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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  1. frank ly Silver badge

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

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

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. graeme leggett

      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....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      Shades of that silly bunt Mr Smoketoomuch.

    4. Annihilator
      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?

    5. Richard Scratcher
      Megaphone

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

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cue Cumberpatch

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

  2. fandom Silver badge

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

    For a certain value of 'good' I guess

    1. graeme leggett

      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.

      1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

        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.

        1. Ian 55

          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'.

        2. Simon Harris Silver badge

          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.

          1. The Serpent

            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.

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      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.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    John Harrison, you say ?

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

  4. VinceH Silver badge

    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.

    1. Miaau

      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.

    2. Shagbag
      FAIL

      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).

      1. Lamont Cranston

        "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.

  5. Khaptain Silver badge
    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....

    1. Spoonsinger
      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.

      1. Geoff Campbell
        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.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          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.

        2. garden-snail
          Thumb Down

          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.

    2. Robert Forsyth

      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.

    3. Kevin 6

      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...

    4. Chris 3

      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.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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..

  7. Tom 13

    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.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
      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.

      1. Hooksie

        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.

        1. Random Coolzip

          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"...

          1. VinceH Silver badge

            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."

      2. Ted 3

        @ 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.

      3. Anne-Lise Pasch
        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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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...

  8. MrMur

    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.

  9. ecofeco Silver badge
    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.

  10. Nanners
    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.

    1. Darryl
      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

      1. Nanners
        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.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    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.)

    1. Hooksie
      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?

      1. Annihilator
        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.

        1. Hooksie

          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.

          1. AndyC
            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...

          2. Annihilator
            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.

          3. LDS Silver badge

            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

            1. Glyn 2

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

              You're missing the more obvious problems with the way black holes are used in the first film. The original plan was to drop a black hole between the sun and romulus, what's the size of a black hole, I'm fairly sure they're bigger than the distance between the 2? Even if successful, the planet would still have died as the star would no longer be giving out enough heat and light to get to romulus once it had stopped exploding.

              What are black holes capable of? Are they time and space spanning wormholes or planet crushers?

              And why did they need to drill to the centre of vulcan to destroy it? Fire it in a torpedo in the rough vicinity it goes boom and even on the off chance that it doesn't expand and totally shred the planet it'll take a big enough chunk out of it to kill it.

              Those are just the plot problems regarding black holes, without asking important questions like where the giant romulun mining ship hid for 20 years after blowing up poppa Kirk I went in to the film not expecting much but it was so bad I really can't see why anyone likes it. If Star Trek had been called "Space adventure film" no-one would be saying how good it is. It has no redeeming features.

              People have been telling me I shouldn't be judging the new Trek against the old, but when they're constantly referencing the originals, it's a little difficult.

    2. karlh
      WTF?

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

      Um, 4 years late? Don't disagree with what you're saying, but what about, you know, the film that came out last week?

  12. Daedalus Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Pegged out...

    Simon Pegg needs accent lessons? To do what? Reproduce a fake Scottish accent as performed by a Canadian? Being raised in Gloucs. may not be the best place to start as a fake Scot, but he did OK in the first movie. The whole concept of a 25th century Scottish accent is weird anyway.

    1. Irongut

      Re: Pegged out...

      Didn't you hear his god awful accent in the previous movie? He did the worst Scottish accent I've heard since Mental Gibson. His wife is Glaswegian. I hope she took the piss out of him mercilessly for it.

    2. Ted 3

      Re: Pegged out...

      "The whole concept of a 25th century Scottish accent is weird anyway."

      Scots seem to keep their accents no matter where in the world they settle, and how long they have been there, It seems to be a very 'sticky' accent. Thus, I would not be surprised in the 25th century there is 'standard Earth accent' and ' Scottish accent' as the only 2 variations left!

  13. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "largely unsuccessful - but rather crap - Star Trek: The Motion Picture."

    There, fixed it for you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah!

