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Old May 16 2013, 09:04 PM   #2359
R. Star
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Re: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Just noting I have -not- read all 100 pages of this thread, so I may touch upon things already mentioned. And just in case anyone's here who hasn't seen it(though you're doing it to yourself) this post contains SPOILERS. So, all that said... here's my thoughts:

I loved the opening bit. Sure, there have been any number of similar episodes to the concept of saving a primitive race, but this was just a few minute teaser and not a whole episode and it explores the characters reactions to the Prime Direction dilemma nicely.

Which is to say... screw it. As Tom Paris sussinctly put it... "They're all going to die, anything's got to be better than that." So it comes as no surprise that the young and brash NuKirk goes along with interfering to keep the planet from going boom. Heck, even Spock logics himself into it, which I liked. Though it was rather artificial drama, of wondering "oh no Spock's gonna die!" Though even Scotty points out the bloody obvious... why the hell do you have the ship on the bottom of the ocean?! The answer being because the ship rising out of it makes for a cool shot.

So... we see something new. Consequences for breaking the Prime Directive. Even Spock narcs Kirk out. Though seriously... getting demoted back to the Academy? Is there not ANYTHING between Cadet and Captain? Though Pike really starts to worm his way into the absent father figure for Kirk, by saving his career and making him First Officer. Though that doesn't last since Harrison kills him too. Really to make the last movie less stupid they should've made Kirk Pike's first officer then, then have him inherit the captain's role in this movie. Still at least they try to retcon that a bit.

So Kirk's give his command back by yet another corrupt Starfleet Admiral... the horse is dead guys! Nice action sequences on the Klingon planet and I like that Scotty got a bigger role in this one than last time. Though Kirk's comment telling Chekov to put on the red shirt and the nameless extras doomed to death to take them all was funny. Spock and Uhura's argument was good stuff too.

So Harrison shows how badass he is then just surrenders, but quickly starts to manipulate Kirk simply by telling the truth. I do have to say though the Khan reveal was a surprise to me. I guess Abrams did a good job with keeping everyone guessing on this one. Never quite got why the other Eugenics are in the torpedoes but whatever. Even after the reveal you're kept guessing if he's really gonna betray the good guys or is something of an anti-hero.

By the way... just have to say it... I hate the concept of the USS Vengeance. Why don't we just call it the USS Evil Overlord with pictures of dead kittens painted on the hull? Still Harrison's a jerk, though his daughter's cute even if she's prone to just randomly take her clothes off for no reason. Kinda surprised there was nothing more between her and Kirk, though I guess she's kinda joined the main cast now. Gotta have a love interest for Kirk to get into trouble with next movie, right?

Spock Prime's appearance was a nice easter egg without distracting from the main story. So yeah you're pretty much rooting for Khan to just kill Marcus. Though I liked how Kirk made the first move against Khan. I wish they'd made it more ambiguous if Khan was going to betray them or not before that.

Now the ending.... Kirk sacrificing himself to save the ship. That was good stuff and the reversal of every thing was just plain eerie and powerful. I made the comment that I just can't see Pine pulling off a Khan scream once the rumor he was the villain started floating around.... well dang if Qunito can. That one gave me chills.

Beyond that... well the ending's cliche as all hell and really just wraps up WAY too quick. First, I was disappointed as all heck that "oh superhuman techobabble dna cures radiation!" that just felt like a cop out to me and really cheapened the sacrifice. Killing Kirk off, well that would've made a statement and taken a risk. Not like you can't recon that next movie with alternate timelines and realities being what they are in Trek. The Spock/Khan fight made sense. Vulcan strength vs super human. Though if they can beam down people one at a time, I dunno why they just weren't sending every redshirt they could one at a time. Still Uhura shooting Khan is a nice touch.

Overall... as I said, the ending really disappointed me. An epic sacrifice just cheapened by the reset button. Still, there was more good than bad in this one, so despite not liking the 2009 movie much, I'll give this one a B+. I really need to watch it again, because I'm sure I didn't catch all the easter eggs.
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