JJ Abrams horrible ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ was something he felt strongly about only one aspect of – he wasn’t going to call it what it was – Star Trek 12.
The word sequel is frightening to JJ and he fails at them every time. So we get nonsense name INTO DARKNESS. He tried to wipe away all other Trek with his bizarre Kelvin Timeline- which all fans hate- in the first mediocre movie he gave us.
The title INTO DARKNESS really became more like a fulfilled threat when you consider the after effects. This 2013 Disaster is STILL causing problems for Star Trek fans. It’s so bad yet somehow did so well at the Box Office that it swaps out the fanbase almost completely. Not a dime was spared on advertising either, so you would have needed to live in a cave not to know this thing was coming.
By the time the movies finally released curiosity had been running high among fans and non fans. The (deceptive) trailers were indicating a deeper story this time. In fact the dishonest marketing of this movie is a blogpost of its own. They were also very, very firm that this was not going to be a remake of Wrath of Khan, which was of course a blatant lie (Click Here for the Wrath of Khan Review).
The enthusiasm before INTO DARKNESS comes out was because the 2009 movie was almost ok. The damage it did to the lore was bad enough, but seemed like we could move on from it if there was some Damage Control. People liked the casts skill and the strong physical resemblances, but the movie was just okay. Safe-ish with an extended cameo from an original cast member, it was more ‘fun’ than good. It was kind of like the Force Awakens that way. So INTO DARKNESS was seen as a referendum on WHAT Trek would even be going forward.
For awhile confusion reigned. This time the movie wasn’t much like Star Trek at all. In the end it redefines Trek for the worse, forever lowering the bar. There’s little fun to take away in this dreary, under-explained movie.
In the wake of INTO DARKNESS Star Trek was left with a much smaller, less demanding set of fans who gleefully watch terrible space soap operas in denial. This suits the creators just fine too, sadly.
This movie has a rushed, messy story and the bad script never really gets action and humor clicking at the same time. It destroys characters in a way that’s reminiscent of peoples takes on The Last Jedi. Its also just as contrived and stupid as Rise of Skywalker. Considering JJ’s feelings about Ruin Johnsons Last Jedi this is the height of irony.
The actual plot of the movie only kicks in for about the last 40 minutes after endless bait and switches. The movie swaps out bad guys halfway through after playing games with Khan’s identity.
THE WRATH OF KHAN VS INTO DARKNESS POLL
For the purposes of our poll, heres the trailers for BOTH versions of this movie. Its owrth noting that none of the opening dialogue from Pike reassuring Kirk never made it into the movie. Pike never tells Kirk he believes in him. As usual JJ’s isnt a great representation of the movie we got and had lots of stuff that was just being crowd tested.
Next – the classic 80s trailer for the original version of the movie. I consider it pretty Bold and confident. It also has the most extensive and believable CGI ever seen and, in context we see it in the movie- it holds up, its supposed to a CGI simulation we see our heroes watch.
Late in the story out of nowhere the movie tells us that Khan is merely misunderstood. The real problem is Star Fleet is led by a guy kind of like George W Bush. Admiral Robocop, played by Peter Weller, is just outright dishonest and simply spoiling for war. Maybe he’s really paranoid too. He’s a shell character and a really cheap bad guy with few menacing traits when he is revealed as evil. He simply has a really powerful ship.
This ham handed ‘Bad Guy Swapping’ late in the story really underscores Khans uselessness to any faction of this world in this iteration. The average Romulan Captain is as smart and dangerous. Computer’s would have to function less well than ours to account for anyone needing “genius” Khan. Star Fleet has plenty of Mad Scientists, like Robert Daystrom, get him, fund him and build a weapons tech team. There’s no need to unfreeze a super criminal.
Admiral Robocop’s time in this movie as the Big Bad and the Man Behind the Man is pretty brief and most of it concerns him being pretty easily vanquished.
So people were right to wonder who the bad guy even was. His reveal is also the reveal of the actual plot. Then we rush to the end. Important parts in this movie happen inside what you could call a brisk TV timeframe. Another way to put this would be -they waste a lot of time.
At the end the crew ‘Do the Right Thing’ and re-freeze Khan; despite the fact he only attacks and kills people in this iteration. It also seems kind of cruel in spite of what a jerk he is, because again – he’s merely a pretty smart super-soldier. He’s not as dangerous as an entity like Data, hes far less strong and not as smart.
If Romulan’s and Kilngon’s can be detained so can this version of Khan. Surely this worlds prison tech can handle him if he’s not being allowed to play with and design weapons all day. Its just to bring Kelvin Khan back- forget that. Benedict Cumberbatch will never play this role again, trust me.
