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Jun 10 2013

The Good Thing About Star Trek: Into Darkness

Yes, there is just one. There are other things that would have been good in other movie, but they were pulled down by the suck of this one.

No. It isn’t Benedict Cumberbatch. This is where I lose my audience by saying I’m not much of a fan. Meh. And while Sherlock makes good use of Cumberbatch’s alien corpse vibe by casting him as a character who is widely regarded as inhuman, Into Darkness turns him into just one more above-average jerk whose arrogance has fooled him into thinking he’s an invincible genius. I get enough of those in real life.

No, there is one completely believeable moment in Into Darkness, and I hold it as a dear thing. The script doesn’t overplay it, so I’m not sure anyone even noticed. Still, I appreciated it.

You see, if I were Admiral Robocop, I would absolutely choose Kirk to be my patsy. I can’t think of a single better stupidly gung ho character in all of cinema to send to fuck everything up for everyone in the galaxy.

In fact, Kirk fails to do that only by luck. If Cumberbatch’s plaster vampire hadn’t surrendered when he did, and if Kirk hadn’t been so stupidly arrogant himself as to think he could handle it, Admiral Banzai would have had exactly what he wanted. Like many a cartooon villain before him, he was undone because the kids in The Mystery Machine make habitual bad decisions.

And I’m completely cool with that. The one thing I like about this movie is that Admiral Liddy picked the perfect stupid fall guy and failed only because he didn’t understand that this Kirk is stupider even than that. It’s kinda perfect.

15 comments

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  1. 1
    PZ Myers

    We share an opinion of both the movie and Cumberbatch. I don’t get his popularity; I think it’s just that people like to say his name.

    Of course, even that he doesn’t do as well as he could have. There aren’t enough “z”s in it.

  2. 2
    rorschach

    Whoa, easy now!

    You see, if I were Admiral Robocop, I would absolutely choose Kirk to be my patsy. I can’t think of a single better stupidly gung ho character in all of cinema to send to fuck everything up for everyone in the galaxy.

    I think you are confusing the caricature that Abrams and this godawful writer what’s his name have created of James Kirk, with the original character.

    And while Sherlock makes good use of Cumberbatch’s alien corpse vibe by casting him as a character who is widely regarded as inhuman, Into Darkness turns him into just one more above-average jerk whose arrogance has fooled him into thinking he’s an invincible genius.

    But it’s much worse than that! The fools casted a pale whitey with the charisma of a dead rat in the role of a tanned Indian with all the energy, power and charisma that presumably comes with being genetically superior (the role Ricardo Montalban so perfectly played).
    I was actually thinking about this when I watched “The Naked Gun” last night, the scene where Leslie Nielsen throws the dead killer fish back into Ludwig’s aquarium. Er, never mind.

  3. 3
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Holy crap, I want to see a film or read a book with your version of these actions, characters and their names in it.

  4. 4
    Mag

    I’m seeing close parallels between Kirk and Fry from Futurama….

  5. 5
    Eristae

    I think you are confusing the caricature that Abrams and this godawful writer what’s his name have created of James Kirk, with the original character.

    Admittedly I haven’t watched any of the TOS in a long time and I never watched much of it because I disliked what I did see, but the only impression I ever got of Kirk was that he was The Man Women Wanted to Fuck. Maybe I just caught a few bad episodes and most of them were reasonable, but bloody hell was I offended by the ones I did see. Like, there was this one episode where a bunch of the crew was sick with something that was giving them big boils or some such thing, and a female officer started going off about how badly she’d always wanted Kirk to look at her legs while touching her legs to show how incredibly ugly the boils were.

    Actually, let me go see if I can find the episode . . .

    Ha! Found it.

    Jeez that episode peeved me. I don’t think I ever tried to watch an episode after that.

  6. 6
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Am I the only person on the planet who enjoyed the movie in and of itself?

  7. 7
    Jadehawk

    I think you are confusing the caricature that Abrams and this godawful writer what’s his name have created of James Kirk, with the original character.

    I’m pretty sure her comment was about that flavor of Kirk, so I don’t get this comment. why would she comment on a kirk that doesn’t exist in the movie she’s talking about?

  8. 8
    seraphymcrash

    I’ve been besieged by people at my place of employment who are baffled at my disgust with this movie. They think I’m being overly nit picky, but I do not like the return of Dudebro Star Trek. Sure TNG had it’s warts and a tendency to rely on techno babble, but at least it wasn’t an offensive farce.

    The whole time I couldn’t believe that Kirk would ever be allowed in a starship, much less be captain of one.

  9. 9
    Stephanie Zvan

    Nah, Azkyroth, you’re not the only one. I know people who enjoyed it. I even like them. It’s just that this movie did a lot of things I hate in filmmaking, and I don’t have a ton of Trek goodwill for it to trade on.

  10. 10
    mithrandir

    As is well known, Star Trek was too… philosophical for JJ Abrams.

    Via Wil Wheaton’s tumblr.

  11. 11
    Ysanne

    You see, if I were Admiral Robocop, I would absolutely choose Kirk to be my patsy. [...] The one thing I like about this movie is that Admiral Liddy picked the perfect stupid fall guy and failed only because he didn’t understand that this Kirk is stupider even than that.

    Fair point, but if I were Admiral Robocop, I’d maybe wake up Khan to give me ideas, and when he starts being a bit more than I bargained for, just extract the magic blood of him and all his hibernated buddies to store in test tubes, killing the lot of them, and dispose of the bodies in a clean and efficient manner. The whole operation should not involve dependence on having recruited an irresponsible moron to shoot hibernated people hidden away in intriguingly high-tech torpedoes into a far-away planet in hostile territory for some very shaky reason.

  12. 12
    John-Henry Beck

    I kinda liked the movie. Partly from not having that high an opinion of Trek in the first place, as it was often full of bad science and all that. To some degree I could sit back and enjoy the pretty pictures.
    There was certainly plenty to hate. (72 torpedoes? Each with a magically installed launch tube? WTF?)

    I do think that’s a pretty good point, though. The Kirk set up in the movie was very much the perfect hothead to use as a patsy.

  13. 13
    Jason Thibeault

    Yes… that is exactly the problem. Too much cerebral content. Not enough fucking lens flares.

    Thus, the new timeline takes away all the things that tempered Kirk and crew, and eliminates them. Short-circuits it all and puts them all in command of the flagship fresh out of the damned academy.

    No wonder Admiral Robocop picked Kirk as patsy. He was everything that made Kirk horrible, without any of the good.

  14. 14
    infraredeyes

    Absurd plot, agreed. But worth seeing for Simon Pegg’s performance as Scotty.

  15. 15
    Helix

    No! No! The one good thing was the yellow plastic 3D glasses! You know I’m right.

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