Escape to the Movies: Star Trek: Into Darkness

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I think this was a fine movie. Not brilliant and perhaps not living up to everything that it could have been but overall good. I think they could have gotten a bit more in depth with the villains and I do think that some actors were slightly under utilized but I don't think the film is close to what Bob paints it as.

Eh. Eh. I enjoyed myself. It wasn't great, things could have been better, but, I don't consider Star Trek a sacred cow, so, I'm fine with it.

Interesting - most real Star Trek fans I know watched and loved this movie. Really, the only legitimate criticism against it is that they, of course, made Khan white, because Hollywood is dumb. That hurt the movie a bit.

Well, that and the pointless lensflares.

And for the angry fanbois:

1.) How much of pre-Abrams Star Trek have you ever watched, if any?

Me? Everything, including the animated series (which I bet most of you nerds who claim to be the only real Trek fans have never heard of). I went to watch it on Mother's day - it was a present for my mother, who grew up on Star Trek classic, owns every Star Trek classic book and has watched all the series. She still goes to every german Trek convention.

She absolutely loved it. But I guess she's a woman so she doesn't count as a real fan, either. And I guess that's how you'll discount me as well :)

2.) Think about Into Darkness, remove all the action from it, all the pew pew, explosions, flare. Now, what do you think of the movie?


I like it. I never cared for pew pew, explosions and flares. Oh, and for my above mentioned mother? Yep, the effects weren't why she watched it, either.

If you actually take a step back from your rabid dislike for Abrams, you'll notice that this movie really is as Star Trek as it gets. It could easily be a classic episode, provided you dial back the effects. In fact, it fixed all the issues the original reboot had. Except the stupid lensflares, of course. They're dumb.

Not that I expected Bob to like it, that's the guy who stalwartly defended OtherM as not sexist, after all, and then pretended female fans hating it didn't exist.

Bob, I rarely see your reviews this pissed off. I think the Green Lantern review was the only one that was more scathing. You seem genuinely ticked. I liked the first Star Trek "reboot" but that's because I didn't watch the show very much. I have no point of reference. I learned after watching the first film that it missed the point of the original series. I mean, I got into Next Generation for awhile when I was a kid, but I never went full on Trekkie. I did watch enough to know that the "reboot" seemed more about the pew pew than careful dialogue and interesting interactions between humans and the unknown from the original series. Thanks for the heads up brother. Saved me some gas money again!

I love how bob says "With a twist". Anyway I was never into Star Trek but I knew it was a really intelligent series. Both os these movies seem to forget that and be all like Michael Bay with Transformers.

I usually respect Bob's opinion, even when not agreeing with it. But here it was clear he'd at least partially made up his mind before watching the movie, and all the stuff about needing spoilers to do his job just came across as spiteful. Also, it seems a bit rich to wax lyrical about the "great" Iron Man 3, and then condemn this film for being shallow. I mean, IM3, Avengers et al are fun and well-made, but also unashamedly frivolous. The reason Abrams' Star Trek movies work so well is because they have genuine depth of character, and intricate interplay between the characters - that's why we can give a damn about the explosions and running and shooting. It's a simple conceit that 90% of action movies fail to recognise - and apparently one that Bob does too.

Ashley Blalock:
Really doesn't feel like a spoiler when every Trekkie and Trekker figured out the big spoiler long ago and the production team didn't do a very good job of convincing people they hadn't already figured it out.

So is it too early to give up any hope of getting a good movie out of the writers and to give up on another franchise since Abrams is a big name without the skill to make the big movies into really good movies?

I hadn't paid any attention at all to this apart from watching a trailer, then I read an interview a couple weeks ago with Cumberbach (sp?) where he talked about being Khan. After that every conversation I've had about this has involved me mentioning Khan.

they dont care for the rest of startreks stories and thats very evident. okay tos was also kinda a mess and Im more into everything from next gen to enterprise, so I can let this movie slip as startrek inspired action. I dont like the klingon redesign I dont like how randomly they take characters and put them where they dont belong (noticed that android?)

also, does anyone else think that there is some nice gay romance hidden with spock and kirk?


