Why Is "Into Darkness" So Hated?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by TedShatner10, May 20, 2022.

  1. TedShatner10

    TedShatner10 Commodore Commodore

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    Why is this film so despised and received historical revision as a "failure"?

    I find Into Darkness no more unenjoyable than The Search For Spock and Generations in the broad scheme of things and it's not objectively the tire fire that The Final Frontier, Insurrection, and Nemesis are.

    It was a solid box office success and garnered OK reviews, and is another victim of fanboi groupthink when it had a rather derivative and contrived Act III that hurts it on rewatch.

    I just find it a "Eh?" movie at worst with its weaker parts and the nerd rage it provokes as completely hilarious (like with Prometheus, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi).
     
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  2. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Commodore Commodore

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    I don't despise it but I consider it a flawed film. It has some nice performances and looks great. The story is okay but I don't think it's as focused as it thinks it is.
     
  3. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Everyone remembers the awful "Khaaaaan!" scream and insists the entire film is a Wrath of Khan rip-off because it's got 2 of the same characters and one reversed death scene.

    It was The Last Jedi before The Last Jedi. And like The Last Jedi, it's awesome.
     
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  4. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't hate Into Darkness at all. I just don't think it's a relatively strong movie in the franchise.

    The issues I have with it that keep it from being higher on my list are:

    1. The plot is extremely convoluted and in some cases, fairly nonsensical. It reminds me a bit of Mission Impossible 2, where the action and pace are such that it masks the fact that not a whole lot makes sense if you think about it too much.
    2. The ending act of the movie is really bad. I can't stand pretty much everything after Kirk "dies." Everything before that is good (and even great in some parts), but the chase between Spock and Khan, and the conflict on the floating barge (punches, punches, punches, endless punches) with Uhura beaming down to shoot Khan into submission (phasers, phasers, phasers) is dizzying and actually extremely unpleasant.
    3. I always say that ID reminds me of a really intense carnival ride where you have a ton of fun being on it for a while, then realize at the end that it's making you sick and you desperately want to get off....and when you do, you vomit.

    But, there are some brilliant set pieces and some truly great character moments and performances by the cast in this film. I definitely am NOT in the camp of thinking that it's a "TWOK remake" or any other such thing, either...because it's clearly not.

    It's far from a dud. I rewatch it frequently. But it's not one of my favorites.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2022
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  5. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Just a hunch, but I suspect the majority of those expressing that sentiment are people who decided well ahead of the film's release -- based on advance reports and fan polls which were neither especially accurate nor particularly honest -- that they "hated" it so much that they never, in fact, got around to seeing it at all.

    Not everyone was knocked out by "Into Darkness" and it has been the subject of some reasoned criticism, but I don't think most who sat down and watched it through would say they hated it.

    Telling clue: Anyone still insisting, at this late date, that the movie is a ripoff of "The Wrath of Khan" has never seen more of it than a single 2-minute excerpt (if even that much.)
     
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  6. TedShatner10

    TedShatner10 Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, because of that, I find most YT angry critiques of NuTrek to be far too boilerplate (I mean even Lower Deck's art direction was a red rag in front of a certain section of fandom).
     
  7. Airmandan

    Airmandan Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the whole fiasco with the director trying to play off the John Harrisson character ticked people off. Everyone said he was going to be Khan, the producers tried to say he's a brand-new character. But then he turns out to be Khan and they tried to make it seem like they were so clever about it. I wouldn't say it was a rip off, but a terrible homage to WOK. The premise of the movie was about consequences, and they did a very good job with that in the first half but slacked in the second half. forget the whole Khan storyline and you'd have had a much tighter storyline. Wasting the talents of Alice Eve to pretty much the underwear shot was an insult to the actor and the character.
     
  8. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

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    I just thought it was a bit of a mess. I don't think the Khan reveal helped the movie. If he just remained John Harriman and given a different MacGuffin for motivation, nothing about the story would be significantly changed. And don't get me started on the magic blood. And, yes, while I realize that the direct comparisons to The Wrath of Khan are minimal, the "Khaaaaan!" scene is just dreadful. It's a wink-wink-nudge-nudge at the audience, which isn't necessarily a bad thing if it's handled well, which it wasn't here.

    I kind of feel the same way about similar wink-wink-nudge-nudge moments in Picard season 2.

