Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Forward: So after posting my old 2009 blog/review on the first Star Trek reboot I found a very short blurp I wrote about Star Trek Into Darkness aka “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Bad Writing” in and around the May 2013 release of the film. I remember how disappointed I was with just about everything in the movie shortly after I wrote this.
This blurp is short. More or less probably because I was so disgusted and confused with the Star Trek II effort here that I didn’t wanna go on and on about a movie I wanted to really love but really just hated. Actually, I remember specifically liking the movie right out of the gates, but after some time and RLM doing its thing I found all I had really liked about it, I wound up hating about it a few weeks after I saw this. Granted 2013 was the beginning of all my troubles with my health, mental health and employment. I was really struggling so writing about Star Trek wasn’t exactly on my priority list of things to do.
I wasn’t even interested in being a writer yet and really just blogged at that time to piss people off most of the time. Of course, that changed. What is really bizarre about this movie is that Bad Robot and company didn’t just screw this up once, no they did it three times. Once here, the second was Star Trek Beyond, the worst of the three, and Star Wars the Last Jedi, probably the worst sequel to ever be produced next to Troll 2.
So, if I talk positive about Star Trek Into Darkness here remember that these were my feelings about the film when it came out and I had saw it back in May 2013. Red Letter Media covers this very well in their movie review show, “Half in the Bag.” See link to watch their 47-minute review on the film. It’s worth it and even back in 2013 they knew where the franchise was gonna tank as far as quality goes.
Half in the Bag, Star Trek Into Darkness review - https://youtu.be/bWLGH0VHUVs
Bad Robot really nailed it in 2009 with the reboot. It could have set up Star Trek storytelling for decades to come, but this sequel is so bad that Star Trek Beyond 2016 couldn’t save it. Just like the Rise of Skywalker couldn’t save the Last Jedi. At least with the Rise of Skywalker they tried to right the wrongs where Star Trek Beyond they just doubled down on making another really badly written action movie. There were so many comparisons to the Fast & Furious for how bad the writing was that when they doubled down they just went with the Fast & Furious director for Star Trek Beyond, and yeah, it shows.
Star Trek isn’t nor has it ever been action based. Sure there is action in it, naturally, but it doesn’t need to be forced. Star Trek at its core is about people, politics, friendship, what it means to be human, discovery and the imagination. All this Fast & Furious nonsense watered down cartoon characters might look cool, but as far as storytelling goes, do we even care about any of the characters from that franchise, in-movie universe? I honestly do not know. After Fast IV I checked out.
The crew of the Enterprise, all major characters and even in the 2009 reboot they were and are heavily watered down to be like basic cartoon characters. Once you write like that you can never climb out to establish quality characterization. Please, give me an example where characters in a film were written terrible and then somewhere in a sequel they all of the sudden had more to do, more depth, more range?
I really hope if they ever make another Star Trek movie that it is more reflective of what we saw from Star Trek in the first four films from the TOS era cast. I’d really love to see V’ger or the Doomsday Machine in this new more advanced timeline, but if they do, they will probably do something else that is outside the scope of Star Trek or something else not very relevant to the main core of Star Trek…
Crazy how thoughts and feelings can change about a thing once you have some time to properly absorb it. “Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.” ~Bones McCoy
“So is this movie homage, fan service or just blatantly stealing ideas from all of Star Trek?" ~Mr. Plinkett - Star Trek: Into Reference, Red Letter Media https://youtu.be/HeyLm-pLVm4
Star Trek Into Darkness… A few things missed here…
1) This is a different Khan... The Khan we are used to seeing is a brash, cocky, intelligent being that thinks in 2 dimensions. He thinks himself a prince, a ruler, a conquer. He is not educated in Federation and/or Starfleet knowledge, history, logistics and technologies.
The Khan in "Into Darkness" was woken up under a different level of circumstances. This Khan is awoken and is immediately put to work. He is educated in the ways of Starfleet and due to his superior intellect he catches on really quickly and is able to make use, improve, understand, new technology. This makes him a military asset. Admiral Marcus for whatever reason thinks he can out smart this man.