      From previous experience saying anything bad about The Motion Picture gets you a surprising number of down votes (it is indeed a bad movie, although in fairness not the worst in the series). The only explanation I've been able to come up with, is that every single one of its "fans" reads The Register forums.

  14. Herby Silver badge

    Nothing beats...

    The original series, watched as it premiered on TV in the late 60's. I was in high school then (4th to 6th form) and it was THE thing to talk about at lunch time Friday (the series ran on Thursday nights 10-11pm, on NBC).

    Being a bit older now, I kinda dismiss it as being from a time long ago. Sure the six movies were OK (the evens better than the odds), but I'm getting older now, and have other things to do (having a wife does that to you).

    Oh, well, maybe I'll take it in, or wait for the eventual DVD, and pop my own popcorn.

    1. chris 50
      Alien

      Re: Nothing beats...

      Being born also in 1973, I missed the first-run of the original series, but watched it religiously none-the-less. However, my biggest playground talking point in school was the 5-Part mini-series 'V' - and look how well that went on... We should all be thankful - very thankful - of Star Wars bringing studio interest to abandoning Phase II and pushing the pilot's plotline into The Motion Picture - and then we should thank Harve Bennet for completely disregarding mostly everything and re-inventing what Star Trek should really be like! Thank you Hrave and Nicolas Myers - you defined today's Star Trek.

  15. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    It is good to see Star Trek coming out of its midlife crisis (weren't those middle ones a bit of a s-t-r-a-i-n and d-r-a-i-n?) into creative flamboyance (and equally flamboyant turnover?)

  16. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Pint

    "There will be blond"

    Excellent. Next pint's on me.

    I'll be glad when Hollywood gets over its CGI fetish and narratives once again boldly go where none has gone before.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: "There will be blond"

      the last time they boldy went spock started dancing.

      not good.

      dont get me started on "row, row, row your boat".

  17. Daedalus Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    YOU try it !

    Let's suppose you were asked to write a James Bond movie. Problem: the original series has descended into self-parody, and the main features of the genre have been done much much better recently in other series. What do you write that will a) satisfy the remaining fans that this is a Bond movie and not just a rebranded version of one of the others, b) surpass the high standard laid down in series like Bourne, and c) make pots of money ?

    Now look at Star Trek: it started when the genre had already set a high bar, flirted with self-parody in Star Trek V, and went bland with the TNG series. Essentially the same problems. Abrams threw out the old model and restarted the series with both new and old ingredients, including exotic dancers with green skin. Sure lots of people won't be happy. But no way are these movies a re-branding of other genre movies. The only real ding is that ST doesn't do well internationally no matter what Reg hacks think of the mythology, so they had to broaden it out a bit and maybe marginalize some of the icons. That dilutes the brand, but firms up the bottom line, ensuring that there will be more episodes.

    1. steward
      Boffin

      Re: YOU try it !

      You missed a few things:

      1. the TNG series which you describe as "bland" ran SEVEN seasons.

      2. DS9 ran SEVEN seasons.

      3. Voyager ran SEVEN seasons.

      4. Enterprise only ran four seasons, admittedly, but they were stuck between the rock and hard place of modern technology vs. a TOS library computer system that runs slower than Google.

      Takei has *four million fans* on facebook; I'd think an Excelsior series with Captain Sulu would do much better than the JJ Abrams vision.

      "ST doesn't do well internationally"????? Even in the lifetime of TOS, it was taken (illegally) and dubbed in Vietnamese and shown by the *North* Vietnamese government on state TV!

      Let's suppose you do some research instead of supposing a James Bond movie.

  18. mickey mouse the fith

    What does god want with a starship?

    I rather enjoyed the reboot, the characters were spot on (apart from scotty, who wasnt well cast) and the effects were pretty sweet. To be honest, it was the best thing to happen to the franchise for a long time.

    Original series: still pretty good, especially the remastered versions, with subtle effects updates.

    Next generation: Quite a few good episodes among the soap opera style tedium.