    I had my issues with the punk on the bus, but I got a laugh out of it anyway, so that makes up for a lot. By the time Rios said that he was "from Chile and only worked in outer space", I felt that hit the limit on that particular kind of fan service.


     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
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  9. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

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    WOK ending with Spock "dead" unresolved until he gets back together in SFS :vulcan:was disappointing for me. I liked the "Khan blood" saving Kirk immediately after his "death" resolved in the one film STID:beer:.
     
  10. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

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    I feel just the opposite. It's the anticipation after sitting on a cliffhanger for 2 years that gets me into the theater on opening night.
     
  11. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Same. I have largely outgrown most cliffhangers and find the tired, trite and cliche unless handled quite well.

    Kirk's being alive at the end of STID doesn't undo his choice at all.
     
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  12. Firebird

    Firebird Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Into Darkness has aged a bit better for me than 2009 mainly because it doesn't stretch my suspension of disbelief as much as Kirk jumping from third-year cadet to Captain in two hours and the silliness that was Red Matter. It also didn't have a writer's strike getting in the way of tweaking the script during production, either, which certainly helps.
     
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  13. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    The thing that bothers me is that the beginning is really strong. It's dealing with topical issues, the characters are in tough situations, intensity is building and then things start to lose traction as the get to Qo'noS, bolts start rattling out of the frame when Khan dramatically reveals that his true name is "Khan" to shrugs of mild confusion from Kirk and Spock, and then everything flies apart we get to the radiation-room remake section. I was already sinking into my chair, the laughter at Spock shouting really just sealed the deal (and this was the two-days-ahead-of-time preview screening, these are people who were predisposed to like the movie; I've still got the glow-in-the-dark poster on my wall!).

    Your other bad Trek movies, your Final Frontiers, your Nemesi (which I maintain is underrated, but, still), they have a consistent level of under-achievement throughout their runtime. They do not suddenly get worse halfway through after you've sent thirty, forty, fifty minutes genuinely thinking this might be the best Star Trek movie yet. The strong start is what makes it worse. It's the same reason I stopped watching Discovery at the end of the second season and still haven't been able to work myself up to catch up, I thought things were really going well... and then they weren't. I'd be much more willing to stick with something that didn't (apparently) blunder into greatness only to blunder right back out of it again and leave me disappointed.
     
  14. donners22

    donners22 Commodore Commodore

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    It’s way over the top. It would be a better film if he wasn’t Khan, and the mirroring of the radiation death scene took me out it on a first viewing (though I think it’s quite well performed, aside from the Khan scream).

    Overall though it has a lot to like - I love the opening London scene and Pike dressing down Kirk in particular.

    It’s not the best, and may have wasted some potential, but it’s not remotely the worst Trek film. I went to both fan and general screenings where it got great receptions.
     
  15. dupersuper

    dupersuper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's a horrible retread of a much better movie. Nemesis is the only Trek movie I like less.
     
  16. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

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    I remember for the most part really enjoying it. It was gripping and engaging and the relentless pace just never gave up.I loved the cast and visually it’s stunning. But I kind of never feel like I want to rewatch this one. It left a bad taste in the mouth.

    Where it falls apart is the ending with Kirk’s “death”. It’s just totally misconceived and it’s attempt to mirror TWOK fall horribly flat. Spock screaming “KHAAAAAAAANN!!” is one of the worst few seconds of Star Trek ever created, if not THE worst. It was meant to be taken seriously but seemed like a parody. Let’s face it, most moviegoers will have forgotten about or likely never seen TWOK, so they wouldn’t have been too bothered by this, but for fans it was a struggle to reconcile. I get the feeling the writers thought they were being genius, but in reality they needed a glass of water over their faces.

    The “John Harrison” nonsense was also a bad move. In fact, I wish this hadn’t been Khan at all, but a new villain. Benedict Cumberbatch was amazing—that rumbling bass voice.
     
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  17. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Or maybe this is revisionist history, since its clear that they took Spock’s sacrifice and Kirk emotional outburst from TWOK. And intended to further suggest that this was their take on TWOK by including Khan and Carol Marcus as characters. They even had a space battle where the Enterprise battles a Federation vessel, even though the vessel in ID was unregistered. TWOK was blatantly the inspiration for this film.