Like much panned Star Trek The Motion Picture- there’s no real bad guy. We’re gunning for fugitive John Harrison for 70 minutes and then we find out Harrison is actually Khan. It’s a bad use of subversion. Just as that settles in the movie swaps Kelvin Khan for Admiral Robocop as the Bad Guy. In this movie Khan’s just a pitiable science experiment gone awry that the crew needs to shut down.
Not killing the bad guy is kind of an episodic TV thing. It’s a tough sell in any flick, but can work if you trust the movie. This movie had been too cute with the truth a few times already though- so there’s no real payoff and I found it unfulfilling.
So what villain we have is semi-rehabilitated and then put into a LITERAL character fridge. Its a terrible writing choice. Should they try to bring Kelvin Khan back he wont have changed or grown. He’s simply paused and refrozen, not suffering on a planet, brooding. He can only come out of this the way he went in. It’s limiting to say the least.
There’s also an unexplored ethical question here too. Khans blood cures terminal illnesses and can even bring back people who are already dead for a while. There’s plenty of it too. In fact I’d rather see a movie where they take Khan to hospitals and transfuse his blood to save children and slowly rehabilitate him more than this movie ever again.
INTO DARKNESS is so compromised by the middle that you’ll experience a sonic boom or doppler-like effect where all the the badly paced story’s noise hits us at once and breaks immersion. The movie just implodes from all the shortcuts and its thin premise by the middle.
After the second time they pull the rug out out from under you you’re numb to the rest. We just dont know whats true by the middle. Audiences can assume there’s no lasting implications to anything by the halfway point. That holds up for the rest of the movie.
There’s major holes in the story that require the characters to be really stupid for the plot to advance.
Like “Genius” Khan attacking Star Fleet HQ with really weak 300 year old tech outfitted with ill-suited weapons. His attack craft is just really under-gunned. In fact, it’s much less menacing than things we’ve had for fifty years. If Khan had been enough of a genius as to even just steal an Apache helicopter from a museum and used that he’d have won right there. Instead he fails.
Khan is repeatedly described as super smart but we aren’t shown this and he makes no kind of genius moves. His plan is simply to attack a couple of times and allow himself to be followed so he can be captured.
So Khan’s plan is escape so he can be recaptured. That’s the plan.
Khan is already where he needs to be for his plan to work in the first place. His journey in this mess is kind of pointless.
Why Khan escapes is a bit of a mystery. He needs to be on the inside of Star Fleet to pull this off- so he defects or escapes from their custody to get the ball rolling on this? Why would they hold Khan anywhere BUT the Weapons Development Plant on Mars where they’re building the ship he designed and wants to steal? So he was running away from his target to chase it down. It makes no sense. Or Khan had no plan and just lucks out over and over.
Khan’s plan is so bad that if any ship but the Enterprise had been sent after him they would have just fired the Special Photon torpedoes and tried to split as ordered. This would have killed all Khan’s people and left him marooned on the Klingon Homeworld- where he would have been screwed.
For some strange reason after Khan escapes he simply sticks to the same plan the Star Fleet traitors cooked up and goes to the exact place they’d want him to.
This how a GENIUS schemes? The guy’s plan only works because everyone chasing him is dumb. When Khan calls the characters inept and stupid we’re cued and nudged to think he’s arrogant. It fails because he’s simply right. The crew are dumb as can be. The ‘Bad Guy’ is spot on correct. And it’s ironic, they didn’t intend it. This is a GOOD movie?
So Khan’s Genius plan totally hinges on the people Star Fleet sends after him being extremely naive and incompetent. If not the story is over. It’s ….just part of his plan. That it actually worked? Stories take a hit when the character’s are so dumb you can bank on it.
All this doesn’t help Khan look overconfident at all when he mocks and taunts Kirk, Spock and McCoy. He’s just right, they’ve been acting dumb throughout this whole movie. The movie being unaware the Bad Guy is actually right when he calls our heroes losers is simply failed storytelling and a Self Inflicted Wound. The damage is starting to really pile up.
It hurts the story when Khan’s really stupid plan pretty much works anyway; relying on Star Fleet to be dumb is just the correct assessment. Hes pretty dumb too, going in a circle to get out and then back in to Federation Custody as a lowly prisoner. It’s a puzzling jailbreak.
Along the way this self important movie doesn’t know if its a light drama or a light comedy and ends up just another mediocre action movie, but with Star Trek uniforms.
This movies success makes the fans look like complete suckers and after one try from Simon Pegg we never get a quality writer again. In fact it kills its sequel and compromises its prequels. It poisons the groundwater and fans are angry and Disengaged. So ironically it’s a lot like The Last Jedi- a movie JJ Abrams hates with all his soul.