    Ds9: Eastenders in space, I could never get into it, it was too soapy and boring.

    Voyager: Best of the bunch, still pretty watchable.

    Enterprise: Aaaargh, that theme song. Some good episodes though. We dont mention the ending.

    As for the films,

    1: A bit ponderous, but ok.

    2: Aces.

    3: Awful.

    4: Enjoyable.

    5: More enjoyable than 4.

    6: Was that the awful klingon one?

    The next generation ones were all ok, although that sun destroying rocket in the one with kirk got to its target a bit too fast, and the sun darkened too quick from their viewpoint on the planet, but heyho.

    1. Hooksie

      Re: What does god want with a starship?

      Ok, who are you and why are you in my head? That could have been written, word for word, by me.

  19. Irongut

    Born in 1973

    "Orci, Kurtzman and Lindoff were all born in 1973... repeats in the early 1980s... Star Trek: The Motion Picture... kids who’d grown up on Star Wars... on one side the folk who preferred the more cerebral sci-fi of the five-year mission; on the other, those who just wanted more space battles."

    I was born in 1973. I saw the original series before TMP and I saw TMP in the cinema. Aged 6 I think, and a huge SW fan, I preferred the series. I found TMP slow, boring and pretentious. I was much happier a few years later with Wrath of Khan, even though it did scare the crap out of me with the brain eating bugs and made me cry when they killed Spock. Wrath of Khan is still the best ST film imo and still evokes the same emotions in me all these years later.

    So don't assume anyone born in 1973 saw the ST films first or that we prefer them to the series.

  20. Christian Berger Silver badge

    So to recap the difference between the old and the new universe

    In the new universe anti-reflection coatings were never invented causing lots of lens flare and reflections ultimately leading to the destruction of the Vulcan empire and Nokia somehow surviving this decade.

  21. promytius
    FAIL

    cure for insomnia

    Star Trek is dead.

    Boring.

    Forget it.

  22. Magister
    WTF?

    WTF?

    Having seen an interview that JJ Abrams gave, it's pretty clear that he has absolutely no idea of what Star Trek is about, let alone how the characters interact. I actually thought he was a bit contemptuous of the Star Trek fans; and he has made the film primarily for other movie goers with only the minutest nod towards the real fans.

    My impressions of the previous film was that he had been given a list of characters names and had been told to include them all and to hell with any storyline continuity. Gene Roddenberry did say back in the 80s that he was open to a "refresh", but I'm not sure that he imagined it was going to be quite so radical.

    It also seems these days, that any film is about the effects, not the story. Hollywood seems to be obsessed with this which is why so many of the current crop of films are such a pile of pants. You may have the coolest effects, but if there is no real story, the film will simply be no good.

  23. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Flame in three, two...

    Isn't is Star Trek: Into Darkness?

    1. FartingHippo
      Trollface

      Re: Flame in three, two...

      [citation needed]

  24. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
    WTF?

    Hang on a sec...

    ....did you just say that "super 8" was quite good?

    It was awful.

    Article dismissed.

  25. John 62
    Boffin

    I'll watch it anyway

    This is my problem! I will just watch it anyway. Star Trek 2009 was a good film, a little too Galaxy quest for me, but hey, Galaxy Quest was a pretty good film, too.

    The bigger issue is that they're rehashing the original, for no reason. Putting Federation insignia into the uniform material is cool and all, but why can't we imagine the future any more? What would be wrong with going to the 25th century? And maybe having a few strong female characters?

    Star Trek got off to a really shaky start. Roddenberry had a vision for the future, but hadn't fleshed out the universe for it. I mean, they never really got the Star Dates sorted out. Why shoehorn continuity where there was none? Leave it be and move on!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a huge fan of ST reboot...

    ...but I think I can force myself to watch Alice Eve for a couple of hours just to make sure.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm obviously not a real ST fan...

