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Movie Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

I finally got around to seeing this movie! Yay!

Sadly, two major things had already been spoiled for me, because I know how to put two and two together. You know what that happens? Like let's say when John Cho suddenly has a lot to say about racial diversity in the media and looks a little annoyed in interviews... or when you realize that if YOU were writing an AU Khan-story, YOU'D do a reverse on the Star Trek II ending, and you think back to that trailer and realize that yeah- there WERE "prison hands" and the human-looking one was definitely coming in on too low of an angle...

But, being spoiled didn't actually ruin the movie for me. I actually kind of like it sometimes when I know what heavy-emotional stuff is coming so that I can prepare accordingly. Not that I was emotionally unaffected by what I'm calling "The Reverse Khan"... you know why Vulcans aren't allowed to cry? Because it is fuckin' HEARTBREAKING.

And man, Chris Pine really was awesome in this movie, and so was Karl Urban. I really love him as Bones, I feel like every single scene he does is a love letter to Deforest Kelly, if that makes any sense. I think Pine and Quinto are trying to do something just a little bit different than their predecessors, which is awesome and makes sense from a character standpoint (their back stories are completely different now and would therefore alter their personalities), but Bones is essentially the same guy, and Urban has managed to pull it off brilliantly.

I always forget how over the top Scotty and Chekov's accents are. They're both Brilliant. I liked what they did with Scotty. I could have used a bit more Chekov, he seemed to barely be in it. Sulu got his little moment in the captains chair and that was cool.

... so, yes, I was spoiled for who Benedict was playing as well as The Reverse Khan, but you know what I wasn't spoiled for?! HOW AWESOME THE SPOCK-UHURA-KIRK THREESOME IS!!! Holy crow. How come no one told me about this? Every single scene with the tree were absolutely brilliant... I actually missed one of Kirk's lines, because I was laughing too hard at Spock's "unclear" line... seriously. You know, when I saw the first movie, I was really skeptical about the Uhura-Spock relationship, because I didn't want Uhura to be a love-interest... but it's kind of a bit like Zoe and Wash on Firefly really... I mean, it's not Uhura's SOLE purpose... and the fact of the matter is that I absolutely love how they've brought her more to the forefront and given her and Kirk this complete BFF dynamic, where he actually TELLS her how he's feeling and she drags him into their fights as a third party... and yeah, it's all pretty awesome. On the old series, and you'll have to forgive me for not having seen it for many many years, but I remember Uhura was mostly just a glorified secretary. I know she broke boundaries and did amazing things for equality and whatnot, but umm...yeah, I just remember he being the "phone girl". So, I really like that they're having her march up to Klingons and get into phaser fights and get beamed onto a movie transport so that she can stop a Vulcan from murdering someone for killing their third.

And meanwhile the Bones-Spock dynamic continues to be awesome.

Technical observations: Less lens flare!! Good job, J.J.!

As far as the other "twists" in the movie, I think I saw them coming when I was supposed to. As soon as Scotty said that he didn't know what was in the torpedoes, I figured that the admiral was probably a douchebag that was trying to start a war, and he was purposefully using Kirk's rage to his own advantage.

Anyway, yeah, good movie. As much as I agree with John Cho about pretty much everything he ever says, Benedict did a great job as Khan, I thought.  There were only a few moments when I got a bit jarred with him reminding me more of Sherlock, and that was mainly when he was doing his rapid fire speech on board the military ship and whatever the hell they had to do there.

What else, what else? Is that it?

Oh, let's talk about The Reverse Khan ending again. I think the original Spock's death was more hard hitting, because they actually did the whole funeral and speech and HORRIBLE FINALITY thing...whereas this one, McCoy's eyes only just start watering when that tribble breathes and he realizes that Kirk is only "mostly dead"...but that being said, I don't think this franchise needs a "Search for Kirk" and BECAUSE this death has happened before and not been final, I think we're already expecting a miracle, so you might as well wrap it all up nicely in the one movie (because with the industry and J.J. Abrams being what they are, who knows when/if we'll get a third.) So, yeah, completely forgive them for not dwelling too long in the grief, plus you get the cool RAGE!SPOCK and then the tension of how to STOP Rage!Spock from Rage!Killing.

