Thursday, May 16, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness

Hoo boy. Here we go. Earlier today, I sat down to watch Star Trek Into Darkness, and now I'm trying to process exactly what it is I saw.

Let's start with the plot. Captain James Kirk and company are back. Kirk is hoping that he'll be selected to head up a certain five year mission, one that will take him into deep space and go where no one has ever gone before. Only there's a problem. Actually, more than one. At first, the fly in the ointment is Kirk himself. He still hasn't learned how to follow the rules, much to the chagrin of his first officer, Mr. Spock. An adventure on a primitive planet threatens to derail Kirk's dreams.

But then things really go awry when a man named John Harrison attacks a Starfleet archive. But then he makes things personal for Kirk when he attacks Starfleet's leadership directly. Kirk volunteers to go after Harrison. But that's a problem. Harrison should be far out of their reach. By going after him, Kirk is committing his crew to delve into darkness and they'll all be fortunate to emerge unscathed.

I had a really fun time watching this movie. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto embody their characters to the fullest (Quinto especially; it's eerie). Those two are definitely the heart and soul of the movie and they are more than capable of carrying the franchise forward. The action sequences were great, the plot had plenty of twists and turns, and there were more than a few subtle nods inserted for the fans (I caught two in quick succession that made me smile, two shout outs to DS9 and Enterprise).

But as much as I enjoyed this movie, I'm still a little frustrated by it, but before I get into why, I need to trot out my old friend again...

Okay. I've seen this particular plot point spoiled in numerous places (I'm looking at you, imdb and Entertainment Weekly), but let's talk about who John Harrison really is. Yes, it's a front and yes, if you're a Trekkie, you're going to know who this guy is. When I heard who Benedict Cumberbatch was really playing, I about went through the roof.

My first objection had to do with the continuity of the larger Star Trek universe. Yes, I know these movies are set in an alternate reality, but even still, I had a hard time wrapping my mind about how Harrison could really be . . . him. I'm sorry, even with Godzilla warning people off, I'm still not going to say the name. Thankfully, this objection was answered somewhat handily. They came up with a good "in story" reason and I accept their little tweak to the storyline. It works.

But my larger objection is that, in some ways, this is a retread. By resurrecting a classic Trek villain, we're just covering old ground again. Now, in some ways, I get it. This new movie series is a reboot and that makes everything fair game. But at the same time, I kind of wish we could have seen something a little newer. That's all.

Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of fun. I can't wait to see what's coming next.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I read a comment from Abrams that basically said, "yes, it's an old villain; yes, it's in an alt-verse; yes, it's different but by running across John Harrison in an alt-verse, it was a nod that some villains, some people are destined to cross your path, no matter the reality."

I could deal with that.

Stephanie Jones