Perhaps Abrams phoned this one in since he also has to tend to the star wars franchise as well. Granted this is no excuse for an uninspired film this early in a reboot but with all the hype for the new star wars films, he'll really have to pull out all the stops...or face a lynch mob.

Sonic Doctor:


Sonic Doctor:

Yeah, but I kinda want to see this for myself just to find out what it's all about and how terrible it is, but I'll be damned if I contribute to their box office gross while doing so.

The thing about Abrams is I'm pretty sure he'll be great for Star Wars, but he hasn't the slightest clue what Star Trek is all about. Nor do I think he really cares.

Nah, I still think he'll ruin Star Wars. I know that Star Wars tends to have more action than Star Trek, which might make his adaption of Star Wars better than Star Trek, but the thing is, like Star Trek, Star Wars is also about story driven action, there really isn't much action for action's sake.

With his Star Trek movies, Abrams has proven he cares fuck all about story or fleshed out characters for that matter.

On your last point, that is really what I'm getting at. The film industry really shows it is quite stupid if it lets a director have control of a franchise he doesn't care about.

It's like giving a writer who's never written and/or hates fantasy, full writing control of some kind of new installment to Lord of the Rings story/franchise.

[Insert Name Here]:
Everyone's got their opinion on this one, but I'm definitely disagreeing with Bob. Into Darkness was pretty bloody great.

A couple questions.

1.) How much of pre-Abrams Star Trek have you ever watched, if any?

2.) Think about Into Darkness, remove all the action from it, all the pew pew, explosions, flare. Now, what do you think of the movie?

The reason I ask this is because the proper franchise Star Trek could stand on its own if you took out such action from it. Because in order for someone to defend the movie, they have to defend it without action and fancy special effects as a point, because that is not what Star Trek is about.

I'm doing this for my own research on the average person that ends up liking JJ's schlock version of Star Trek.

To answer your questions:
I've seen all 10 pre-JJ movies, about a season's worth of The Original Series and TNG, about half of Voyager, no DS9, and a handful of Enterprise episodes. Not to mention all the episodes of TNG I watched as a kid but can't remember. So I'm not a huge Trekkie at all, but to assume I haven't seen any would be wrong. And honestly, the original movies were good (First Contact is my personal favourite), but they aren't nearly as sacred and untouchable as they're made out to be. As for the movie, well without the action it still has a kickarse Benedict Cumbercatch villain, a really good cast, especially Simon Pegg's Scotty and Zachary Quinto's Spock, and more acknowledgement of its heritage than its predecessor. As well as the fact that the action is really good. Even if people are too protective to see it as Star Trek, it still makes for a good sci-fi movie.

I have to disagree 100% with this review, I thought the movie was pretty damn bitchin'

I usually agree with MovieBob, but this time I am all like "Nuh-uh girlfriend, Star Trek rocked all up in this bizzzzznitch" *Snappyfingersincluded*

still a fan, but defending this killer movie with my opinion

I was raised on Star Trek and my dad is a big Trekkie. I loved this movie and so did he. I'm tired of the "it's not like the rest therefore it is bad."

I loved Benedict as Khan, but what I loved more was


I enjoyed that Movie Bob said he was getting sick of this spoiler alert stuff. Too bad he still gave the spoiler alert.

I'm probably still going to see the movie even though I haven't found any of the Star Trek movies very entertaining.

I will completely agree on the story.

However... The costume department fucking rocked that shit. I came for a swatch bucking adventure, I got haute couture fashion exhibition. The architecture and engineering had a neo-noir feel to it... The mother fuckers went Neo-noir, that was cool to watch.

But my god, when they did the whole needs of the many reversal I was so pissed off.

I liked the game's story more than this one.

And fucking abrams with his facking shots of the enterprise with that facking swooping music... Still, it's worth it for the costumes, I want that black guys hooded suit jacket.

I will say in Abrams defense one of the issues with rodenberrys star trek was the lack of focus of life outside of star fleet. I liked seeing the clubs, it made the word seem more alive.

Still yeah... the fuck this guy thinks he is?

Way off topic but i pray that you'll answer anyway.

Please tell me you're going to do Epic next week and not fast and furious 6.

