back to article Movie review: Star Trek Into Darkness

You reboot a popular science fiction series, but you cleverly restart the series’ timeline too, to give you not only a fresh, clean page on which to begin writing a brand new mythology, but also a fan-friendly way to tie it all in to the established continuity. That’s the trick director JJ Abrams - he of Lost fame - and …

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Benedict Cumberpatch may be good, but ......

..... he's not a patch on Benedict Cumberbatch.

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Re: Benedict Cumberpatch may be good, but ......

Ah Benedict Cumberpatch, as heard on BBC radio in "Cabin Bressure" and "Rumbole of the Pailey" among others....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Benedict Cumberpatch may be good, but ......

Shades of that silly bunt Mr Smoketoomuch.

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Thumb Up

Re: Benedict Cumberpatch may be good, but ......

You'd think if someone was going to do a sharp-tongued review of a film, they'd get the actor's name right?

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Megaphone

Re: Benedict Cumberpatch may be good, but ......

Standby lights... roll cameras... cue music... cue Cumberpatch... Action!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cue Cumberpatch

Damn. That was the gardening joke I wanted to make.

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The largely unsuccessful - but rather good - Star Trek: The Motion Picture

For a certain value of 'good' I guess

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Re: The largely unsuccessful - but rather good - Star Trek: The Motion Picture

ST TMP - everything you could want in Star Trek, but spread over a large distance.

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Re: The largely unsuccessful - but rather good - Star Trek: The Motion Picture

I seem to remember it being referred to as "Star Trek: The (Slow) Motion Picture".

Essentially a well-written pilot for a TV series stretched to epic length. It's redeeming feature was the pretty good effects for the time.

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Re: The largely unsuccessful - but rather good - Star Trek: The Motion Picture

That's a description of most 'first in a series' films. Far too much exposition and - if from a TV series - lots of 'we've seen the series too'.

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Re: The largely unsuccessful - but rather good - Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Well a few years ago when I heard a recording of a long interview of a radio station called WUSB with Roddenberry about that movie, I realized how goofy that title suffix was. Just try it, add "The Motion Picture" to something and it'll instantly become goofy.

"The Register: The Motion Picture" or

"Soap: The Motion Picure" and so on.

I don't think the expectations were that great back then, and I think the movie fulfilled its expectations. It's StarTrek on a grander and longer scale.

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Re: The largely unsuccessful - but rather good - Star Trek: The Motion Picture

"It's redeeming feature was the pretty good effects for the time."

Done by the bloke who did the visual effects for 2001, I believe.

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Re: The largely unsuccessful - but rather good - Star Trek: The Motion Picture

That always jarred me about the criticism of Star Trek The Motion Picture. 2001is credited for its lengthy, majestic space scenes with classical music score. Star Trek The Motion Picture is deplored for its lengthy, majestic space scenes with classical music score.

A previous poster was right in that it could have done with being shorter - half an hour would have been fine, but then I think that about 2001 as well.

As for 'The Motion Picture' in the title, judge it by the eyes of the audience of the time who were not so used to the 'successful TV show jumps straight to film' formula.

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John Harrison, you say ?

Him of navigation clock fame ? Doesn't look all that bad for his age.

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Optional

Sadly*, once I knew Benedict Cumberbatch was in the movie and playing the bad guy, I guessed who his character might be - correctly.

Despite this, and despite everything that's so obviously going to be wrong about this film, I'll still go and see it, sad git that I am.

* For guessing correctly, and for guessing correctly.

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Re: Optional

Yeah, merely from the description given. And that worries me about the move.

"Despite this, and despite everything that's so obviously going to be wrong about this film, I'll still go and see it, sad git that I am." thanks for the quote.

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Benedict plays the bad guy

As soon as I saw he was in it, I said "I bet you he's the bad guy...because he's British".

It is becoming boring that Hollywood is always casting the bad guy with a British accent.

To think that an American can't play the baddie is ridiculous. You just have to look at the last 10 years to see how many Americans have blown up fellow Americans and then compare that with the number of Brits who have done it (zero).

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"he's the bad guy...because he's British"

To pick just two examples, Die Hard and The Avengers would both have been considerably less interesting if the bad guys were re-cast. To pick another two: Superman 2 and Beverly Hills Cop.