This movie is no fun. There’s a suicide bombing,the tale of a Make-A-Wish Kid, a really inartful T&A scene and worse. JJ apologized for the T&A BEFORE the movie was released. It was left in anyway, so was anyone really sorry? It’s so much worse because you know it’s coming and the joke doesn’t work at all.
JJ kills Kirk with way too much time left in the movie for it to be believable. Then Kirk is bought back super easily via throw away lines and a joke after a chase to get a resource they already had in great supply.
They’re looking to end the movie with Kirk as a one-woman kind of guy with a new character that just doesnt show up in the Sequel at all.
JJ Abrams then abandons and cons Star Trek fans, Paramount and CBS by creating SECRET HIDEOUT- a scam production company to make nonstop bad TV Trek. This was the second bad movie in a row- its kills its prequel too.
JJ Abrams can NOT write a sequel- mostly because his stories self contradict til no sense can made of them (LOST, West World). It is hard on all of the movies before and after it with strange takes on characters and very lazy writing. Khan is a simple cut out whose bad because hes evil and that’s about it, though the movie doesn’t know this.
No fans have ever had Abrams come by their franchise and leave it better — so that Amazon Lord of the Rings show is going to be horrible.
Thats my Theory and I will now back it up through a synopsis of the movie and its overly complicated yet still simplistic plot.
The Terrible Story
The story in this movie begins with a Star Trek-like moment, but it’s a more like a quick Star Trek skit. Its almost going somewhere until all tropes combine in 3 minutes. While it does feel like Star Trek by the time Bones and Jim jump off that cliff the franchise basically goes with them.
The cold open sort of teases all the best things we loved from the show while also showcasing many of the problems you will come to loathe if you try re-watching this movie. I know i do.
Jim is sort of stupid and shoots everything that moves. The writers only trust Karl Urban’s McCoy to advance plot points because the story is so weak. In the cold open there’s too much going on at once. Jim and Bones are running from the angry locals- whose temple they have just vandalized for no apparent reason. It’s a really bad violation of the Prime Directive.
Meanwhile Spock is indifferently trying to neutralize a volcano to save the locals. The Volcano is totally ready to go. Rather than leave Spock alone Uhura decides to henpeck him while he arms a bomb. This triggers Spock’s out of control BiPolar Disorder and sends him into a depressive low.
Then the conveniences and shortcuts come together and we find out that while Spock can probably stop the Volcano there’s not a huge chance he lives. Their overly complicated and stupid approach has made this relatively simple mission highly dangerous for no real reason.
Just arm the device and lower it into the volcano! This is our “Genius” crew member?
Then we get find out- 11 movies and 8 TV series later- that the Transporter is a line of sight technology. Uhura and Spock then have a bit of an argument over the fact he might die- instead of anything that makes sense. Like saying goodbye or I love you.
Before you have time to process the stupidity there’s a cool effect that distracts us while the triumphant music cues the credit sequence.
This is what’s called a Key Jangle and JJ Abrams is all about it. It works like this – JJ knows we want to see something so he gives it to us- unearned. You’re happy to see it and then he cranks up the pace the way the military tosses grenades- to disorient, confuse and change the conversation quick.
This is cool for a moment- but falls apart on second viewing. In the bait and switch skit JJ is making it seem like this movie would resemble the formula we loved on TV- they go to a planet and meet an earth-like culture. This Key Jangle is a microcosm of the rest of the movie.
The entire movie is a glorified Key Jangle- so called because it’s a crude attempt at amusement aimed only at the child-like part of our minds that just likes to see things. Like shaking your keys for a baby. Its actually more like inartful co-option.
While here and there some ‘Fan Service’ is good, when you try to use that alone to power a Non Story you get Star Trek 2009, Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Wars-The Force Awakens or the ultimate movie with no story -Star Wars-The Rise of Skywalker. In other words- the last four JJ Abrams Movies.
There’s no reason for Spock to be in so much danger. Why not arm the device and THEN beam it over or lower it down? They show us the winch on the shuttle. The scene really makes no sense. The ship being in orbit rather than under water would have been ideal- but it wouldn’t have looked cool. The story takes its first hit early.
The volcano sequence is just so we can get an emotional moment from Spock. Kelvin Spock would benefit from medication for his mood disorder.
To save Spock -because like idiots they needlessly hid their ship under an ocean instead of staying in orbit, where the transporter works better- the Enterprise reveals itself to the locals.
It’s another violation of the Prime Directive. They fly off having inspired a Cargo Cult and changed the planets development. Im figuring this movie will be about trying to undo that and be sort of in the spirit of the show. That doesn’t happen because this movie is contemptuous of its history and unaware its a sequel.