Here are my problems with...Well, with Bob's problems with this movie, in list form:
-A reboot referencing its source material is NOT always equal to fanservice.
-Sometimes you can have a big plot point without it being a "twist".

But you certainly wouldn't know that from Bob's review.

For what it's worth, I liked it. Nothing spectacular, but perfectly enjoyable. I kinda understand why, as a critic, Bob didn't like it, but I still feel like this is WAY more about his hatred of JJ Abrams and his "mystery box" then it is about the actual movie, since he was griping about the same stuff before he'd even seen the thing.

Here's what I don't get, but what someone might explain to me:
What was it that was appealing about the first reboot Star Trek movie, that people liked and thought was good?

I really liked it, but for two major reasons, 1) It was shot really well, Star Trek has so many fistfights, and many ship vs ship fights, but the reboot didn't use the standard way of showing how the fights went, instead it focused on making the mining ship look sinister and showing the damage it was doing, the hits when a ship got shot felt like they had real impact, rather than a phaser than an explosion, and 2) It had excellent sound usage, the opening part of the film is fantastic, you know the ship is going down, you can see how devastated it is from just the opening volley, the sound of battle fades out and the music picks up in the second round, that was really well done.

Granted the motion and close ups made you feel less like you were actually there and more like you were watching a performance, but I count that as a plus for the movie, so long as it remains consistent I'm happy with it.

I don't get it, I haven't even seen the original series or Wrath of Khan, but I knew that character was Khan. I didn't even foresee it as a twist, I just assumed that we were supposed to know that, didn't even realise the character would have some other name. Who was going to be surprised be this?

Eh, maybe I'll just watch Wrath of Khan instead.

Maybe I'm too much of a fan of harder sci-fi, but my interest in the movie honestly checked out when the Enterprise (Currently hanging around near the Klingon homeworld) just went and dialed up Scotty's personal phone(All the way back on Earth).

I'm sorry, but just being able to dial up someone in an entirely different star system and have an instantaneous lag-free conversation just ruined it for me. It completely and totally ruined any sense of scale, time and distance that traveling the stars in a faster-than-light spaceship was able to generate. They talked about going into the Klingon home system like they were journeying deep into enemy territory, like they'd be all on their own, carrying out a secret mission... then you just go and dial up some dude's cell-phone back home? Really?

The lack of any real distance or travel-time was a huge disappointment. Yes, I know it isn't a novel and Abrams was trying to tell a fast-paced rompy sort of story. But still, having this all happen in a single day, just felt... dumb.

And why could the Enterprise detect the life-signs of one dude all the way down on the surface of a planet from beyond orbit and NOT the squadron of Klingon aircraft patrolling right nearby?

And why didn't every Starfleet vessel in the Sol system immediately rush to investigate all the shooting and explosions going on by the moon? It's one light-second from Earth. They *had* to be able to detect something happening that close to the homeworld of the entire human race.

And why did the Enterprise suddenly fall into Earth's atmosphere when their ship was bumped out of warp and disabled right by the Moon?

And how the heck did the Vengeance have the acceleration and velocity to cover the distance between the Moon and the Earth so quickly and then not even leave a crater when it smashed into San Fransisco? It just kind of, slid along the ground until it stopped. Something that big making the trip from the Moon should be hitting with megatons of force.

I know, I know. Star Trek has never been hard sci-fi, but still. Things like that only make the actual science-fiction elements of the movie look poorly thought out, and completely dependent on the current needs of the plot.

On the bright side, the effects and cinematography where fairly nice, and there were a couple bits of banter that were genuinely amusing. I really did like the design of the Vengeance. Shame it never really did anything.

You probably wouldn't like the series as a whole then, it's filled with plotholes that even children can find.
FTL communication has been in the series for a long time.
If the Klingons have their shields up or are hiding in caves and you're only scanning the surface then it can be very easy to miss them, more of a writing flaw then a plothole.
I can't defend this one, it's a massive plothole in the entire series, apparently starfleet only keeps one extra ship on alert near earth.
When their warp core finally failed they could not resist gravity any longer, why they were pulled in so fast I do not know.
I can't defend the next point either, though it did level half a city.