The British get the bad guy roles in Hollywood films because a) the British are the traditional enemy of the Americans (the War of Independence* was a pretty big deal) and b) British actors are better, whether they be giving a finely nuanced performance, heavy with pathos, or just chewing up the scenery at every available opportunity.

As much as I enjoyed the last Star Trek film, it's Cumberpatch that I'm most looking forward to watching, in this one.

*Not sure why they hate the French so much, though.

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Windows

Over forties

I belong to that unfortunate // fortunate ( strike as necessary) group known as the over forties. For some reason I just can't associate Jim , Spock , Bones or Scotty with these young whipper snappers, they are too young, too clean.

<--- This is how I feel when I see these young fresh faces....

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Unhappy

Re: Over forties

Umm, actually Karl Urban did make a very very good McCoy in the first reboot movie, (also a good Judge Dredd - but that's besides the point). It's the other cast/script/lense flare stuff which was the problem.

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Re: Over forties

Seeing the first 2009 film at the Cinema, I though Quinto had Spock nailed, and Pine was close, but seeing it on TV recently, I don't think even Nimoy was convicted of Pine's Kirk. The first film suffered from too much explaining and not enough science (fiction). Saldana has not yet developed into the character played by Nichols.

Some of the original series charm, is also that of Doctor Who - low budget Hitchcock effects, is missing.

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Re: Over forties

its not the only the over 40's hate to tell ya

I never saw the 1st one even, but from what I saw of the commercials I couldn't have stood it I would have probably walked out of the theater. I couldn't stand the bridge that looks like it was designed after the set maker walked into an apple store looking for inspiration...

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Re: Over forties

I'm about to hit my 50s and I thought the Reboot worked excellently. There were a few times where Pine's Kirk directly channelled Shatner's in terms of mannerisms etc. Same with Bones and Spock. Not slavish impersonations, but referencing the core of the performances.

I thought the use of time-travel to switch timelines was a fun conceit to make the reboot universe the-same-but-different.

The best bit was watching all the old trekkers harrumphing about how the new film had forgotten the spirit of the original. Yes it was action-tastic. Yes it was fun. But yes, it was certainly Trek.

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Happy

Re: Lens Flare

As I posted elsewhere after watching the 2009 reboot over the weekend:

The J J Abrams drinking game:

The rules:

1) Whenever there is a lens flare, finish your drink.

2) That is all.

You will need:

1) 3-4 extra bottles.

2) Emergency medical assistance on speed dial.

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Re: Lens Flare

Im in my late 40s and thought the reboot was fucking awful. My kids dont remember the original series (but have seen the films), they grew up on TNG; they too hated the reboot.

There was enough canon to work around without resorting to timeline shifting nonsense.

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Re: Lens Flare

The lens flare on every shot made the 2009 film unbearable for me. Does "into Darkness" suffer the same ailment? If so, I'll give it a miss.

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Anonymous Coward

"Spock Senior’s appearance to provide his junior with data that could easily be found within the ship’s computer databank - and would have been in the original series - is just another example of the obsessive compulsive fan behaviour shown by Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman and new co-writer (and film Producer) Damon Lindelof. "

Yeah but they gotta get SOMEBODY to see the fukken movie - and OCD fans are the most likely audience..

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I might have thought this was a good review until I got to this bit:

following the largely unsuccessful - but rather good - Star Trek: The Motion Picture. and it disqualified anything else written.

As I recall it was the reverse: largely successful because it made loads of cash and that's all Hollywood cares about (Oscar contests not withstanding) and rather bad Trek as the plot was far better done in an hour on tv with it's original villain and far cheaper special effects. I grant them a pass on it only because it produced the only really good Trek film out of the lot: The Wrath of Khan. I was rather disappointed with the subsequent Search for Schlock and it's sequel We Found It. I still don't know why I bothered to check in on the fifth movie, but it was pretty much the last one I watched in a theater until my roomie drug me to the reboot. Roomie and friends will probably drag me to this sequel as well.

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Alien

Re: I might have thought this was a good review until I got to this bit:

And thus begins the age old battle between fans of ST:TMP and fans of the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. But I give notice that both sides will unite against anybody who suggest Star Trek VI or any of the TNG spin-offs are any good.