The first five minutes of the movie has charm- but at high cost to the World of Star Trek! There’s character Assassination. Spock is an emotionally unstable idiot who can arm a bomb but can not utilize a winch to avoid needless danger. There’s a major canonical change – The transporter now is less useful than in the past. The new take on the Prime Directive and how Kirk ‘works around it’ are idiotic.
Then there’s also a few major contrivances. How come Kirk doesn’t recognize the creature they rode in on and stuns it? If they didn’t ride in on it why is it even waiting there alone, sort of saddled? Is there a space version of Uber or Zip Car dropping off animals to ride? This level of convenience never slacks off.
When you see Jim and Bones jump off a mega cliff into the water it looks cool but its fatally high. This movie outright rebels against the idea you pay attention to or think about it. If you do the movie makes very little sense. Five minutes in we see humans shaking off fatal implications just for spectacle. In small doses this would have been ok, but it sort of builds up and by the middle of the movie we’re pretty sure no matter what happens everyone is going to be okay in any situation.
It made the movie pretty boring and stakes free. Later we even get miracle serum that has powers some would consider to be….Unnatural.
Its the first Star Trek movie released in my adult life I didn’t go back to see in theaters again. I knew it sucked. I was called crazy for about 2 months.
For a good while there I was alone in that opinion and this awful movie did so well that it POISONED ALL FUTURE STAR TREK PROJECTS. The Home Video release at least got me some vindication. This movie is a terrible second view.
Anyway, the ‘good’ part of the movie is over. Only two hours and ten minutes to go.
I was immediately concerned. But since the acting is pretty good and they re-did the shot from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when they jump off a cliff to reassure us that it must be art because that was a great movie(Key Jangle) a lot of people were fooled. The Rotten Tomatoes Critic and fan score are suspiciously high and I suspect a reassessment is in the offing. This movie is Star Treks Rise of Skywalker.
This movie also knows its bad and shows its insecurity all the time.
The events are dumb and the characters are just lucky most of the time. Khans plan is preposterous yet works. None of the characters grow and some even “Arc Back” on themselves. Their tech is inconsistent and slaved to the story rather than any objective rules at all.
At the end this movie simply stops. Its unfulfilling at best. We get there the cheapest intellectual way we can, every time.
THE ART OF THE KEY JANGLE
We loved Wrath of Khan, so JJ’s going to recreate it badly and reference it over and over in a key jangling rip off. It was unearned and the characters and story take repeated major hits for the contrivances to work.
For instance in Wrath of Khan the bad guy and our heroes had a history! We’d seen Khan before. The Original Khan had depth and style. He was a Bond Villain as well as his own Enforcer with his super-strength. He’s a really smart version of Captain America, but arrogant and evil.
Competent, menacing, physically imposing and sometimes charming. Hes highly literate with excellent table manners. Original Khan menaces Kirk and kills Kirk’s friends in some excellent and believable encounters.
This movie was a franchise killer. The directors commentary will not help you on this movie. JJ doesnt make them for movies that are called out- so there is none. Maybe it did so well because people were convinced they missed something and saw it twice or wanted to finish their Trek movie collection with an expensive blu-ray.
The first movie was just one long beginning. It was in-assessable and had more action than story. Its most notable for JJ’s insufferable commentary.
In the commentary for Star Trek 2009 JJ says crazy, upsetting shit about how terrible an idea Star Trek even was, kind of mocks the idea anyone ever liked it and tells us how hard he’s gonna try to change it into a mix of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars- to spare us from Gene Roddenberry’s bad ideas.
You could consider his first Star Trek movie his first draft of Rise of Skywalker. JJ just makes the same movie in different co-opted Intellectual Properties. The old fashioned term for this level of creativity is “Hack” Fans hated him for it.
If JJ Abrams made music he’d be songwriter for Stone Temple Pilots. They got some riffs and a cool sounding name. They kind of rock like Led Zeppelin in a more modern way- but the first singer was a useless drug addict and the lyrics merely rhyme. After a while you just put on the old Aerosmith or Zeppelin stuff they sound like and maybe the Black Crowes are better. This will get you rewatching Perfect Movie Wrath of Khan and having some real revelations about how bad New Star Trek really is.
In short STP and JJ Abrams are puzzling doses of super High Fructose Corn Syrup. They’re like an Energy Drink. To be consumed and forgotten. Does anyone know what a SEX TYPE THING or a Stone Temple Pilot even is all these years later? Imagine that as a production company and you have JJ Abrams BAD ROBOT PRODUCTIONS.
THE MOST CONTRIVED STAR TREK MOVIE TO DATE
Turning on the subtitles will show you most of the dialogue is garbage. After the credits Kirk is chewed out and relieved by Admiral Pike. NOT for anything that makes sense- like vandalizing and pilfering from the temple on the planet. That was something Star Fleet would never do, but they needed a joke. So now Star Fleet are just like ISIS blowing up UNESCO world heritage sites- but its funny; so its ok.