Reading these comments from 'true trekkies' just makes me laugh. Suggesting that the only way to come at these movies is from that perspective is entirely wrong. For me even if you take all the action out (which was absolutely incredible) I believed it was still a great film. It helped me to appreciate a new universe and any future star trek series' or films that are created, I'll watch with great anticipation.

Abrams didn't make this for fans of the old series, he just didn't, and that's fine. His audience was clearly new fans and those who watched it occasionally. I know that if someone rebooted something like The Breakfast Club I wouldn't enjoy it unless it went above and beyond, or was just as deep as the last film in different ways.

Suggesting that it ruined Star Trek, or any other similar lines of argument, are completely irrelevant due to the new timeline in the reboots.

A balance between old and new, and I think that's perfectly fine.

I enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would, and I do disagree with Bob about character development:

You know what makes a good critic, at least in my opinion? Consistency.

It's ok to go against the mainstream, and being biased against some types of movies or tropes. It's great to have one or two critics that you can look to who seem to share the same gripes as you do, and whose opinions you usually share. But man, lately I just don't know anymore. Listening to him rant on about the twist in this movie, it's every single thing I was yelling at the screen during his Iron Man 3 review.

I didn't care much for this movie before, and just went ahead and watched the review, and now I am kinda curious actually. Could someone tell me how this stacks up against IM3? I mean, I kinda liked that, even though the plot was mind-numbingly stupid at times. Will I enjoy this?


I thought the 'wrath of khan' section was stupid as all hell, it missed the point. They should have realized that the whole crux of that was that, in the original, Spock actually stays dead (until the next movie) and the real impact of that scene comes from spock's touching expression of "You have and always will be my friend".

All it did was kill any chance the film had to stand on its own merits.


I really liked it, but for two major reasons, 1) It was shot really well, Star Trek has so many fistfights, and many ship vs ship fights, but the reboot didn't use the standard way of showing how the fights went, instead it focused on making the mining ship look sinister and showing the damage it was doing, the hits when a ship got shot felt like they had real impact, rather than a phaser than an explosion, and 2) It had excellent sound usage, the opening part of the film is fantastic, you know the ship is going down, you can see how devastated it is from just the opening volley, the sound of battle fades out and the music picks up in the second round, that was really well done.

Granted the motion and close ups made you feel less like you were actually there and more like you were watching a performance, but I count that as a plus for the movie, so long as it remains consistent I'm happy with it.

Those are good points, thanks for sharing. Thankfully movies are getting much better at utilizing sound and the fact that a lot of us have surround sound at home as well as a decent subwoofer to take advantage of great sound.

I enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would, and I do disagree with Bob about character development:

I think what really annoyed me was that NuSpock didn't sit and try and puzzle NuKhan out himself, he just calls up his alternative future self on new Vulcan and asks him how they handled original flavor Khan. Pragmatic maybe, but it seemed to undercut his own arc way too much.

I enjoyed myself, better than Enterprise or Voyager ever was.

Although it had the same problem as the first film, it's like the writers had a check list of things the characters were "famous" for doing from the original films/series and were just ticking boxes. Also it still bothers me they made Kirk a captain right out of the academy.

Tell us what you really think, Bob.

This film is NO Wrath of Khan (finally saw it) and i'm not a big time Trekky but lets be honest it's better than most of the Trek Movies, that may not be saying much but that's something.

I'd say saying you liked it or enjoyed it doesn't make it good, afterall so many other movies are popular yet have little substance, In ST:ID case it all (the plot) seems to come out of nowhere, In one way we can't call this Wrath of Khan but rather it's the episode where Khan first appeared but the conflict is all the more hollow when at least the original WoK had the history behind it to elevate the conflict, and i think like Bob said ST:ID didn't have as much character development either.

Into Darkness was Okay, i couldn't say it's better or worse than the first.

BTW, does anyone find it strange that the enjine room is less high tech than the one from enterprise? Different dimention or no that's just weird XD

It's kind of funny really. I'll trust Bob's opinions on Comic book adaptations as he seems to know some of his stuff there but on all other movie genres it is probably possible to go opposite of what he says to reach my tastes. In having opinions that are useless to me he is somehow magically useful. That's quite an accomplishment really.

