Thursday, May 23, 2013

Star Trek: Into Snarkness

While watching Star Trek: Into Darkness last night, a number of thoughts pranced through my head; some are laudatory, most are snarky. As the #1 film at the box office for two weeks so far, I'm sure they're big enough to take it.

My friend Craig prepared me for the film by describing it as "better than Star Trek: Nemesis... like Star Trek: New Voyages with a budget." That helped.

As Kirk & McCoy leap off a cliff:

"Looks like we'll have to... JUMP!"


Enterprise is unable to beam staff because of the volcano:

I realize later on they declare they can't use Scotty's transwarp from the previous movie any more, but it's quite something to go from the previous film's ridiculously powerful galaxy-spanning transporters to this film's transporters, which are useless every time the good guys need them.

Spock declares the volcano will wipe out the "species":

Is this volcano going to cause a global upheaval which will annihilate all life on the planet? 'Cause from here, it looks like a village is in jeopardy, not a "species." Mount Vesuvius has tried it's best, but the human species has survived it so far.

Khan offers to help a Starfleet officer save his daughter; the officer asks, "Who are you?" The camera focuses on Khan's face for several seconds, but he doesn't speak:

"Oh crap! Who am I? Want to say... Susan? No, no, no, not right! Play it cool, he's starting to stare back, don't give away... damn, he's on to me! I've got nothing!"

Kirk is in bed with two cat-women:

Why must Star Trek insist on courting the furry community?

Pike relieves Kirk of his command:

It's almost as though a guy who never graduated the Academy and cheated on his tests is a poor choice for commanding a starship!

Kirk realizes - an instant too late - that Khan knows Starfleet's protocols in case of a disaster and is preparing an attack on their location:

It's nice that Starfleet has protocols in place for when someone bombs their facilities... pity they have no protocols in place for when staff possessing classified information turn on them.

Kirk wields a fire hose against an aircraft strafing a skyscraper:

"What are you doin', Jim? What the f*** are you doin', Jim?"

Admiral Pike dies:

WHAT?! They killed the best character and the best actor?!

Kirk wants revenge on Khan:

This is quite a change from last movie, where he wanted revenge on Nero.


The facility Khan destroyed turns out to be Section 31:

As a big DS9 and Section 31 fan, it does amuse me that in spite of fandom's intense reaction against Section 31, it's only become more significant in Star Trek since DS9 ended!

Carol "Wallace" introduces herself:

Very nice Easter egg, considering Carol Marcus was first intended to be the original series character Janet Wallace. That's some mighty obscure trivia!

While on a dangerous away mission, Uhura brings up her relationship problems with Spock; Spock explains he feels emotions, even if he doesn't display them:

Not only is this poor timing on Uhura's part but surely she hasn't been dating him this many years without figuring out how Vulcan emotions work before now?

The Klingons wear headgear obscuring their faces:

This way they save money on makeup! Finally, something we all can agree is true to the spirit of Gene Roddenberry!

Kirk's away team winds up in a firefight between Khan and the Klingons:

In advance, I heard the Klingons came off looking poorly in this film; it's not so much that they're pathetic against Khan, as it is... they're just generic bad guys. The movie's not about them, I don't think it's a problem.

Khan surrenders to Kirk; Kirk reacts by beating him for several seconds:

Joe Don Baker is captain of the Enterprise!

Kirk angrily and tearfully confronts Khan in the brig:

Oh, honey. Please, just keep being yourself - don't try to act.

Kirk offers himself to Admiral Marcus (no, not like that) to save his crew; Marcus refuses:

Not that it isn't a grand gesture on Kirk's part, but what hope did this plan have? Since Kirk broadcast Marcus' entire villainous tirade to the crew, surely he understands Marcus now has to kill them to keep his secrets?

Kirk releases Khan for his help in capturing Vengeance away from Marcus:

Laying aside questions of whether Kirk could've captured the ship any other way, since they know they can't trust Khan, why not place a transponder on him so they can at least track him? It would've come in handy later. Of course, Star Trek technology is such that querying "why didn't they use...?" will tear apart even the best stories (ie, "why not time travel? why not psychic powers?").

