STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS - Grading & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Agent Richard07, Apr 18, 2013.

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Grade the movie...

  1. A+

    18.7%
  2. A

    20.7%
  3. A-

    13.1%
  4. B+

    11.1%
  5. B

    8.0%
  6. B-

    4.2%
  7. C+

    5.4%
  8. C

    5.1%
  9. C-

    3.5%
  10. D+

    1.5%
  11. D

    1.6%
  12. D-

    1.3%
  13. F

    5.7%
  1. Brent

    Brent Admiral Admiral

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    Saw the movie for a third time, hehe

    I really wanted Kirk to say "Second Star to the Right..." at the end, or "Thata way"
     
  2. gornsky

    gornsky Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Just wanted to say that while I had a much more positive reaction to the movie (probably, because it gets better on repeated viewings) I thoroughly enjoyed your detailed and thoughtful review.

    I think this is probably where I diverge from many other fans. I'm not sure why, but I never expected this Khan to be a carryover from the original. I expected it to be a reinterpretation, the same as all the other characters.

    So once BC was announced as the villain (whom I assumed could very well turn out to be Khan) I was just fascinated to see what he would do with it. What he gave us was, as you say, a mesmerising, reptilian, contained performance. I loved how everything he did had such economy -- of speech, of movement. While Montalban's Khan was expansive and exaggerated and larger than life, Cumberbatch's Khan was just... still. Like a snake under a rock...coiled and ready to strike. Truly, I enjoyed both performances and have no issue with "whitewashing" or whatever other disappointments are consuming fandom.

    I will concede that this Khan didn't need to be Khan. He could have been any other superhuman character with a grudge. But the Khan aspect seems to have been driven by the need to hook an audience's interest and expectation. Movies, unlike TV episodes, are often sold to the GP based on their similarity to something else that the potential audience can identify with. In this, Khan did his job before Cumberbatch ever walked into a scene, by cranking up the hype ahead of the film. I accept the commercial reality of that choice.

    I actually thought this was an extraordinarily well-paced movie. It was densely-packed with character and action sequences, and we didn't rest for long before heading off again, but I was surprised at how consistently engrossing it was.

    But if you listen, it's not Khan's technology Marcus wants to exploit, it's his intellect combined with his savagery. Marcus thinks this kind of strategic aggression has effectively been bred right out of Starfleet. He's concerned about the active aggressions of the Klingons and thinks the Federation can only counter with benign diplomats and ships of exploration. He's after a warrior brain.

    Even so, it beggers belief that Khan could come up to speed with modern technology enough to be useful -- but that was an attribute posited in "Space Seed". Khan awoke from sleep, ran through the Enterprise's computer banks in a day and then knew enough to take over the entire ship. Imagine what he could do in 365 days.

    Completely agreed with all your other insights, especially the character notes that were "fixed" from the '09 outing and the fact that these actors/characters are really starting to forge their own destiny and are growing to be a fitting (and endearing) echo of their original counterparts. And because I think I am primarily a fan of Star Trek because of the characters, overlaid with a positive future and the mythical "hero's journey", I think that's why I came away so satisfied.
     
  3. Lowdarzz

    Lowdarzz Captain Captain

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    I saw Star Trek Into Darkness yesterday and while it was a better effort than ST09, it was still a retread of old ground and didn't hold my attention for long once it ended. A film I think is particularly good will stay in my conscious thoughts for a time but the moment I left the theater my mind was elsewhere.

    Pine gave a better performance this time around. Kudos to Cumberbatch for his performance as well but I found Montalban's more memorable. Of course that could just be the nostalgia factor kicking in. There was nothing truely noteworthy about the performances of any of the other members of the cast. Urban was still spot on but his McCoy got nothing to do but make quips and test the Khan blood macguffin that the audience already knew would work.

    The cutting and pasting of scenes from Wrath of Khan took me out of the film completely. Honesty it felt like Harve Bennett, Jack Sowards and Nick Meyer should've gotten some sort of screen credit. Additionally, Pine's Kirk and Quinto's Spock have known each other for less than a year in this continuity and that made it impossible for me to believe in thier emotional goodbye. Kirk and Spock knew each other for over twenty years in TWOK. I buy it there.

    While not a great film, it certainly wasn't terrible. The story was standard, the effects were standard, the pacing was standard for a summer movie. I'll give it a C.
     
  4. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    tmosler, I've now seen what I believe is this identical post in at least three threads today, possibly four. That might be considered spamming, and I'd like to ask you not to do it any more - I've got plenty to read, as things are.

    Rather than pasting the same post in multiple threads, try picking one thread which will be the best fit for your post and putting it there; if you need to refer to it in others, a link to the original post will suffice.
     
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just an observation on some of the comments I've read: I don't know where people keep coming up with this idea of superman Khan wanting to wipe out less perfect humans...the whole eliminate that which is imperfect is Nomad's bailiwick, after all. Khan just was super ambitious and thought his superiority meant his kind was meant to rule.

    OldSpock showing up was my big eye-roll moment of the movie. He didn't tell Spock anything that helped.
     