Pretty sure he was pre-disposed to hate the movie because he hates the director. That makes his opinion worse than useless to me here.

Grenge Di Origin:
*sigh* Maybe then I should go see the Wrath of Khan, then? Like Doctor Who, I've always wanted to get into this quintessential nerd franchise but I don't know a good starting point for it. Do I watch the original series, do I watch Next Generation, do I start with the movies? I just don't know...
...but, having stopped before I could get spoiled, I'll probably watch this one anyhow.

Watch Wrath of Khan, then Search for Spock. Then skip ahead to First Contact. Wrath of Khan and First Contact are good stand alone films. Search for Spock follows directly on from Wrath of Khan and is flawed but has some moments, (The Voyage Home follows directly on from that but it's not essential).

I've recently re-watched some of the older movies and although they're often a little dated in parts they at least always have something the reboot series does not have - elements of genuine humanity and intellectual stimulation. The reboot films are great action films, have some charm and are very entertaining. But they're not Science Fiction.

I am not a huge Star Trek junkie or anything like that...but I am still very familiar with the original shows and movies. This movie was incredibly enjoyable to me...what is wrong with pandering to fans by using old story arcs with some twists and turns to keep it fresh? Nothing. It was fun, exciting, and is something fans of the franchise, both new and old, can get into. Completely disagree with this review...and it appears that most others do as well.


Pat Hulse:

This movie was everything I wanted it to be.
A fun science-fiction action-romp with a likeable cast, great cinematography, a great score, good performances all-around, some throwbacks to the "original" even complete and utter dolts like me can understand...

And there goes every ounce of credibility you were trying to have. That last bit is exactly the sort of bullshit Bob was talking about. Those references do nothing except make people like you feel like this is the genuine article. It's fool's gold. Mimicking aspects of other movies or episodes or tropes does enough for the people who know OF "Star Trek" and makes them feel like they are part of "the club", but because they mimic without understanding, appreciating, or even caring about the "original", it does a complete disservice to the movie itself by weakening its own integrity while also insulting the actual fans.


So this movie may have been fun, but believe me, sir. This is a BAFFLINGLY stupid movie. It just tricked you into thinking it wasn't.

You know, I sort of compare reactions like this to how I felt about the movie Troy. I loved the mythology and there's some great modernized story versions out there. And I've often wondered if knowing how the story was supposed to unfold made me hate the movie (except for Brad Pitt's stupid "jump attack" of course). But I realized two things.
1: The movie missed one of the central points of the myth, that Paris was a bad person (and indeed the entire war was started) because he broke the sacred bond between host and guest. It tossed it aside and let him live because in today's world we have "anything done in the name of love is good and pure."
2: That's not what this Star Trek is.

This is not just a straight remake of Star Trek 2, unless my memory of what happens in Wrath of Khan is just completely wrong. I have no idea why any nods to the inspiration incite so much anger, except perhaps out of some sort of belief that the new will override the old (although if anyone actually remembers the acting in WoK, you won't find that to be a terrible notion). I especially don't know why the nods to stupid little crap in the Marvel movies give Bob so much joy, causing him to write several articles pointing out everything, but the nods in this one just make him angry and resentful. There is no "genuine" Star Trek. There's just Star Trek movies for better or worse.

Consequently, it never fails how ironic it strikes me that geek culture likes to pretend it's this all inclusive group for people maligned by the more popular, exclusive cliques; only to react with anger that people are trying to get into their "club" without the proper credentials.

It's not that I take issue with people who want to consider themselves Trekkies despite only seeing the Abrams films. I actually was very excited by the prospect with the previous film as well as the similar influx of fans from the Marvel movies. But the Marvel movies don't diminish the source material simply to provide a "more palatable" version of it for their presumably "more average" fans. I think the new Trekkies would have enjoyed a less pandering movie just as much as I would have, even if they did end up liking it as it is.

But the problem with STID isn't that it tries to be WoK. The problem is that it tries to be WoK without EARNING it. The titular wrath of Khan was invoked when Kirk marooned Khan and his crew (along with a woman he grew to love) on a planet which eventually turned to shit, leaving Khan alone for years with little to plan and think about but vengeance.