Spock sends Khan the torpedoes he wants, but detonates them within Vengeance's deck:

In Wrath of Khan, Spock outwitted Khan after realizing he didn't understand starship combat tactics; in this film, Spock outwits Khan by winning a semantics argument ("the torpedoes are yours"). If Khan is this much of a dope, why not try the "got your nose" trick? You could ransom Khan's nose back to him in exchange for his prisoners.

Khan teleports Kirk, Scotty & Carol into the Enterprise brig:

I realize this only briefly slows down the characters, but even though Enterprise's shields are down, shouldn't the brig be shielded against transporters?

Scotty guides Kirk & Chekov in assisting him in repairing Enterprise's engines:

Is the engineering staff really so useless that without Scotty around, no one bothers to remain at their posts to try and fix this stuff? Start paying the extras more money!

Kirk knocks out Scotty so he can sacrifice himself by realigning the warp core:

Not that I think Kirk should've sent Scotty to his doom (though it is one of those things captains are supposed to be capable of), but how did Kirk know how to fix the core? Isn't it fortunate for him it required nothing more than caveman-like bludgeoning to get the power back online?

Just think of all the trouble Starfleet could save themselves if they bought a few robot arms for use in radiation-heavy zones. I think Tony Stark has a couple he's not using...

Scotty tells Spock he'd "better get down here; better hurry.":

I don't think a guffaw was the intended reaction.

Kirk has taken a lethal dose of radiation:

See, it's nothing like Wrath of Khan because Pine refused to wear radiation burn-makeup. That would've been a crime against beauty.

Spock converses with Kirk through a glass door:

I'm not buying this - in Wrath of Khan, Spock's death was the culmination of a 15-year friendship. In this continuity, Kirk seems to barely tolerate Spock. I'm sure he'd rather have Scotty or Uhura on the other side of the glass - he's actually friends with them!

It is interesting though, that in this case Kirk's "death" is what seems to begin he and Spock's friendship.

Spock screams KHAAAN!:

Okay, the makers had to know we'd laugh at this, so I feel no shame.

Enterprise & Vengeance crash toward Earth:

Wait, Earth? That brief scene in warp which ended abruptly brought them all the way home? Then why haven't they radioed Starfleet for help before this? Where's the rest of the fleet? How would Marcus have kept his mission secret when any satellite in orbit could be filming him destroying the Enterprise?

Vengeance crashes into a city:

In addition to all the civilian deaths here, whatever became of Vengeance's crew? I mean, all the guys Kirk & Scotty stunned?

Khan leaps "30 meters" to the ground:

"Looks like I'll have to... JUMP!"


The transporters can't find Khan, so they send Spock to him:

In the midst of sighing about the continually useless transporters, I almost missed Chris Doohan's cameo as the transporter chief; nice tip of the hat there.

Spock pursues Khan on foot through the streets of San Francisco:

In case I forgot I was watching a J.J. Abrams program, I suppose. STAR TREK! WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE!

Spock leaps from a flying object to another flying object:

"Looks like I'll have to... JUMP!"


Khan, having already shrugged off the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, takes 8 stun blasts from Uhura's phaser and still remains conscious:

Sfdebris has repeatedly noted how useless guns are in Star Trek, but this is a new low; why not just go back to bullets? He's already been condemned to death.

Kirk's medical chart indicates Dr. Boyce:

That's a very unexpected Easter egg; I hope the intern who thought of it got an extra doughnut.

Khan is returned to suspended animation:

Uh... I thought we were told he'd been condemned to death? Is this just to set up the sequel where the Borg revive him? Then they'll have to call up old Spock and old Spock's all, "I can't alter your destinies, but I can tell you this: the Borg are very dangerous. I hope that helps. Where's my money?"

Carol joins the crew of Enterprise for a 5-year mission:

This could actually be very good for Kirk's character development, if he winds up in a serious relationship with her.

The cast are listed in alphabetical order:

Great touch, very appropriate for an ensemble film.


Craig Dylke said...

Did you miss Praxis' cameo?

When they showed Chronos in the establishing shot, Praxis was hovering all destroyed in orbit...

The incredibly sad part is that was one of the highlights of the film for me. I would have MUCH rather the Klingons as the villains.

Michael Hoskin said...

I'm not convinced it was Praxis; just looked like a smashed-up moon to me.