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Re: I might have thought this was a good review until I got to this bit:

Right, you lot are just out to piss me off aren't you?? Not only do we have the "reviewer" (not actually a film review in the slightest) denigrating the wonderful and hugely successful Star Trek IV The Voyage Home (aka A bit of Light Relief) but then this clown tries to tell me that Undiscovered Country is anything less than the best film of the lot??

I worry about this new Star Trek film. This whole "the ship nearly gets destroyed" pish is part of what killed off the TNG movies. Another couple of films and they would have run out of letters for the 1701! And even as a fan I would prefer they went off in a new direction instead of introducing a character that those who have watched the series will know. But, they wanted to do a reboot which means they are very constrained for baddies. You can't have the Borg because that would be fucking stupid; you can't have the Romulans because nobody is supposed to have seen a Romulan warbird for decades (if ever) and even the Klingons, in the original series, were in a sort of Cold War state with the Federation. If you're going to constrain yourself within a particular story telling paradigm and it has its own internal logic and timeline then you just have to stick to it.

But yes TMP was balls. Final Frontier, interestingly, may be a bad film from a plot point of view but it's a really nice, light character piece.

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Re: I might have thought this was a good review until I got to this bit:

| This whole "the ship nearly gets destroyed" pish is part of what killed off the TNG movies. Another couple of films and they would have run out of letters for the 1701!

Yeah, I started referring to it as the "USS Kenny"...

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@ Brewster

"And thus begins the age old battle between fans of ST:TMP and fans of the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. But I give notice that both sides will unite against anybody who suggest Star Trek VI or any of the TNG spin-offs are any good."

Actually, I will be the exception that proves the rule in to your comment.

I will come down on the side of ST2:TWoK as far, far superior to ST:TMP. I watched it (again) recently, and special effects aside, it stands up well over time.

I will then further add that I will not then suggest that the TNG was that bad, either the last few TV series or select movies. I will nominate First Contact as by far the best of the TNG movies and indeed one of the best of the Star Trek movies of any series.

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Paris Hilton

Re: I might have thought this was a good review until I got to this bit:

Hey, don't knock the TNG movies. How can you be upset with such greatness as:

1. Beardy Riker flying the enterprise with a Gamesmaster Golden Joystick? (Electroplated Quickshot II)

2. "You precious little life forms! Where are you?" -- Lt. Cmdr. Data, singing.

Bah. Perfection.

Paris. For no obvious reason.

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Re: I might have thought this was a good review until I got to this bit:

"Yeah, I started referring to it as the "USS Kenny"..."

Okay, so you were talking about Enterprise, but the classic Kenny scenario is in STII & III:

"Oh my god, they killed Spock!"

"You basta...."

"Oh, no, it's okay. We've found a new one."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I might have thought this was a good review until I got to this bit:

"I still don't know why I bothered to check in on the fifth movie"

Your best bet is, upon having watched 2, is to go straight to 6, and then 8 (if you're still in the mood) and pretend the others don't exist. The 6th (and 8th, but that's TNG) are the only other films to be anywhere near as entertaining as the 2nd.

Having said that, I haven't seen the new one yet...

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Cumberbatch's imdb does indeed give it away, as it lists his character by name. Although it is easy to guess because there aren't that many baddies to choose from.

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Facepalm

It's just a movie

No, really. It's just a movie.

You want deep and meaningful? Read a damn book or hang out at the art film theater.

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Childcatcher

It's the same as everything else these days

Everything relies on the computers...there really doesn't even need to be actors any more, they are just there as names to sell the movie. Just let the machine do the work for you. That is why everything is turning out so artificial and empty feeling. It's why everything is so boring and unsatisfying. Here's a hint...you can't digitally blow me up any more viciously or loudly than you already have. Don't tell that to the younger set though.

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Happy

Re: It's the same as everything else these days

While I do have to agree with you somewhat, I definitely feel like you win the coveted "Get off my lawn, you damn kids!" old fogey award.

