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"Captain, we have a copy of a similar mission in our DVD archives!"

  • May 17, 2013
Star Trek (2009) re-ignited the Trek world and set it on fire.  Loved it or hated it, no one can deny what a reboot and shot in the arm it was for what was a tired series.  The worst thing that it could be said about it was that it lacked the feeling of mankinds place in the galaxy which the older Treks at least attempted and that film was just a colorful action blast.

Star Trek Into Darkness which is the follow up is certainly a sequel with characters shouting over each other, flashy effects, the textured uniforms, lens flares and it cranks up the action at the cost of even more of the film smarts and elements that made the first movie more memorable.  These two movies are very much akin to the new Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes movies.  The first is fun and inventive, the second one more action and not quite the adventure and even worse the second film is not going to win over people who didn't like the first film.

The movie has Kirk and company interfering with a planets activities-interfering in a way that saved millions of lives on the planet but could affect the way the inhabitants will grow now knowing about the existence of other species in the galaxy.  Right away this movie starts on a wrong foot with the Prime Directive argument.  I have no idea why Star Trek started to make it sound like allowing mass murder was okay.  "You had no right to save all those people, this is what was intended for them, to die horribly!" 

ANYWAY, the incident gets Kirk in hot water with Admiral Pike who lectures Kirk about humility and integrity as far as following the rules goes.  At this time, a mysterious man has just destroyed an archive and later an attack is led on Starfleet HQ which leaves several Officers dead.  Kirk is enraged and volunteers to apprehend the man responsible who has escaped into Klingon space.  Admiral Marcus agrees, but not before giving Kirk some questionable orders to follow once he gets there.  En Route and with time to think Kirk realizes that more and more of what is going on is suspect.  Getting his hands on the man responsible for the crimes on Earth, we learn that the man is more then Kirk realized and everything is just as suspect as Kirk thought.

NOW. A SPOILER: For the story and I do not want to give much away but Benedict Cumberbatch is the villain and he is reprising Khan and captures the passion of the character well.  What doesn't mesh well is that Kirk and he work together, then apart, then again and apart.  Kirk and Khan working together just felt SO wrong, alternate storylines or not.  That however pales in comparison to what is absolutely shameless homages done with the favorite Wrath of Khan film.  Nothing subtle at ALL.  Kirk and Spock are seperated in one key scene, a countdown to doom, villian with his own ship, Enterprise attacked and in trouble and oh yes a famous yell in a scene I could only facepalm at.

Where the homages stop though, the most stupid moments happen in the film.  Kirk is the only one who can pick up a rifle and fight back during the attack on Starfleet HQ no matter how many security men show up and there are no other Starfleet shuttles or fighters to help.  The biggest one has to be Kirk facing down an enemy Dreadnaught with a faulty warp drive and Kirk decides to run away.  Sure enough it doesn't work too well.  You can say it plays into Kirks impulsive seat of his pants style, and I'll say it's still stupid.  Very rarely am I able to pick apart a movie AS I'M watching it rather then take it in and have fun, but this movie wasn't enough fun and let me think too long.  Holy hell a good chunk of the film is taken from the Wing Commander IV PC game, and that had Mark Hamill in it.

Highly illogical to remake The Wrath of Khan, especially considering Star Trek tried a similar approach with Nemesis 10 years ago and that movie wasn't quite as shameless.  Oh and Leonard Nimoy alert, he makes another appearance to kill a moment of the movie when the action is already rolling and is really lame and I can't believe I'm putting down a Leonard Nimoy appearance.

The good is the actors all came back and are still playing they're roles well and Benedict Cumberbatch has the most hissably evil voice for Khan.  His job is to make Khan devious and a threat without parroting Ricardo Montalban's performance.  Peter Weller is fine as a warmongering Admiral but he telegraphs being up to no good a lightyear away.  I'll chock that one up to lame writing.  Production is great and while the ship still looks like the iPod store, the lens flares are toned down and the beer brewery sets are mostly changed with more sets that would look like a spaceship.

Star Trek Into Darkness is a big buildup to a movie that we were already familiar with and have seen a better version of before.  Sure it's flashy and fun but you've seen it before and not as stupid or illogical.