In this movie (SPOILERS by the way), Khan has every reason to want to kill Robocop. Robocop took away his crew (and I would assume significantly altered his genetic makeup to make him white and give him magic blood) and held them hostage, so Khan wanted revenge. And actually, for the most part, that part of the movie works rather well. I think that if Abrams and company made it clear that Khan was in this movie, everyone would have gone in assuming he was the bad guy and thus making Robocop the actual villain and making Khan a frenemy would have been a rather cool surprise and I actually thought that was where they were going with it. And then, for pretty much no reason at all, Khan decides to use the ship that he acquired with considerable difficulty to attempt to destroy the Enterprise without having checked to be sure that his crew is actually on board. Khan is not a maniac. He's a megalomaniac. There's a difference. A maniac will kill anyone without much of a reason. A megalomaniac will kill anyone so long as there's a reason. It's the difference between Lawful and Chaotic Evil. Khan (at least the Khan from "Space Seed") was very much Lawful Evil. If he wanted to rule the people of the 24th century, blowing up weakened starships just makes him seem cruel and untrustworthy, traits that would not befit a successful ruler in a civilized time.

Making Khan betray them just so they could recreate Wrath of Khan out of nowhere was half-hearted, stupid, insulting, out-of-character, and ruined what could have been a rather cool take on the mythos, especially when they contrive that whole magic blood thing to undermine Kirk's death.

And that's not even getting into the fact that casting a white guy as Khan (particularly while providing no explanation for it) is insulting to the character as well as Ricardo Montalbon who actually set up a freakin' organization specifically to help people of color get work in Hollywood. I know that Ricardo wasn't Indian, and it was pretty racially insensitive to cast him as an Indian dude, but that was 50 years ago. Since then, the Indian movie industry has exploded with talent. In this day and age, finding a talented Indian actor would have been far more trivial than it would have been in the time of the original "Star Trek". I'm not saying Cumberbatch didn't play the role well. He was very good. But the movie can't cast a white guy to play Khan Noonien Singh and then offer no explanation for why he's white and why his blood is a cure for death.

If they weren't going to do Khan right (and they actually came closer than I thought they would, but they still failed), they shouldn't have bothered at all.

But they're not Science Fiction.

I suppose that's the REAL problem, they're alright movies on their own but it's Star Trek in name only.


For me, Star Trek has always been about our role in the future. I liked Enterprise because it was for a while, a bit more believable and had some interesting problems and challenges(although most of it was fairly shit, there were things to think about).
I don't get any such sort of vibe from the new reboot. It seems like a shitload of references and action scenes, led by mostly uninteresting actors who have no class, no style and no unique aspects to them.
The original Kirk, Picard, Sisko and even Janeway and Archer all had quirks, flaws, personal style and class to them. You could actually imagine having them as a superior officer or even as a captain. For those who've served or been in shipping, you know what I mean. It takes a strong, capable and charismatic person to be a good captain and you feel that you can put your faith in them almost immediately.

Chris Pine seems to have none of those qualities.

What I loved about Voyager the most was that it featured bridge watch shifts, a crew which grew and was promoted, an officer roster that made sense (plus a great female captain), a pretty detailed ship, and even the monotony and loneliness of being alone out there. TNG comes in a close second in these aspects. Even now I can't make my mind which captain I loved the most, Picard or Janeway. Don't get me wrong, I have a weakspot for William Shatner in general and for the original Kirk in particular. But while I love the original series for the amazing achievement it was in its time, and the mindless fun it is to watch today, I believe the main problem with the reboot is that it's based on it.

As sudden as Voyager's ending was, it left Star Trek in an interesting place, time travel, Borg technology, a new quadrant explored, free-willed holograms. How great it would've been to continue that. To have Janeway and Picard as old admirals, facing a new threat together, going out in a blaze of glory. Robert Duncan McNeill becoming the new Captain of the Enterprise, with Seven as the Voyager's captain. Zachary Quinto makes a great Vulcan and the series has missed a great Vulcan since Spock. And as for director? Zack Snyder or David Fincher. Let that sink in for a moment.

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