  6. lawman

    lawman Commander Red Shirt

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    I give the movie a C-. I liked STID better than ST09, but to put that in context I absolutely loathed ST09.

    Background here: I've been a Trek fan since I first discovered TOS in syndication as a kid. A lot of this thread has batted around the question of "what does it mean to say something is 'real' Star Trek?" Aside from the obvious but trivial intellectual property sense (i.e., if Paramount brands it as Trek, it's Trek), that's an unavoidably subjective question. To me, real Trek is the original series and the TOS movies. Everything else is a spin-off, and although I've enjoyed some of those spin-offs to various degrees, the TOS characters and concepts are the heart and soul of Star Trek.

    So when JJA gave us a dumbed-down, hyperkinetic knock-off of those characters and concepts in ST09, well, suffice it to say I was disappointed. Some of the acting was good (Karl Urban in particular really evoked his antecedent, as everyone seems to agree), and the effects were good (but that's par for the course with a big Hollywood budget and CGI), but everything else about it aggressively insulted my intelligence.

    By comparison, when I left STID, my main impression was "that felt almost like a real Star Trek story, except stupider."

    In the discussions here I've read some really thoughtful criticisms, from Lapis Exilis and ConRefit79 among others; and I've also seen some surprisingly stubborn resistance to criticism and a lot of defenses along the lines of "this is what Trek is now, this is what it takes to make a movie succeed, so if you don't like it you're just out of step." I don't buy that.

    I went in with pretty low expectations, and from the start the picture lived down to them, with the whole Nibiru sequence that piled aggressive stupidities and unanswered questions one atop another. (Why did the ship need to be underwater? How did they get it there without being seen in the first place, and how were they planning to leave? Why did any crewmembers need to infiltrate the locals in person? If someone had to do that, why the captain and doctor? If the nuEnterprise is as huge as it's purportedly supposed to be, how the heck did Kirk and McCoy swim down to that entry hatch unassisted, given the depths involved? How can a single volcano possibly pose a threat to an entire planet? [Instantly evoking: a single supernova threatening the galaxy. :rolleyes:] If such a threat does exist, in what way, shape, or form could a suitcase-sized "cold fusion device" possibly do anything to mitigate it? Since when have the transporters ever required line-of-sight access to work? Why are we still saddled with the philosophically indefensible TNG-era interpretation of the Prime Directive? And so forth.)

    The picture gradually improved after that, though. I still found myself questioning several creative choices (modern military-style brimmed hats on Starfleet uniforms? Really?), and some plot elements seemed to be there just to provide excuses for "yet another action sequence" (e.g., why would protocol specify the exact meeting room Starfleet brass would use? Why would that room be in an exposed skyscraper with, apparently, no shields or security systems nor any emergency beam-out capacity? Why would Harrison, after operating behind the scenes, put himself at risk by perpetrating a personal attack in a one-man vessel?). And I thought Pike's death was handled rather cheaply.

    *But* OTOH I liked the political allegory that was set up in terms of Marcus's plan to take out Harrison without due process, and moreover to do so from a distance using drones (excuse me, torpedoes) in blithe disregard for the sovereignty of another nation (excuse me, planet). This is the kind of thing that real Trek always did well. And when Kirk finally got his head out of his ass, in the wake of his very out-of-character confrontation with Scotty, and made the command decision to go in and apprehend Harrison alive rather than nuking him from a distance (and risking a war to boot), that was the first time I got a glimpse of Pine's character maturing into the real Kirk, the Kirk we once knew, as opposed to an immature and impulsive jerk who relies on luck, as he was throughout ST09 and as Pike had accurately accused him of being.

    After that it had its ups and downs for a while, but at least kept things relatively interesting. The brig confrontation with Harrison was a high point, not just because it was a relatively rare scene that made time for actual extended conversation but especially thanks to Cumberbatch's acting, even if the revelation of him as Khan fell somewhat flat — as others have noted, if he doesn't resemble the original Khan in either appearance or temperament, and doesn't share the same motivating backstory, or indeed much of one at all, then there was really no reason to make him Khan as opposed to, say, Joachim or even Garth of Izar. (Even the "familiar name to general audiences" rationale doesn't make sense, since the PTB went to such lengths *not* to publicize the character's identity.) I also liked the prospect of Kirk and Khan working together, and I really wish that had played out longer, rather than having Khan revert to stereotypical wild-eyed maniacal villain mode. However, the intership action sequence involving them getting aboard the Vengeance was interminable, and really seemed like something written just to provide an excuse for 3D effects, or perhaps a video game.

    It was downhill after that, unfortunately, as the film degenerated into standard "Hollywood action movie" tropes. Outer-space chase sequence and shootout... yawn. Falling from moon to Earth... yawn (and as others have noted, there's no way it could happen remotely as fast as depicted under the influence of gravity alone; and moreover if the ship's autogravity was off as it tumbled, the crew on board should have been in freefall, not falling this way and that between decks). And then the TWOK-evoking death sequence... excruciating, with no emotional effect except to forcibly remind me of how the same scene had been done better before. And apparently Earth (including Starfleet HQ) still has no air defenses of its own, despite the Narada attack the previous year. Big city-destroying crash... totally gratuitous. Spock deciding to chase down Khan one-on-one... totally stupid (and apparently Earth has no law-enforcement authorities on the ground, either). The fistfight aboard the flying what-were-those-things-anyway-that-looked-like-they-belonged-in-Star-Wars was (yet again) clichéd and interminable. And while it was nice to at least have a denouement (I'm always surprised how many movies today just dispense with that entirely and end right after the climax), it felt both predictable and tacked-on.