    ...as even though I grew up with the original series (and subsequent movies), I actually preferred TNG (by some way). To me the original series is nostalgia - but I don't confuse fond memories with being the best (same as with toys from the day compared to today).

    As for the reboot - meh. It's OK as a film, but it may as well have no connection to ST at all as far as I am concerned - I watched the first one as a SciFi movie only.

    I expect lots of angry trekkies/trekkers to down-vote this (make it so) :-)

    1. steward
      Go

      Re: I'm obviously not a real ST fan...

      Actually, TNG is closer to what Roddenberry's vision was than TOS was. He just didn't have the budget in TOS. One thing that Roddenberry sometimes referred to was that Star Trek was "Hornblower in Space"... and if you're at all familiar with C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower books, you'll see that Captain Picard is much closer to Hornblower in mannerisms than Captain Kirk ever was.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only ST I used to be a fan of

    was an Atari :-0

  29. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Not Watching

    If they want to do Star Trek, fine do Star Trek and accept all of the history and storyline. There is a lot of the orignal series that is untold. I can cope with new actors covering it, heck even keeping the same universe but a decent re-imaging would have been good (think Battlestar, a Kirk who cared that the red security guard got killed would have been cool).

    The "we are in an alternate universe" thing and can do whatever we want just annoyed the heck out of me. It smacked of them having a plot and just re-using the Star Trek brand to ensure people watched it.

    I have no problem with a reboot, new characters etc.. but Star Trek developed numerous rules over the years, federation ships have two warp neceles, transporters only work to around 10,000kms, Warp 9.9 is about 1000 light years a year, etc... Any federation planet was governed by a single government, police, medical, military are folded into federation forces. None of these things would greatly affect the plot but would have constrained the story telling. The films/tv series did occasionally break it's own rules, but overt he 20 or so years did develop a rather well thought out universe. Instead of taking advantage of that we got a film that wasn't even consistent to it's own rules.

    I won't be watching/supporting Into Darkness, with Enders Gate, Iron Man, etc.. I can get my Sci-Fi fix elsewhere and I wonder if the other fans they burned will bother watching it?

    1. Joe Cooper
      Facepalm

      Re: Not Watching

      I've watched every single episode and movie. Recently. They play real fast & loose with the continuity and there isn't a single Trek series that isn't half crap on an episode to episode basis. So I'm frequently astounded by the way trekkies talk about it.

      You, for example, seem to take real seriously a point that isn't even relevant:

      "Any federation planet was governed by a single government"

      There had to be a single top government, but nations and states we're familiar with were routinely mentioned including France, Florida, Ukraine and Iowa. These are together with various off-Earth colonies under a common Earth government; think of the US with its federal government, constituent state & territory governments, counties, towns, etc.

      There was even a ship in TNG labeled as built in the USSR.

      Now you might say these are "regions" and I can accept "France" being a region.

      But not Iowa.

      If the American states were to all disband and be folded into one actual single government, there is no way each individual flyover state is going to retain its identity. The whole region would be seen as a great big cornfield with cities in it.

      Star Trek is a silly show. It was silly when Kirk asked an alien "Are there any men on your planet?" and it was silly when Janeway solved yet another problem by blowing up the ship.

      Let it be silly.

  30. Not my fault!

    Somebody needs to revoke Kirks driver license.

  31. steward
    FAIL

    JJ Abrams and his crew - fanbois? Gotta be kidding!

    The two JJ Abrams films seem to be based on the following premise:

    "Terran system - the final frontier.

    These are the orbits of the Starship Enterprise

    Its continuing mission:

    To stick as close to Earth as possible

    To kill new life and protect old civilizations

    To timidly avoid where no one has gone before!"

    If Roddenberry hadn't been cremated, he'd be rolling in his grave...

  32. Fuzzy Duck
    FAIL

    the review was going so well

    until you said that you liked 'super 8'...oh dear, it was terrible. a nice idea, but poorly executed....next....