All you needed was a few references to walking 10 miles to school uphill both ways in 6 feet of snow in your bare feet chased by rabid dogs for it to be perfect

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Flame

Re: It's the same as everything else these days

I don't need you to luv me. I am just frigging bored to tears with what today's generation is doing with technology. You would have thought we could have solved some of the world's problems by now, and don't get me started on art and music technology...Christ what a two dimensional repetitive world. All they want to do is make themselves lazier and rely on it to do everything for them...I can spot cgi from three miles away people. It's not that great. It looks and sounds like it was done...in a computer. But maybe that's where the world resides now. Maybe the real world just doesn't matter anymore.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's the same as everything else these days @Nanners 15:41

Can you try coming out with a sentence that isn't trite? Especially since you claim the yoof is so lazy? Not to make me luv you, just so I can look at a post of yours without thinking you're sad as hell.

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Anonymous Coward

The first movie of the reboot did it for me....

The first movie of the reboot did it for me - I decided that Star Trek was officially over. I'd almost reached that conclusion with the last of the STTNG movies, and with the disappointing final season of the TV show "Enterprise", but the movie drove the last nail into the coffin.

The pilot for any series sets not only the tone for the series, but greatly defines the scope of what you can expect - what is "possible", in a science fiction series. If the pilot has people eating magic pills and growing 6 times more massive with no matter input, you know that you can expect that sort of thing later on, and can throw that whole "conservation of mass" out the window.

Both the series "Enterprise" and the movie introduced, right off the bat, time travel and altering the time stream. However, unlike Doctor Who, the rest of the basic premise of the show wasn't built around that idea, so it feels very kludged on. It means that at any point in the show, if things get dicey for the characters, you could see a magic deus ex machina from the future/past/alternate time stream to pop in and fix things (something that you rarely see on Doctor Who precisely because the "rules" of the series strongly discourage Doctor[n+m] from coming back to help Doctor[n].

Then there is the whole "younger, edgier characters" of the movie. OK, so Kirk's dad died as Kirk was born, and that changed Kirk. OK, but why is Spock so different? How did the destruction of Kirk's dad's ship alter Spock so much?

Lastly, there are the McGuffins of the plot - like, WTF is this "red matter" crap? And if a drop will implode a planet, WTF does Old Spock have what seems to be several tens of litres of the stuff when all he needs is a drop? And how can there be an ice world close enough to Vulcan that you can see the destruction in the sky? It cannot be a sister planet - they'd both get the same amount of sunlight and you'd expect them to be similar in surface temperature.

Yes, I'm nitpicking, but: when I go into a movie, I have a certain number of "suspension of disbelief" tokens I'm willing to give the movie. It gets one big one right up front: if you want to have dragons and magic, OK, you have dragons and magic. You want FTL spacecraft and aliens that can never-the-less breed with humans, OK. But there's only so much the movie can charge on that first token. After that, every token the movie asks for jars me out of the enjoyment of the movie. Make the movie good enough, and I can get back into the swing fairly quickly, but it's better to not do so in the first place. ST-ETM (Enterprise the movie) wasn't good enough to survive the number of tokens they wanted.

Which is a crying shame. The characters were interesting, and had the producers just put a bit more thought into the movie - just removed the need for some of those suspension-of-disbelief tokens - I could really have enjoyed it. Hell, a simple "There are a multiplicity of timelines, these are the adventures in another timeline, deal with it" could have easily been covered by that first "token", and they could have told the rest of the story without any BS (No magical red matter - you want to destroy Vulcan, go Footfall on it and hit it with a large asteroid moving at .7c - ditch old Spock, have young Spock' watch it on a long-range sensor readout. Have the bad guy be from that timeline - hell, keep him a Romulan but don't let the characters know what that is.)

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Happy

Re: The first movie of the reboot did it for me....

Feel better now that you got all that out? Nitpicking?? Nah, you just picked apart the whole fucking film you tube! :) Allow me to throw my tuppence worth (might not even be worth that much) and see if we can't calm you down a little.