    Other general criticisms? The transporters were once again useless whenever they were actually needed, for the flimsiest of reasons (yet somehow Marcus was able to use them right through the Enterprise's shields). Warp travel is still being treated as instantaneous, even more so than in ST09; being only minutes away from the Klingon homeworld makes no sense whatsoever. It was annoying to see the Enterprise interiors festooned with bridges and catwalks that seem to serve no purpose except to give people something to fall off of during a crisis. The blood-based life-restoring serum joins "transwarp beaming" as a miracle technology that fundamentally alters and undermines the whole foundation of the Trek universe, or would if it were taken seriously. And the story outline in its broadest terms has way too many elements (Enterprise is ambushed and outgunned by much larger enemy ship, limps back to Earth, saves planet by defeating the villain with his own superweapon) that seem like a rehash of ST09.

    Another poster summed it up best, I think, by calling it "a Star Trek-flavored action movie." But it doesn't measure up to the best Star Trek, not by a long shot, nor does it measure up to the best action movies. Regardless of how much money it makes, regardless of whether or not it creates new fans, what this franchise desperately needs in order to work creatively is smarter writing, nothing more and nothing less.
     
  7. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think Kirk says it.
     
  8. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Spock says it, actually. He refers to Khan's goals as "the mass genocide of any being [he] find to be less than superior."
     
  9. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Right, thanks!!

    And you know the augments in ENT set about doing that as well. I think they are bred to see non augmented beings as obstacles and useless clutter.
     
  10. gornsky

    gornsky Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    It's from the movie itself. Before NuSpock beams over Khan's crew, he asks Khan what he'll do with them. Khan says he'll continue his "work" and Spock says, that as he understands it, his work is the mass genocide of any beings he finds to be less than superior (which is, apparently, the information he got from Spock Prime).

    You'll remember that the audience's view on that exchange was cut off mid conversation.
     
  11. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Also it prompted nuSpock to take the human popsicles out of the torpedoes and assume Khan would show no mercy to them. PrimeSpock reinforced to nuSpock the calibre of his enemy.

    Admittedly he was suspicious already and that prompted the call
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  12. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    Obviously some people are. Does that mean that anything that's too old shouldn't be discussed and critiqued ?

    I was under the impression that Power is what Khan wanted in the original timeline.

    And... I really don't like using "NuSomething" to describe the new timeline. It's so inelegant.
     
  13. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes the Khan of Space Seed certainly wanted power. It is distracting that now he wants to kill everyone but maybe he just intends to kill everyone not useful. So if you're going to make a nice mule in his brave new world of super beings you get to stay. The augments in ENT are lashing out, they're young and their leaders reaction to not getting the power he wants is to kill people.. he was no Khan, but he was barely an adult.

    As to the Nu, I think it followed on from the term NuBSG. I think it's cute myself.
     
  14. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    nuKhan has been dumbed down as well. Khan's plans were a lot more complex than just committing mass genocide, he's not Hitler.

    In the new timeline, apparently every villains seeks vengeance and wants to kill everyone else.
     
  15. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Nailed it, exactly. A Better story with the same cast, effects , and even director would have made a big difference. The problem also is you have to at least respect what has come before, but give us exciting new stories, not retreads. And please bring back the optimism of old trek, Fans all of a sudden say that notion is quaint, I say that notion is what kept Trek Going for 50 years, and it is needed as much today, if not more, than it was needed 50 years ago.
     
  16. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Everybody is so quick to Dismiss Star Trek V, but I would go back and watch that before watching into Darkness. At Least in Trek V they got the Trio of Kirk, Spock and Mccoy Right. The Feeling of Family was right on in that film. That movie had it's problems, the effect were stilted by a non -existant budget, the story was also gimped by the budget, There was still too much insistance on Humor and especially Scotty suffered in the film by using his as Comic Relief, fans bitched about that then and now are alright that Simon Pegg's Scotty is suffering the same fate.
     
  17. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    This Khan did not want to kill everyone else.
    I suggest you watch the movie again.
     
  18. Kirby

    Kirby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I gave it a B as a movie in general. I was entertained for 2 hours, and left the theater in a good mood.
    If I were to rank all of the Trek movies, it was probably somewhere in the middle of the pack.
     
  19. cabby

    cabby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Its referring to death. Spock prepares for the experience when he is in the volcano in a dispassionate manner. Then later experiences death with Pike, who goes "into darkness". Finally, Kirk makes the journey but is saved by god mode blood.
     
  20. gornsky

    gornsky Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I'm curious. Do you have this same complaint about The Motion Picture or The Wrath of Khan.

    That's funny, because walking out of this movie was the most optimistic I have felt about Trek since Wrath of Khan.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013