So one can throw in all sorts of changes to this Khan over the one from TWOK (The Wrath of Khan). My problem is they didn't explain all this stuff in the movie well at all. They pulled the same shit they did with the 2009 release and made a bunch of prequel comics with the expectation that everyone would go out and buy those to find out the backstory to Into Darkness. That didn’t work the last time why would it work this time?
When he said his name was Khan, most of the humans should have been surprised since in Star Trek Lore (canon) the mire mention of his name, everyone acts like he is of Hitler Quality in persona. The reveal doesn’t work because a ship’s crew probably wouldn’t know who Khan is right out of the gates without saying. “Computer, who is Khan?” The whole, changing his appearance also doesn’t make much sense. They just didn’t want to use an actor of Indian descent to play Khan. There were a few that could have killed it. I was leaning towards fellow J.J. Abrams LOST actor, Naveen Andrews but they went with an English actor to play a middle-easterner, yeah, totally makes sense. All they had to do was take 2 minutes of dialog and just explain everything.
2) The USS Vengeance... Looks like if the Enterprise, the Narada, went out and got drunk on Romulan Ale and made a baby. I think its technology is based on even more sensor readings from the Narada's confrontations with Starfleet Ships and Khan’s intellectual influence. I wish they would have explained that a little better. If the Enterprise was more supped up by this same data, as explained in the comic back story to Star Trek (2009) then what the hell is the Vengeance? Basically it’s a supersized constitution class vessel bigger than the Galaxy class with all sort of tech that is never explained.
3) Destiny/Universe... As established in Star Trek (2009) the moment that Nero/The Narada show up "the Universe/Destiny/Blind Luck/Space-Time" keep tying to correct the paradox. There are hints of this in the first film all through out and even a few more hints when things happen backwards. Rather than Spock saving the ship, Kirk does and so forth. Pike says that Kirk uses Blind Luck to justify his course of decisions. I think there is this tug of war going on where Space and Time is still trying to correct the wrongs of Nero/The Narada's arrival in this time. You see this in both films how parallels sort of go together with some change, but yet the same. That is why I think you will see more parallel stories that are very familiar to us Trekkies and to others it will seem like a rip off.
4) Half in the Bag/Red Letter Media... First I’d like to say I love this show. I love Red Letter Media. I am on their site watching stuff twice a week, even if I have already seen said video. I love their material and pretty much agree with what they bring to the dance. However, I do not agree with this episode. Jay isn’t a Trek Fan. So I think it would be a little hard to review this movie based on that. I agree, "It’s a big dumb action movie." However, it is a decent Star Trek Movie, some of the time. If you are a Star Trek fan and know Star Trek Lore/Canon this is a disappointing watch with a simple plot, but a lot of surface level Trek Lore in it. Oh… There are Klingons in it. Oh… Look… Khan… Oh look, 2 federation ships are gonna dog fight it out. The sheer fact that Khan lives at the end means we just might see him again. Again; he is a different Khan this go round. I think he is more dangerous than the original. RLM has bashed all the TNG movies (for good reason) and was about 50/50 on the Star Trek 2009 release. Yet, I don't think they are huge Trek fans. Mike, perhaps. Without that solid base, it would be hard to rate "Into Darkness" as a great film or Star Trek film, but like I said I think it is a good Star Trek Movie (for the fans), my first impression.
5) Star Trek III… Should have something to do with this war between the Federation and the Klingons. I would like to see maybe how they handle the V’ger storyline. They could also do "Balance of Terror" but do it TWOK style where it is just them, like WWII story-style/trapped in a sub. How they portrayed it in TWOK. At the end McCoy does "something" to save the ship but in turn gets sick and they end up at the planet where "The City on the Edge of Forever" McCoy jumps into the portal where Kirk and Spock Follow, end credits and there you have a set up for Star Trek IV...
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)