Kirk is demoted because Spock stabbed him in the back by mistake. This happens because he’s dumb and Kirk is a lazy idiot who doesnt review his crew reports. The official reason is “saving the planet and everyone on it as well as Spock” -something they were right to do but accomplished like idiots.
Kirk and Spock have a lovers quarrel right there while they’re getting busted for sucking at their jobs. Speaking on behalf of the audience Pike kicks out Spock and takes Kirk down a peg. His overall take is “youre an incompetent, insufferable, overconfident asshole.” I pretty much agreed with Pike’s assessment.
Pike is about the only person whose actions in this movie add up. It’s probably because he’s barely in it. The Federations stance is a bit puzzling but apparently this what we do to captains who care in Star Fleet. So that’s it, they broke up the crew and the movies over….. its 16 minutes in so we know this won’t hold up.
Don’t worry- everything is going to magically work out in the next few minutes due to major contrivances in the script.
A preposterous suicide bombing inspired by pain over a “Make-A-Wish” Kid side story that no one wants to see is just jammed into the end of the movies first act. Thankfully it’s a rushed montage with no dialogue, but it super-sucks and it’s still five wasted minutes.
The Make-A-Wish Kid’s dad suicide bombs the Federation archives. Its heavy handed and self-important. It’s just a really good CGI explosion. It;s not an interesting new weapon (Like The Genesis Device In Wrath of Khan). That the explosive is the size of a few sticks of gum is only just so futuristic. This sequence is a drag.
The attack puts the Federation on a Wartime Footing.
We hear the perpetrator is “John Harrison” from Admiral Robocop- who is Star Fleets Head of Operations. Kirk verifies this with Google Streetview in a sequence that is no longer futuristic.
The Federations War Plan is to have all the leading Star Fleet people converge on the most obvious, highly vulnerable place possible with no visible security, making for a tempting target.
The attack that they unwittingly invited of course happens and we see Kirk’s surrogate father Pike die. Star Fleet has no assets in place to stop or end this attack. Just a manual Fire Suppression System….that’s it. Preposterously this is pretty much all they need anyway due to Khan’s inept attack.
To creep things up a bit Spock decides to not help Pike so he could mind-meld with a dying person— to help him be a better boyfriend? So Spock has had two emotional breakdowns already and is ghoulish and dumb. We’re like 17 minutes in.
The movie continues to insist that Spock is a genius with no emotions. In fact this Spock is an intellectual midget and an emotional mess.
So Pikes dead and we’re all out of parents to kill. 17 minutes into the second installment of this movie we’ve killed Kirk’s father, Spock’s mother and now Kirks surrogate father/ mentor. In under two movies. Just to wring emotions out of us and Un-do Kirks firing.
The poorly thought out fight scene is dumb and Kirk almost stops John Harrison by throwing a firehose at him…..he actually does that.
Throwing any object at it would work because Khans attack craft uses Jet engines like the ones we have since World War 2. His craft has weak weapons and very vulnerable engines. THIS is a genius tech inventor? He gets around with 300 year old tech less safe than what we have right now. This is a sci-fi craft? A really weak jet? In this Universe this attack is akin to attacking the UN with a wooden sailing ship.
The death of Pike again reshuffles the deck because Spock’s new captain dies too. The results of this don’t add up but it just works out. Turns out everything that comes to be is just what we needed to happen. Perfect!
Why Spock isn’t captain of his new ship now or why Kirk- a guy who was kicked out of the academy for cheating and was busted down to Commander from Captain this morning for lying and reckless incompetence gets to call the shots for these two ships makes no sense. Star Fleet commander Admiral Robocop likes it though and sends the Enterprise to kill ‘John Harrison’.
Admiral Robocop also has some good news. John Harrison was ‘transporter traced’ to the klingon homeworld Kronos and theres some new super weapons on the way to super kill him.
This is new unexplained tech and we’re not gonna stop to unpack it. You can beam yourself across the Galaxy now. This is minutes after hearing transporters are more or less line of site tech. The movie is contradicting itself.
The biggest question this presents is – SO WHY DO WE EVEN HAVE SHIPS? Just like in The Force Awakens there’s a nebulous new take on scanning technology that they leave it to internet and twitter fan theories to explain.
We just wasted 25 minutes shuffling and then UnShuffling the deck of this story just to end up where we were before the movie starts. What was the point? Kirk is again a Brevit Captain. This part of the plot is another long, pointless circle.