    At the end of the day, its clear that Khan – particularly the writing for him - really is the weak link of the film. All the weak parts of ID involved Khan.

    Rewatching Khan talk to the dad of the sick girl at the beginning of the film further highlighted this weak writing. Khan speaks to the distressed, desperate dad. He then takes all day to draw his own blood and store a vial of it in a container with an explosive device presumably stolen from Section31. Why did it take Khan all day to draw his own blood? It doesn’t even take all day for someone to drawn their own blood now! And if he didn’t take all day, then what was he doing with his free time and why was he taking his sweet time to deliver his magic blood to the family?

    Then there is the reveal that he is in fact Khan instead of remaining as the more interesting John Harrison, and that Khan just goes along with being the villain, even though its much more ambiguous this time around that he himself is the villain. Admiral Marcus is the clear villain of the film and once he dies, Khan seamlessly takes the mantle. He doesn’t even point out that Kirk betrays him in the Vengeance. He just goes with it. Its around this point that the movie completely falls apart. Before then, it was a strong film.

    And his magic blood; the issue is not because blood therapy isn’t real, but what it implies about Khan in the prime universe and all the research that could have been done in Starfleet Medical on it. There are a lot of red shirt deaths that could be undone. The death of Scotty’s nephew could be undone. Tasha Yar’s death could have been undone. Prime timeline Kirk’s death in GEN could be undone, as could Joe Carey's in VOY. Research the properties of Khan’s blood, and the Federation could make blood that resurrects Spock without the Genesis planet or Jadzia Dax or K’mpec. A Federation rival could make their own version of Khan's magic blood and revive Duras, Gowron or Shinzon. Give it to a time traveller, or allow it to be used as a weapon in the Temporal Cold War, and a bunch of historical figures that died have their deaths reverse and screws with the timeline in general. Even someone like Edith Keeler or Gabriel Bell could get revived thanks to Khan’s blood. Why not go back in time to earlier in the film and save Pike’s life with it? Or the first Kelvin film to save Robau? Theoretically, old age can be conquered too, so someone like Archer could live for centuries. Maybe that’s why Archer’s still around in ST’09. And let’s not get into how it affects the entire series of Picard. This revelation regarding Khan’s blood is timeline breaking and much more significant than how its played in the film.

    The only time Khan is written strongly is in those series of Disruption videos to hype up ID.







    Imagine if they had saved this as dialogue in the film! It works for both John Harrison and Khan.

    No one had complaints about Admiral Marcus. No one had complaints about Carol Marcus aside from her underwear scene, of which I wasn’t one of those critics. If they had left the shower scene with Khan in the film, I would have been fine with that too. There were some complaints of how the Klingons looked when they took their helmets off, particular that they were wearing jewelry. But no one complained that they had ridges at all.

    Everything boils down to turning the film into a retread of Khan and TWOK. We learn nothing about his childhood in India prior to the Eugenics Wars – that is left in the Khan comics. We don’t see him struggle to remember that his real identity is Khan either while being John Harrison – that too is left in the comics. And they disregard John Harrison has an interesting character on his own, and leave his planned backstory of being one of the survivors on Tarsus IV in the Kelvinverse on a Star Trek app. Even though it would have made for a great role reversal having witness the disaster on Tarsus IV shaping the man John Harrison becomes instead of shaping Kirk.

    And its not like Cumberbatch did a terrible job playing Khan. But if Cumberbatch was playing another character he is famous for playing, Dr Strange, or a wizard based off of Dr. Strange in the film, it would have made for a much more interesting and fun film to watch. And would have showed that the reboot films are committed to fresh ideas.

    Ignore everything about Khan after the reveal midway through the movie, and it’s a strong movie with a good soundtrack to it.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
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  18. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    JLawOKgif.gif
     
  19. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  20. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Some complaints about the movie centre on Khan's backstory, I'm struggling to see how. Robert April is now black, Chief Kyle is Asian, Colt is an alien in Disco/SNW continuity. And Into Darkness is explictly an alternate timeline. As Picard's second season shows, the future affects the present affects the past, so "Time's Arrow" never happened in PIC S2's 2024. Khan Prime's augmentations may have differed from KelvinKhan's, or perhaps just never been discovered/used in TOS.
     
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