Timelines - If you don't understand temporal physics and the paradox theories then who am I to fill you in but think of it the way Doc Brown explained it in Back to Future - in the future a star exploded (and for some fuck brained reason somehow threatens the whole galaxy even though it's only one star - you should have moaned about that one and I would have agreed!) Spock is it the middle of trying to save the star when it all goes tits up and Romulus goes Kaboom. Nero and Spock fall into the black whole and thanks to time dilation (this part is in line with current theory and actually quite clever) Nero arrives 27 years before Spock even though it was only seconds between them entering it. This one act irrevocably alters the timeline. The reviewer said that Cumberbatch's character shouldn't have been affected by this change but how do we know that? Spock being different as you say is clearly a factor of his not having met Kirk until much later; the two of them had been friends since early in their Academy days. So you have a completely different timeline for most of the crew but the rest of the universe should just keep going the way it would have, save for a few other changes. If you really want to get your head around it you need to watch Star Trek Voyager's two parter called the Year of Hell. It helps explain how a small change in the timeline can lead to entire civilisations never existing. And, final point on this one, you talk about setting precedent, Star Trek TOS and Voyage Home both contained time travel and the perils of changing things. So the time travel element is not tacked on as you said.

Red Matter - Totally with you; BUT it's a made up substance that creates black holes, maybe he needs such a big lump because in smaller amounts it's unstable. Maybe when you take it in smaller pellets that's when it becomes dangerous, unstable and explodes?

As for the Ice Planet - Yep, utter balls. Were it in the same solar system as Vulcan it would, at that moment, be being drawn inexorably towards the newly created black hole (singularity). There's no reason for the planet itself to be a problem geologically, if Mars had significant water content and a thin atmosphere it may well have similar conditions but the fact that the same little Ice Planet not only provided an excellent viewing platform for old Spock to watch the destruction of his planet, it also housed Scotty and a pointless alien that couldn't speak, both of whom (Spock and Scotty) meet the new Kirk within 5 minutes of film and then are somehow able to beam aboard the enterprise from said Ice Planet from which the Enterprise had no doubt left, let's say an hour previously. Do you know how far light travels in an hour? Voyager 1 left here 40 years ago and it's still only 17 minutes of light travel time away.

That cover most of it?

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Boffin

Re: The first movie of the reboot did it for me....

"Were it in the same solar system as Vulcan it would, at that moment, be being drawn inexorably towards the newly created black hole (singularity)."

See that's the further part that makes me scream "bollox!" at the screen - black hole or not, it's still got the same mass and gravitational force. Nothing would change orbit, even its moons would stay the same.

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Re: The first movie of the reboot did it for me....

I can't believe that got 2 thumbs up. Go read a book! A singularity has, by definition, close to infinite mass and a gravitational force that even light can't escape. That's why they are traveling at light speed and going nowhere. By your logic when any star collapses under its own weight and becomes a black hole there would be no change? Help me out here, if I'm wrong and being a dumbass then someone please explain it to me.

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Mushroom

Re: The first movie of the reboot did it for me....

You could create a singularity (or black hole) out of the earth and the moon and other planets would all still orbit at the same distance they did before.

It's not the singularity that is the problem, it is the mass of the thing that became the singularity that is the issue.

Going back to the earth, according to NASA, if we compress all of it's mass into a sphere the saize of a marble, it would become a black hole. The moon and all the satellites orbiting the earth would carry on their merry way, with no ill effects whatsoever.

Us on the other hand...

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Boffin

Re: The first movie of the reboot did it for me....

I've read many books, including during courses in astronomy and physics at university, thanks for the advice... ;-)

A black hole has the same mass as it always did, just in a smaller space. It doesn't have infinite mass, just infinite density. I always remember the Earth if turned into a black hole would have to be less than 1cm in radius. At the singularity, gravitational field becomes infinite, but that's irrelevant to anything around it. The only things getting trapped within the planet/black hole are those that are inside that 1cm radius.

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LDS
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Re: The first movie of the reboot did it for me....

Think galaxies have enormous black holes at their centers and they are not swallowed by them... a black hole gravity if you're far enough (and a planet distance is far enough for a star-mass born black hole) is no different from the gravity of any other object of the same mass. What destroys a planetary system when a star turns into a black hole it's it usually happens in an explosive way - while the nucleus implodes and becomes a black hole the outer part is blown away. If you could turn a star into a black hole without having part of it blow, no planet would be "swallowed" unless it usually revolves very close to the star. The planets will just keep on revolving around the black hole, and would die of energy starvation

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