We then just shoehorn in a new character named Carol Wallace. She’s a Sexy Science-y weapons expert. She infiltrates the inner crew because Kirk is a moron and a horn dog who blows off the fact she doesn’t have any transfer orders or paperwork – with their technology. Kirk just lets her mess with the new super weapons anyway. This is the day after being demoted for not bothering to check paperwork. This means Kirk’s character can’t grow because he has to be an idiot for the story to work. Rather than writing a better story? Couldn’t JJ just have tried harder?
So we’ve united, divided and reunited our crew and checked off the KILL PARENT BOX as best we could and now we have our bad guy- or do we?
All we know for sure is John Harrison is definitely not Khan. JJ Abrams said as much. He’s created new bad guy. He was emphatic. Benedict Cumberbatch swore he wasn’t Khan.
The movie was so badly made these are the top things people walk away from the movie trying to figure out –
That this guy isn’t Khan was a relief because there was no set up. There’s no Space Seed movie. Khan has no origin story in this universe. Just parachuting him in to this timeline now would be a disaster! THIS Kirk and his friends don’t know who Khan is at all. They’ve never met, they have no reason to fear him more than say a fairly smart Klingon. There’s plenty of smart, strong potential alien adversaries that are easily on par with Kelvin Khan.
This Khan also has no posse. His people are just kept frozen. Original Khan would have died before allowing this. He cared about his people and knew how to win. Original Khan knows his buddies are his best asset. He unfreezes them and they all ‘Gets Woke’ in an OG way first chance he gets in Space Seed. Who wouldn’t want a few dozen loyal genius super soldiers backing them up? Only Kelvin Khan.
JJ Abrams compresses Khan and just outright loses most of his traits in this rushed and shoddy character he appropriated and does not comprehend at all. Star Trek’s best villain. JJ’s rushed to use him almost right away with no research. Like watching Wrath of Khan is somehow unpleasant? Would it have HURT, JJ?
Kelvin Khan is not a faithful charatcer to the original. He’s merely strong and resourceful. It’s painful to say he’s ‘smart’, but the movie tries to sell us that.
The movie was absolutely dishonestly marketed. People remembered that.
So we walked in to this being assured repeatedly it was it’s own story with a new villain- which coincidentally would have fixed about half of this mess were it the truth. It was all a lie! For no real reason. This guy could have been any villain anyway! I would have been fine with “Star Fleet Traitor John Harrison” as the bad guy. It sure wouldn’t have been any worse than what we saw!
The characters either accidentally happen on, correctly guess or find out everything they need to know from Khan- sometimes. Some stuff just never adds up. Its contrived as can be. There’s even more mistakes in continuity from here on in and we are just watching a bad, lazy remake of Wrath of Khan.
Scotty quits his fucking job over these special new Photon Torpedoes he isn’t allowed to check out. So we’re back to shuffling the deck. Scotty is the smartest member of the crew for trying to get out of this movie to just get drunk. He’ll be back. No ones ever really gone…
We bicker and overtalk our way to the Klingon homeworld. Spock and Uhura break up because Spock is indifferent about dying- kind of. Before we can explain that we let Uhura try to talk to some rando Klingons about how there’s no point in shooting.
This stupid scene was engineered just so Uhura could be in charge for a while. New Uhura doesn’t need a universal translator either. The scene starts dragging on making no sense; so of course everyone just starts shooting. These Klingons look JUST like Peter Jackson’s Orcs.
Chekov is in charge of Engineering when the Warp engines conked out at the exact moment they reached their destination. For no real reason. The Enterprise is ready to fire its special Torpedoes on Kirks orders.
Back on Kronos the Klingons are getting the upper hand when John Harrison shows up and just starts killing most of the Klingon’s off and then starts messing with our heroes. He’s holding both factions at bay.
John Harrison then surrenders to Kirk at the first overly specific mention of the amount of torpedoes they have aimed at him.
We get John Harrison to the Enterprise and throw him in the brig.
They actually say ‘Why did he surrender?” and “Sounds like we have some kind of supervillain here‘ unironically. Talking about what’s wrong with your movie in the movie with no damage control is a self inflicted wound.
Harrison notes the ship is not moving and then unspools the entire scenario we just saw as though he knows everything. He simply asks them if they’re not moving because they’re ship is fucked up.
This blows everyone’s mind and they’re putty in his hands. It makes no sense either. If he was still coordinating with Robocop, why would Robocop be in the room when Khan attacked when he knows Khan hates him? This would make Khan a lousy shot. So there’s no way Khan knows it. He knows it because the movie needs him to needs to scare them.
Even though this falls under “A Lucky Guess” they’re beguiled and believe him. They don’t try to deceive Khan at all and just confirm he’s right.
It’s contrived and preposterous. This part of the story also requires the characters be stupid!
