Star Trek Into Darkness
Careful! This post is looking a little old and could be inaccurate in many, many ways
Warning. If you’ve not seen the film yet then you should leave, I’m not going to be blamed for ruining your enjoyment of the film.
Star Trek Into Darkness is an almost perfectly executed movie. It has everything I expected to be included in this movie before going into the cinema, and more. Unfortunately it’s the ‘and more’ part that has irritated me most and made my first watch of this movie rather disappointing.
I say first watch because now knowing what the film is I’m sure on more viewings I will actually enjoy the movie for what it is; a remake of Wrath of Khan.
After the rebooted 2009 Star Trek was released many fans seemed to be calling out for Khan to be featured in the sequel. No matter what the movie studio said, and how they tried to hide the fact, many people expected the John Harrison character (played by Cumberbatch) to be revealed as Khan. Hell even I expected this, though hoped I was wrong.
JJ Abrams has an obsession with secrecy about some of his films, which at times improves the viewing experience. But this time the mass denial of Khan prior to this film has, in my opinion, had the opposite effect.
For non Trek fans they will watch Into Darkness with no prior knowledge to who Khan is, so the reveal of this means nothing. The uber Trekers out there might geekgasm in their pants, but they expected Khan, so no big surprise there. The secrecy adds nothing to the film and revealing Khan in the trailers may have worked to increase the hype surrounding the film.
Some say using Khan is no different than Christopher Nolan reusing The Joker in The Dark Knight; and I can see their point. Largely Into Darkness is a brand new story which includes an old villain with a slightly different back story. His reveal irked me but if that was all it was then I could have probably gotten over it.
But two scenes in particular buggered it all up. Though both had a little twist they were lifted directly from the Wrath of Khan and almost ruined the film.
The first scene involves the Khan scream, now performed by Spock. It adds nothing and just looks silly.
The second is Kirk’s death scene. You see it coming a mile off and it plays very much like the original. The rest of the film then plays out with no surprises and Kirk is saved. To say the alternate timeline created in the reboot should give us the feeling that any of the main cash could die there is a distinct lack of peril. To lose any of the core cast would be a big loss but I think one has to be for the chop next time out. Given the cast only signed on for three movies this isn’t a stretch either.
To re-use an old villain can indicate a lack of ideas, but isn’t a crime. But what the writers of Into Darkness did was lift scenes directly from the original that beat you round the head multiple times rather than give a subtle wink to the fans. Wrath of Khan exists and is viewed by many as one of the best. Small references can work but entire scenes are just a step too far.
Luckily the film finishes with the Enterprise beginning its five year mission into deep space. While they’re out there the writers can hopefully come up with an original story.