There is very little wrong with this film...

DoubleD - 5/19/2013, 5:47 AM
Next weekend Star Trek into The Darkness will be number 4 on the Box Office charts. Fast & Furious, Hangover III, an EPIC are being released. Next weekend you will see the death of Star Trek.
LegendaryBMan - 5/19/2013, 5:50 AM
Typical, this is what, the fourth time since December, with The Hobbit, Die Hard, Iron Man 3, and now Star Trek Into Darkness, where I went to the theater, enjoyed the movie with friends and family, was even excited about how awesome it was, come home, look to the internet to see what everyone else thought, and it's just nit picking whining dicks who can't enjoy anything in their miserable lives. How sad. No movie is flawless, they are not all supposed to be ultimate timeless flawless classics that leave you pondering your own existence. Hopefully people will go back to just going to the movies and having fun again soon. It just bums me out now.
beane2099 - 5/19/2013, 5:52 AM
I liked it too. But here's a few of my misgivings (in part based on nerdy trek knowledge). What you are about to read is beyond nerdy and I'm ok with it:

1) Kahn transwarp beams from Earth to Klingon home world. That's a distance of over (approximately) 100 light years. That wasn't possible even in Picard's time. Like even the Borg couldn't do it. When did future Scotty come up with that equation (cause he did end up in the 24th century. Granted, even with that ability they would still need stsrships for fire power and scouting and such I suppose. Can't beam to a planet half way across the galaxy without knowing what you're going to encounter first.

2) When the Enterprise is fleeing from Admiral Robocop they apparently gett from Klingon space to Earth in like 2 minutes. True they lost power on the way to Kronos but even if they did so at the halfway point, that's like 50 or so light years. At the Enterprise's maximum speed that's a journey of 10 days (assuming they can maintain that speed for that long).

3) Why did Admiral Robocop give Kirk all 72 of Kahn's people in those "special torpedoes"? Did he really think Kirk was going to fire all 72 of them at one guy?

4) Why exactly did Carol have to change in front of Kirk again? I still don't know. Great body though.
Nenured - 5/19/2013, 5:55 AM
I for myselft think Into Darkness was a big let down. I will see it again with no high expactations and i´m shure i will enjoy it but at the movies i was disapoinhted.
They riped of ST 2 in a bad way and i didn´t saw that comming. I really liked JJ´s reboot and now i´m left with fear for Star Was Ep. VII
DoubleD - 5/19/2013, 5:56 AM
SotoJuiceMan, why are people haters when we are just dealing facts ? Star Trek fan base has not grown since 2009. If it has to small to make a difference. Plus I am not the one releasing 3 major hit movies next week-end. Do you think mother's will take their kids to go see Star Trek or EPIC ? Star Trek is a great Star Trek movie but it's still Star Trek.
charlie2094 - 5/19/2013, 5:56 AM
@DoubleD

Why are you spending so much time saying the same exact stuff about something you hate, on every single article related to it. You don't like Star Trek? Good for you. Many people do and if anything, the fan base has grown thanks to Abrams. Clearly a lot of people are really liking the film so just let them enjoy it instead of trying to bring negativity to every Star Trek article. Seriously, why waste your time spewing the same stuff over and over for something you don't even like. Makes zero sense. Like seeing crap on the sidewalk and instead of ignoring it, you run over to it and roll around in it, then decide to moan about it.
beane2099 - 5/19/2013, 5:56 AM
Those "gripes" I listed are very minimal to me though. I really liked this movie. Abrams is like the ultimate biscuit maker. He has enough plot to keep the movie going and the audience interested but he doesn't over knead the dough. He did a great job. I would eat this biscuit again. Can't waIt to see his Star Wars.
FreedomFreeLife - 5/19/2013, 5:57 AM
@Nenured
95% people who saw reboot version Star Trek has never seen old movies. Nobody cares about old movies!
beane2099 - 5/19/2013, 5:59 AM
Sorry. I liked Iron Man 3. The things a lot of you guys see as flaws in that movie didn't bother me. I thought it was a refreshing departure from typical comic book movie fair. But I do understand why a lot of you hate it. No disrespect to you all on that.
DoubleD - 5/19/2013, 6:00 AM
TO ALL ! I love Marvel movies but I can deal with the fact that the TWIST in Iron Man 3 and all the suits hurt Iron Man 3. It's a fact an I don't get all hurt by it.
DoubleD - 5/19/2013, 6:05 AM
SotoJuiceMan, In March 2013 the movie The Croods was released an it has made = Worldwide: $534,673,183 .

YES EPIC WILL HURT NEXT WEEK ! Mothers will rule the Box Office. First BIG family movie released for the summer of 2013
InfiniteMonkey - 5/19/2013, 6:07 AM
I loved this movie but if I may be so f**king bold to the dumbass writers; You had cart blanche in this timeline. You had 4 bloody years to make an impact on something new and memorable and yet...WTF? Ya got lazy and just copy and pasted what you liked from the most iconic of Star Trek past and villain.

I guess making up BullShit plots on Transformers, Mission Impossible, Eagle Eye, The Island, Cowboys and Aliens, The Legend of Zoro, The Amazing Spiderman 2 and countless television shows was tiring by the time you got to Star Treks sequel. Well done. Way to [frick] up a good opportunity.

Peppering the script with action sequences does not remove it from it mediocrity of a writing effort.
DoubleD - 5/19/2013, 6:08 AM
SotoJuiceMan an others: Do you really think next Friday Star Trek into the Darkness will be number one with EPIC, Fast & Furious 6, an Hangover III being released on on Thursday at Midnight ?
beane2099 - 5/19/2013, 6:12 AM
This movie will do fine even with three movies coming out Friday. Why does someone keep touting Epic like it's some kind of game changer? It's a cartoon and it'll do well but not so that it will bankrupt Star Trek. The movie will probably end up doing a little better than the first one - $400 - $500 million. And that would make it successful (and far more so than the previous movies even accounting for inflation). A movie don't gotta make a billion to be a success.
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