Just, FYI, I really love how they've kind of... rejigged Spock a bit in these AUs, because his human side really comes out the way a HUMAN would, in that when they've been repressed for a long time, they erupt like the holy wrath of hell. Spock can be a vulcan all he wants, but as soon as that control slips, he's NOT a well balanced in-control human, he's just as much of a fucked up mess as Kirk. I'd actually argue that Bones is the most well-balanced among the men. Uhura, of course, is also very well balanced emotionally, which is I think why she can date Spock.

Also, did they just add another female character to the crew? That's pretty sweet. I completely forget her name now. Marcus? Wallace? Karen? Kira? Anyway, I like her cute little sixties outfit.

(Oh yeah, and gratuitous underwear scene was gratuitous, I agree, my fellow feminists... I demand all males be completely naked for the duration of the third movie as a gesture of apology.)

Anyway, I'm glad whatshername is sticking around (hopefully she's sticking around). She was pretty awesome. At first, I thought that she might be in league with the enemy, but I was happy that she wasn't. Also, her whole trying to runaway from being transported thing was kind of terrifying... I mean... what did she think would happen? YOUR MOLECULES ARE BEING REPLICATED ELSEWHERE AND YOU ARE CEASING TO EXIST WHERE YOU ARE. FOR GOD'S SAKE, STAND STILL!

So yeah... good times...



I want to watch the movie again, damn it. Mmm...well, I'm sure I'll "watch" it again in gif format on Tumblr (that's how I watch Teen Wolf). One of these days though, I'm going to have to learn not to be a cheap bastard and start buying movies again.

Anywho, let me know if you want to discuss anything in comments! There will be spoilers galore of course, so don't go into comments unless you want to be spoilered for the movie or you've already seen it.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Jun. 6th, 2013 10:47 am (UTC)
Ah-ha! I just saw it this past weekend, and everyone else is past it :)

I kind of knew that Cumberbatch was Khan, but that's all, so the reverse death scene totally blew my mind, even though as soon as Kirk went into the radiation chamber I knew that's what the random tribble blood injection was for.

As an old-time Trekker, I really appreciated the plot reversal and I am totally impressed with how much the writers of this knew their Trek canon in order to put in little acknowledgements of it all over, as well as subvert it as well! Actually my first reaction afterwards was to wonder how come these filmmakers could faithfully use nearly 50 years of canon, some of it from before some of them were born, and SPN writers mess up their own 8 seasons' worth :(

I was happy with the fact that the special effects were secondary to the character development! And it was a non-stop action movie, which I like, but still had the necessary quiet moments to get me emotionally involved.

All together, I put it on my top 10 personal favorites, and my #2 Trek movie ever. (My first is First Contact--Picard reconfronts the Borg. BTW my #1 all time favorite movie is Galaxyquest, which if you haven't seen, you should. A totally loving and hilarious tribute to the Trek universe.)
hells_half_acre
Jun. 6th, 2013 08:32 pm (UTC)
I kind of knew that Cumberbatch was Khan, but that's all, so the reverse death scene totally blew my mind, even though as soon as Kirk went into the radiation chamber I knew that's what the random tribble blood injection was for.

Yeah, although I saw the reverse death scene coming, it wasn't until he was in the chamber that I realized why they had set up the medicinal properties of Khan's blood.

Actually my first reaction afterwards was to wonder how come these filmmakers could faithfully use nearly 50 years of canon, some of it from before some of them were born, and SPN writers mess up their own 8 seasons' worth :(

Well, the Trek writers had ~2 years to write ~2 hours of script before anything is even filmed (and then another year to make revisions while it's filmed). The SPN writers have 11 months to write ~16 hours of script, WHILE their script is simultaneously being filmed as soon as it's written. So, I cut them a little slack, and actually think they do a pretty damn remarkable job.