There’s no reason for them to believe anything he says. John Harrison is starting to seem pre-destined to win here. The characters are idiots. “Genius” Spock barely scratches the surface of what the fuck is going on. The movies sole ‘triumph’ here is that it still could be worse- it gets there though. Kirk goes back to kind of say ‘fuck you’ to harrison and the scene sucks. Both actors try but the dialogue is terrible. It really sucks.
Kirk is just dancing to Harrison’s tune and gets goaded into opening up one of the mysterious torpedoes on some planetoid in a sequence that is not charming or interesting. THERES FROZEN PEOPLE INSIDE!! So they call Scotty on Earth and ask him to drive drunk to Mars to check out coordinates Harrison gave them. There he sees and somehow gets aboard the super secret Super Weapon….. it happens off screen.
The content of the mysterious torpedoes is revealed – we find out the people in them are from about OUR time- about 300 years before the movie. In Space Seed and Wrath of Khan the character is said to be from 1996 and thats about 200 years in the past. So either this Star Trek is further into the future or Khan is from 1896 and we need a lot more information.
The Khan reveal is a major and AWFUL turning point in the franchise and one of the worst moments in Star Trek history, certainly on the big screen.
Aside from failing its ignorant of Star Trek. JJ never saw Star Trek – First Contact, so his characters misstate how early space travel began among other things as the clueless story gets dumber and dumber.
So here we are an hour and ten minutes in and we’re re-setting the table again – with about 40 minutes of story left. We wasted all this time chasing one guy thinking one thing and now they just swap that guy out with Khan despite specifically promising they would not do that.
Chris Pine was in touch with Star Trek lore and what fans knew was going on and he played his part of this scene correctly.
This Kirk simply doesn’t react to Khan’s name at all. He stares at him, unsure of what to make of it in a rare thoughtful moment. He looks confused. Like he should have been. That part of this at least made sense. Thank you Chris Pine.
JJ Abrams ladies and gentlemen. The genius who gave us Rise of Skywalker. The movie they promised would not have the Emperor for a long time.
Then the rest of this piece of crap is a bunch of lazy shortcuts. In bad, spoken exposition JJ Abrams tries to sneak lots of nonsense past us. If JJ had had any clue about Star Trek he could have made a Space Seed movie that set this up and motivates Khan. Its a better story than this! With Bad Robots production delays? They would have only made two or three more movies in 12-15 years anyway, they really could have marooned him on a planet. There was a way to do this right. Also- too bad Khan’s unlikable, these people sound interesting.
Spock and Kirk are just no match for Khan- who is not the smooth charming character from the series with depth and motivations of his own. A complex man who ran hot and cold. A politician and a warrior. Its just not there or even explained. The original Khan was a dictator and the kind of guy whose face would have been on money.
This movies Khan is a context free frozen and recycled Marvel Supersoldier whose Science-y. He seemingly aspires to be an Osama bin Laden-type guy. He’s nowhere near as imposing as Ricardo Montalban either time in the role. He does not come off like a genius renaissance man that you would grudgingly admire as the original does.
This is a cut rate Khan and they just blurt out and rush his story by running the stupid dialogue through a really good actor. Cumberbatch tries but the dialogue is really awful. The scene is nowhere as good as the Khan reveal in the Original TV series. You can easily see him just reading the cue cards most of the time. He can’t be proud of this performance.
In fact the original TV scene, which was done on the same soundstage as I Love Lucy with spray painted cardboard sets – puts its Big Screen, Big Budget imitation TO SHAME.
In this movie Cumberbatch seems to be a really shitty actor. It will be revealing how his performance as Dr Strange in the new Spiderman No Way Home comes off- because that first trailer is in-assassible. My only question was – Did he have a facelift?
My take is Cumberbatch realized how bad the movie was and thought he could save it if he could still sell this scene. Then the scene tanks when they do it. The cut in the movie sucks.
Cumberbatch looks more scared than menacing. No one except Karl Urban and Chris Pine are able to hide the fact they know they’re in a terrible movie after this moment.
Cumberbatch has chewed the scenery for the whole movie and now he’s scared as could be and its showing through. Overacting starts to be the norm on what must have been one miserable shoot. Everyone knows and is trying to bail out the story and Cumberbatch. Never call William Shatner a bad actor after seeing this. Most of this crew is far worse from here on in. Nothing could make this version of Spock work.
Kirk asks him “what would the Federation want with an unfrozen 300 year old man?” Fair question. The answer sucks. It’s because he’s super smart and a super warrior. We’ve seen almost none of this, but the movie tells us to believe it.
This Cut-Rate Khan is just a dick who’s really arrogant and really loves war. He’s a ‘super-genius’ made with Nazi-like bio-tech and has a nazi-like mind. If Benedict Cumberbatch’s other deals hadn’t already been signed they would have blamed this failure on him and ended his career. You could tell he senses it.
