Looking Out To Sea

Star Trek Into Darkness a spectacle but nothing more

We saw Star Trek Into Darkness last night, the second film since Hollywood decided to restart the series by showing us young Kirk, young Spock etc, before the events of the original television series. In fact, the film ends at the beginning of the “five year mission” that is part of the opening monologue for Star Trek.

Star Trek Guys

This film was disappointing for many insubstantial reasons. Much of the scenes were lifted from previous Star Trek — if you know your lore you’ll be guessing (correctly) how scenes unfold from the opening lines. So, heavy nods to the fans on this one, but for no particular reason.

Also, the bad guys in this were a bit underdeveloped. John Harrison, the spy played by Benedict Cumberbatch (Hollywood’s English-bad-guy du jour: move over Alan Rickman), is another nod to the fans1 and a well-known character, though it’s getting to the point that some people have so many “origin stories” that they’re no longer discrete people. They are personality probability functions which depend on the observer to show something new at each moment. Some stories make full use of this — the Joker eventually made a career of lying about how he got his smile — but when everybody starts doing it the novelty quickly wears thin.

I was not angry at the story like I was angry coming away from Prometheus but they could certainly have made a more coherent tale. They spent so long in the last film bringing together the crew we know and love. This film made an inexpert attempt to drive a wedge between them but some of the premises were so hamfisted (the world’s weakest lovers’ tiff between Spock and Uhura) that I was bored of the attempts.

Who else has seen it? Any humble opinions?

  1. I’m trying not to give spoilers here so bear with me.