  33. dansus

    Dont care, its Trek, gonna watch it.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    to say you are not going to name the villain

    then pretty much blow it in the photo captions is daft.

    The 1st reboot film suffered from the same problem as Star Trek VI. Apparently this fearsome Star Empure only has one planet as destroying that seems to kill off the species. Star Trek VI is also famous for Nimoy taking 30 years to xatch up with evrryone else "Hey! The Klingons are the Soviets in the Cold War!"

    I was looking forward to this film, till I caught the promo interview with J J Abrams with his "I know best andup yours" attitude. Not slavishly lustening to the fans is OK, doing that will screw you creatively, but, sad as it might be, Star Trek is part of a shared culture, so sticking with yhe characters rathrr than the effrcts would be the way to reflect thst, as the character interaction seems yo be what hooked the die hard fans. GalaxyQuest got that, not sure Abrams does

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now I clicked on that IMDB link... my merciless ribbing of a friend every time a Star Trek trailer comes on seems all the more cruel.

  36. Jemma Silver badge

    Zoe Saldana. Leather. Hot!

    How on earth is she supposed to 'fit the character' of Nichelle Nichols? Slice a foot from her legs add a foot round the waist and 30lbs of bulgarian airbags.

    Sigh, a manic depressive anorexic really doesnt do scotty justice either.

    But then, see above, and you just stop caring*.

    *YMMV

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Cumber 'patch

    Is this an area of a cornish allotment??

  38. chris 50
    Thumb Up

    Good review

    Having just watched the film last night, I fully agree with the overly fanboy-isms forced into Into Darkness just for the sake of it. The 'big reveal' was once particular moment I was hoping would never come and that al the frantic is he/isn't he internet musings were just that. As as for the role-reversal scene with all the forced lines re-hashed, well that was a cringe worthy moment to say the least.

    2009 Star Trek was a breath of fresh air being breathed into an already stale format, its pace, character and plot were all sitting on the edge of perfection for a Star Trek film and at one point even came close for me to replacing The Wrath Of Khan as Trek's best. The 2013 Star Trek, however, does not come close to replacing Khan, and is in no way nearly as enjoyable as its predecessor. That is, however, not to say Into Darkness is not a good film - I thoroughly enjoyed it! The visuals are simply stunning, the music was perfect (loved the nods given in the soundtrack to the relevant previous Trek moments), Pine was just as brilliant at being Shatner+1 this round as he was the first, Quinto was as good as he was before, and as said in the review, both Pegg and Urban upped their game considerably. Zalander was mis-used as the 'reaction shot' throughout and it became tireseom after a while, Cho was completely unused and really only had that one good line, and Yelchin''s performance got lost in the action. I hope the next Trek lets all the characters shine again, because they are all brilliantly cast (especially now Pegg has slipped into Doohan's skin a little better).

    Not usually one to get into the pointless debates over *personal opinion" of which Trek was best or worst, I must say it is refreshing to see someone else express their opinion of The Voyage Home in a less than positive manner - the film was fun and had some extremely good one-liners, but give me the less appreciated Search for Spock and Undiscovered Country over Voyage Home any day - I thought I was the only one (as I seemingly am with Skyfall - why is that film so lauded with praise when it is embarrassing and pale in comparison with Casino and Quantum?!).

    Into Darkness: Liked it a lot. Didn't love it like 2009's Trek. Will see it again.

  39. Michael Hudson
    Meh

    Can't agree with the review

    I'm a 30 year old who enjoyed watching repeats of the original series but had no time for the Patrick Stewart version. I really enjoyed the first film and marginally preferred it over the second. I've probably seen a couple of the original Shatner movies but I would certainly not describe myself as a fanboy. Khan was a completely new character to me and so I just enjoyed the movie. I didn't go to watch Into Darkness with any baggage, other than having recently rewatched the first movie.

    So if you go into a movie with expectations (baggage) then you have far more potential for disappointment. But if like me you're just looking for some entertainment and escapism, you won't be disappointed.

    8/10

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