The Critical Drinkers Theory on movies holds true here- The evil genius in this movie is only as smart as JJ Abrams. Then the knock-on effect is the other characters have to be really really dumb to make him the Genius here.
So anyway things just happen for a while and one thing sort of leads to another. The Enterprise is sort of fixed and they have Khan and 72 other frozen baddies. That’s when Admiral Robocop shows up and masquerades as the villain. His daughter is the sexy aussie Science lady – despite the fact Robocop sounds as American as can be.
He attacks with his SUPER ship. For the second straight time, continuing the unbroken pattern that continues through The Force Awakens and Rise of Skywalker- THE BAD GUY HAS AN AD HOC DEATH STAR! He can’t tell a story without one.
So stuff happens, the Enterprise loses without firing a shot to a gargantuan Federation style ship AT WARP SPEED. Star Trek has been really specific about how this is not possible. Perhaps that’s Khan’s advancement? You could have surrounded the Enterprise with five similar sized ships with the resources this supership took to build. On Mars. In secret. In a Year. The automation is great- but nerfs the ship too later on.
Robocops daughter buys us some time. Shes actually named Carol Marcus and this is a bad take on Kirks PACIFIST SCIENTIST EX-GIRLFRIEND from Wrath of Khan. When Robocop beams her off the Enterprise to his Ad Hoc Death Star it takes about a minute. So apparently in this Star Trek you can’t jump into someone else’s beam to follow them because no one tries.
This is one lazy death star and is more or less the Deathstar Star Destroyers from Rise of Skywalker. Robocops plan sucked, he wanted Khan back to make more weapons even though his stuff shows no real improvement and his “Genius Plan” has been foiled. His Ad Hoc death star needs no real crew- making it a total paper tiger because there’s all of 20 people on it at most. They simply find away to board it.
Scene after scene tanks as we break every rule in Star Trek (having a battle at Warp Speed???). Kirk shows his mettle by running away and failing at it. Khan is freed and they briefly team up with him for no real reason. Then there’s some sort of mixed bag action scenes. The scene where they navigate via jetpacks and space suits to board the other ship is a cool CGI action scene. There’s no respecting how we got there, but it’s good. Then the movie goes back to sucking.
Khan pops Robocop’s head like a zit and that’s all it takes to be in control of the Super Ship.
Contrivances come to together and this time it’s Kirk who dies.
The scene is a pale and terrible imitation of the original and a total key jangle. Kirk fixes the ship by kicking it. He just kicks the warp core components and then he dies of radiation. Spock has a meltdown- this is the third one. Everyone in the theater is on their phone fucking around waiting for this turd to end.
Then, just like that it’s action time. There’s a stupid way to Un-kill Jim but Bones is too dumb to use the Blood from the frozen Human Augment’s they have onboard and erroneously tells Spock they need Khan specifically to save Kirk. Spock is fully enraged and goes to chase down Khan. These are supposedly our three smartest characters and they are all acting like idiots.
Of course, Uhura is instrumental in beating up Khan. (They think) they need Khan alive to bring back Kirk with Khans blood. It saved a Make A Wish kid and bought a tribble back to life earlier so we shouldn’t ask any questions.We like tribbles and he showed us one. Its just there like they don’t have a real disdain for them! That’s another key jangle. Its also some major BULLSHIT.
There’s a huge contrivance here and for it to work our characters again need to be stupid. They have 72 OTHER frozen human augments on the ship– but rather than take blood from any of them they chase down Khan to get his blood and re-freeze him. Its just to throw a ticking clock into the end of the movie.
I was insulted by this but JJ is addicted to soft deaths and people being very easily resurrected. That’s why people say “JJ Abrams can only write beginnings, has not had a new idea in 15 years and cant create stakes”
We crash a ship into San Francisco Bay, again. Its a key jangle about Star Trek IV. It’s also the second time in two movies.
They saved Jim with a needlessly stupid plan. They HAD what they needed already! Did JJ forget about this? There’s so much Rise of Skywalker in this movie! The ending is bad and weak, so JJ jangles the keys one last time- they recite the opening monologue from the Original Series and Next Generation.
Trek fans mostly hated it, especially the bait and switch-ing and the waste of a good actor to play a forgettable Khan. Instead of taking a lot of work and sacrifice like in Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock, they effortlessly bring back Kirk in just minutes and we’re all one big happy crew again! It’s like C-3PO in Rise of Skywalker.
Star Trek Beyond is the better movie but fans were not ever trusting these creators again. It tanked. It was really just a better mediocre movie. Its been downhill ever since. Thanks JJ.