All together, I put it on my top 10 personal favorites, and my #2 Trek movie ever. (My first is First Contact--Picard reconfronts the Borg. BTW my #1 all time favorite movie is Galaxyquest, which if you haven't seen, you should. A totally loving and hilarious tribute to the Trek universe.)

Oh man, I LOVE Galaxyquest. "You have a last name, Guy." "Do I?! DO I?!?!!?"

I don't know what my favorite Trek movie ever is. I always had a real soft spot for IV, with the whales.

fannishliss
Jun. 6th, 2013 12:38 pm (UTC)
I freaking loved that movie. Holy crap. I mean, there were a lot of problems with it... but in my gut I was just thrilled.

:D :D :D

D:

:D :D

Here was my biggest thrill:

Zoe Saldana stepping out of that ship to meet those Klingons face to face. OMG, I was exploding in my seat with tears in my eyes and squee in my heart. Klingon Honor does that to me. Holy crap. Such an epic moment in the history of HOW UHURA ROCKS MORE THAN ANY OF THE ROCKING THINGS.

Yeah and Uhura pretty much rocked solid throughout the movie. Like when she showed up on that skiff and stunned the shit out of Khan??? YEAH!!! Spock was on back his going -- phaser?? Bzuh???

and did Benedict knock it right out of the park or what?

I do really have problems with casting a white man as Khan, but if they were going to make that mistake, they certainly chose the right man to go down with. Right??? [Next time, in the superior universe, can we have Naveen Andrews? Because Khan with Naveen's doe eyes would rule the world in about 3 seconds. The first time I ever saw Naveen was in his role as a Sikh in The English Patient, and when he let his hair down I almost passed out. whoosh!!]

Benedict, though, he is a MAJOR TALENT. I got the impression he was playing the EXACT SAME GUY as Sherlock, but I can handle that. I now have the back story that John Harrison is one of Mycroft's cunning schemes gone Horribly Awry. Get it -- John and Sherlock, want to have an offspring, so Harry agrees to bear their child-- but Mycroft secretly arranges for the baby to be a clone of Sherlock?? JOHN HARRY'S SON. :D his middle name is Vernet. :P

Out of time, will squee more later. ;)





fourtenpm
Jun. 6th, 2013 06:45 pm (UTC)
I kind of peed my pants, erh, shorts, when uhara said to kirk: you brought me here to talk, so let me talk! then she waled out and start to speak Klingon! Man, that is one glorious moment!
hells_half_acre
Jun. 6th, 2013 08:21 pm (UTC)
Zoe Saldana stepping out of that ship to meet those Klingons face to face. OMG, I was exploding in my seat with tears in my eyes and squee in my heart. Klingon Honor does that to me. Holy crap. Such an epic moment in the history of HOW UHURA ROCKS MORE THAN ANY OF THE ROCKING THINGS.

Agreed!!

I do really have problems with casting a white man as Khan, but if they were going to make that mistake, they certainly chose the right man to go down with. Right???

Also agreed! And as franztastische points out below, there were 72 "Khans" in the movie, maybe this time they just happened to revive the white guy this time...and there Naveen Andrews is in one of those cryo-tubes.

I now have the back story that John Harrison is one of Mycroft's cunning schemes gone Horribly Awry. Get it -- John and Sherlock, want to have an offspring, so Harry agrees to bear their child-- but Mycroft secretly arranges for the baby to be a clone of Sherlock?? JOHN HARRY'S SON. :D his middle name is Vernet. :P

Hahaha, that's pretty awesome headcanon. :P But yeah, I think there was a little bit of character bleed through, only because both Sherlock and Khan believe themselves to be superior to everyone around them, and also have to deliver a LOT of dialogue VERY quickly. But other than that, I thought they were completely different people - Khan had nothing of Sherlock's childishness or joy.

