Star Trek Into Darkness

StarTrekIntoDarknessIMAXposterPTParamountHello folks! This weekend, I finally managed to get my butt to the movie theater to catch a summer blockbuster. It was the first time in months, perhaps a year, that the wife and I caught a movie on the big screen. And as my geekiness demanded, the movie we caught was the second installment in the J.J. Abrams relaunch of the classic franchise: Star Trek Into Darkness. And while I am obliged to provide a review, I am also bound by the spoiler code, so what I am about to say shall be as vague as I can possibly make it.

As I’m sure you all know, the second act in any series is meant to be the dark one. And while it is hard to top an event like the loss of an entire planet – Vulcan getting obliterated in the first film – this movie really did revolve around a certain downturn in the series. In addition to their being the concept of the enemy within, there is also the prospect of impending war, of vengeance overpowering good reason, and people sacrificing who and what they are in the process.

StarTrekIntoDarknessNot only did all this call to mind some of the larger ethical concerns arising out of the “War on Terror” – such as vengeance vs. justice, preemptive violence, and being rulec by fear – there was an even a dedication at the end of the film to all veterans who have served since September 11th, 2001. Apparently, this was because the makers knew the movie would be released in 2013, when many soldiers overseas would be returning home.

And of course, the movie was also an homage to the second installment in the original series. As I was forewarned going in, though not in any detail, this movie pays tribute to The Wrath of Khan in many places. While this was to be expected – I too suspected as much from several early hints – it did get a little tedious at times. After awhile, it didn’t so much feel like a wink and a nod as much as a repetitious pattern.

Still, the pace of the film, the big reveals, and the way it all played into the original story arc, but again with changes due to the temporal shift that took place in the first movie, all made for a very exciting and awesome experience. A couple of times I looked over to my wife and whispered “I knew it!”, and I quietly screamed my applause at the end. She laughed, I explained things to her, it was all good!

So if you haven’t seen it yet, and consider yourself a Trekkie, geek, fan of action sci-fi, or all of the above, get on out and catch this movie before the summer is out!

14 thoughts on “Star Trek Into Darkness

  1. Yeah, I saw the movie too, and I thought that Kahn could’ve been a more fleshed-out and scarier villain. But hey, I’m no Trekkie, so whatever.
    BTW, the 3rd movie involves Kirk seeing a speech therapist so he can prepare to give a speech with a monarch. It’s going to be called Star Trek: The King’s Speech.

  2. “She laughed, I explained things to her, it was all good!”

    Yeah, that pretty much resembles my experience; I laughed, my husband explained things, and it was fun. My geekery doesn’t go far enough to have memorised the plots of the original films, so he had to explain all the references to me afterwards. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t find it as irritating as a lot of the True Geeks seem to have.

      1. Oh I know. I just wanted to make fun of the fact that you mentioned “True Geeks” and how you don’t have the time to memorize the original movies. Ergo, me and your husband ARE true geeks who DO have that kind of time. INSULT! Who cares if its true??? Ha! It’s funny cuz its true…

  3. I HAVE to go see this! I’ve heard similar reviews about the movie paralleling the war on terror. I tend to enjoy when sci-fi and fantasy make commentary on our culture through the use of the other “world.” 🙂

    Glad you finally got out to see a movie this summer!

  4. I haven’t seen this yet but The Boy has and he loved it. He gave me a low down of the plot. As a wannabe trekkie who has seen and owns just about every Star Trek show and movie ever made, I’m disappointed, without having seen the movie. I’m confused as I can’t understand why Khan Noonien Singh is not being played by an Indian.
    I’m sitting on the fence as to whether I’m going to see this film. I really want to, but I can’t support the blatant white washing of a character of color. Hollywood could do better, I think.
    As I debate, because the whole alternate time line theory for why this is so has been discussed among my minions as a possible reason why, I have been listening to the novel tie in. I have enjoyed it, though mostly because it gives more depth to the characters feelings and motivations, which brings me closer to Spock, who I have always loved. If Abrams and Quinto had gotten Spock wrong, you couldn’t pay me to see any of these movies no matter what.

    1. That’s actually a recurring point with Khan’s character. Of course you know how he was played by Ricardo Montalban. And in the show, he did at least look the part. By the time they made the movie, that changed a fair bit. He did NOT look like a genetically-engineered man of Indian descent there. Given the time, one could always say casting options were limited, but in today’s world… I can only surmise that they felt that having a man of color play a terrorist in a story that was meant to call to mind 9/11 would be seen as offensive. Otherwise, it just seems like a big, fat oversight.

      1. I see your point, but on another note, there is this: Why not do something original, as with the ST 2009 as opposed to resurrecting an old character? I recently went back and watched the original Wrath of Khan, and as hokey as it seems now in 2013 (about 30 yrs later), Mantalban TOTALLY nailed the role. Even my kids, total neophytes, think he acted that part like a beast. There are so many ways that they could have gone with the ST movies, so many new and challenging directions they could have taken that it almost seems lazy. The thing is, for me anyway, there are certain characters you CAN NOT get wrong. Spock is number one. Khan is another.
        If worries about calling to mind 9/11 is a concern, I can accept that, but they should also be concerned about the offense of white washing a character of color. But that is just my opinion and admittedly I’m one lone woman with a singular opinion.

      2. Yeah, but that would have required originality and risk taking. And supposedly, that’s what they got planned now since the movie ended with the Enterprise getting the 5 year mission gig. I have no idea if offense played a role in their decision, it was really just the only reason I could think of for such an obvious oversight. That, or that they just had no idea that Khan Noonien Singh is supposed to be Indian. And honestly, I found the reference at the end about how it was an honor of the “veterans of 9/11” seemed off. Abrams and crew said they did that specifically because of all the combat veterans coming back from oversees. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, as we all know. Afghanistan, at one point, did, but that’s since over. These are the veterans from the wars that resulted from 9/11, only those the police and FDNY were veterans of the actual event.

        On a better note, Star Trek II was totally the best movie of the bunch! Even years later, the fans agree! And rest assured, the homage they paid to it in this movie can’t possibly compete with Spock’s death. And Cumberbatch, while cool, is no match for Montalban.

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