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June 07, 2013
I enjoyed your review. I can see all of your points clearly here, but I enjoyed this film quite a bit.
June 08, 2013
A lot of people are and I am in the minority on this one. This isn't a BAD movie and it's certainly better then some of the others, but I can't rate it any higher then I did. Thank you.
May 23, 2013
Dude I have to agree That Khan scream was totally unnecessary, and out of character.
May 21, 2013
Great catch on the prime directive thing! I wanted to kind of elaborate on that but I haven't seen the series (both original and Next Gen) in awhile. I saw a lot of the same issues too, but then, I was able to tolerate it more than you could. I guess you are more of a fan and I have to admit you probably forgot more about this franchise than I will ever know. Nice work!
May 21, 2013
The Prime Directive started innocently enough with TOS with a mention here and there about how important it is that Star Fleet NOT invade other cultures so that natural progression is not influenced by outside forces. But later on, they took it to extremes with other examples not seen in this movie-that saving hundreds of thousands or millions is inexcusable if it can be seen as interferance. Another web reviewer SFDebris talked about this in great deal on his own website with great arguments such as "If you see a child trapped in a car that is on fire, do you try and save them, or let them die because it was the right thing to do" and "The character who points at a piece of paper and says "I can't help you" is not the hero of you're story." The TNG episode Pen Pals goes over in a mature way what the Prime Directive is about and why it is important.
May 21, 2013
TheJohn, how do they know that their interference on the planet could cause some other unforeseen consequences. Remember Edith Keeler in City on the Edge of Forever? Kirk and Spock have to prevent McCoy from saving Edith Keeler or the Germans will win WWII (true it is Earth but still the saving of a life could have a butterfly effect on a planet).
May 22, 2013
The PM wouldn't apply cause it was Kirk and Spock repairing damage McCoy had done on they're own planet (well half in Spock's case). Keeler WAS supposed to die and by allowing her to live, it altered things drastically. As far as letting the natives in the opening scene die cause the only way to save them was to violate the prime directive is ridiculous. While you may never know what the results of what actions may happen, such as the race growing to become brutal conquerors or peace bringing benevolants. Logic would state that a peace keeping force of good in the galaxy would WANT to save who they can and use justification to work to a solution where they can say YES in times of peril, and not look for a reason to say NO.
May 23, 2013
Reminds me of an episode of Enterprise where Archer wanted to give a cure for a disease to the population of a planet, but Phlox wouldn't let him because the other population was evolving into the dominant species. Phlox was like "they shouldn't play God" and interfere with the natural development of a planet. Archer eventually agreed. That episode kinda left a sour taste in my mouth. Personally do whats right, thats me. The Prime Directive can be a pain some times though.
May 23, 2013
That episode (Dear Doctor) sucks majorly because of that aspect. It's hard to get behind a hero that okays letting people die.
June 06, 2013
I actually like that Enterprise episode a lot. The point wasn't just that Phlox would let people die, but rather that intervening would have altered the course of evolution on the planet (one species of intelligent life supplanting another). It would be like if somebody came to Earth 50,000 years ago and decided to help the Neanderthals against us humans.
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About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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A good portion of Trekkies (or Trekkers, depending on one's level ofStar Trekobsession) have special affection for episodes of the original TV series that related to Earth and other-Earth cultures visited by the crew of theEnterprise, version 1.0. Some of the shows unfolded in distorted forms of the past, some in the present day ofStar Trek's future reality. Director J.J. Abrams recognized the importance of this relationship in his origin-story reboot of the franchise in 2009, and inStar Trek Into Darknesshe has made it an even greater touchstone to the roots ofStar Trekcreator Gene Roddenberry's defining philosophy from nearly 50 years ago. The human home world is key to the plot of this spectacularly bold leap intoStar Treklore, which cleverly continues along the alternate path that was established as separate from the "original"Star Trekuniverse in Abrams's first whiz-bang crack at advancing the mythology. But it's not just Earth that is cool and imperiled in this rendering of adventure in the 23rd century;Into Darknessalso plays with the original conceit that Earthlings were member to a multi-species United Federation of Planets ruled by a "Prime Directive" of noninterference with other civilizations. The conflict comes when rogue elements in the Earth-based Starfleet Command hunger to shift focus from peaceful exploration to militarization, a concept that is anathema to the crew of theEnterpriseand her ongoing mission. The new cast...
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