fourtenpm
Jun. 6th, 2013 03:25 pm (UTC)
I think bones line to sulu "remind me to never piss you off" is the funniest line in the whole movie.
franztastisch
Jun. 6th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry but I have to vote for "I am expressing many attitudes at once Admiral, to which are you referring?" :D
fourtenpm
Jun. 6th, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
lol, you gotta love them vulcans and their logic.
franztastisch
Jun. 6th, 2013 06:49 pm (UTC)
Indeed. :D
hells_half_acre
Jun. 6th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I loved this one too. I love how Spock can be a backtalking bastard in his own way.
franztastisch
Jun. 6th, 2013 08:19 pm (UTC)
In the best way. It's totally the best way. :D
hells_half_acre
Jun. 6th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
My funniest line is the "unclear" one - since that's the one that made me miss Kirk's next line. :P
franztastisch
Jun. 6th, 2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
I worked out that Cumbersmaug was Khan. But as I had no knowledge of who Khan was, this didn't bother me in the slightest. Learning who Khan was sort of made me sad, because yes, fantastic as Cumbersmaug is, he shouldn't be playing that character really. But then me and a friend were talking, and we thought, what if all the people in the torpedoes are called Khan? What if that's their name? Collectively? So Cumbersmaug just says he's Khan and they assume he's the same one when he's not? My friend (who knows Star Trek more than me) says that this is a relatively feasable theory, so I'm holding on to this idea until someone proves me otherwise.

But yeah, I love that film and Uhura and Chekov and Sulu and Bones but mainly Uhura, if we're honest. :D

Edited at 2013-06-06 06:33 pm (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Jun. 6th, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC)
But then me and a friend were talking, and we thought, what if all the people in the torpedoes are called Khan? What if that's their name? Collectively? So Cumbersmaug just says he's Khan and they assume he's the same one when he's not? My friend (who knows Star Trek more than me) says that this is a relatively feasable theory, so I'm holding on to this idea until someone proves me otherwise.

I had a similar thought. Because Khan was "Khan Noonien Singh" originally, so what if it's like Asian names, where they're all "Khan _ _" ... and this Khan actually never told us his full name.

Anyway, I figure this will be my headcanon too, unless told otherwise.

But yeah, I love that film and Uhura and Chekov and Sulu and Bones but mainly Uhura, if we're honest. :D

Same here. :) *draws little hearts around her*
franztastisch
Jun. 6th, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
Or Khan can be some sort of title. Khan means king after all. Anyway, totally my headcanon. Because it would be awesome.

Uhura is better than everyone.
hells_half_acre
Jun. 6th, 2013 08:22 pm (UTC)
Very true!

(about Uhura too)
etoile444
Jun. 8th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
I just saw the movie. I loved it. All I could think is that jj abrams will take care of star wars for me. That and that Kirk made me think of Dean with all his snark and son of a bitches. I liked Khan's perfect evil. Quinto's Spock is total badass. When Nimoy popped up some people in the theatre clapped. It was cute. Just everything about it was fun for me.
hells_half_acre
Jun. 8th, 2013 09:33 pm (UTC)
I agree. I'm interested to see what abrams will do with Star Wars. I still think it's success will depend largely on the screenwriters, but it's also nice to know that we won't get horribly wooden performances either.

I really wasn't expecting Nimoy to pop up in the movie, so that was a really pleasant surprise. :)
fiddler_on_roof
Jun. 9th, 2013 04:34 am (UTC)
ot3
I love that you love the ot3 goodness, would you be at all interested in my ficlet?

http://petrichorsgarden.tumblr.com/post/52114169810/love-safe-star-trek-ot3

hells_half_acre
Jun. 9th, 2013 05:43 am (UTC)
Re: ot3
Yeah, I'm a sucker for a good ot3 ;)

Nice ficlet! (constructive criticism: watch your "to" vs. "too") Oddly enough, I don't usually read Star Trek fanfic. Maybe I should start... though, I'm still in the middle of my Teen Wolf binge, so maybe I'll wait until that addiction tapers off before I possibly add another one. :P
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )