My apologies for no pictures in this post. I want to respect copyrights, especially when held by somebody who’s likely to enforce them. So please imagine people fighting and shooting each other inside giant, tumbling, exploding spaceships as you read this.
I love Star Trek, but not uncritically. It’s been pitiful to see 21st century actors portraying 20th century actors portraying classic TV characters. As for Into Darkness in particular, I hated it, but not without admiration. I think it’s going to please the fans that are determined to be pleased, and annoy most everybody else. The action, suspense, chase scenes and explosions are all magnificent. The plot stinks, and so do a few other things. I’m going to get specific now, so
S P O I L E R A L E R T
- I hated to see the Enterprise operating underwater in the volcano rescue scene. It’s a spacecraft, which gives it particular strengths and weaknesses that help structure a story. Just as Superman can’t bear to be close to kryptonite, a spacecraft can’t bear to be on a planet, let alone in water. This breaks the credibility that’s part of enjoying such a story. And it raises all sorts of questions. If these ships can operate on planets and underwater, what’s the use of a star base? Or even of a spaceship? They could just build transporters in some office building and go directly to another planet at a considerable savings.
- A kudo; I like the bad-boy Kirk better than the ham Kirk. Good scene when Pike bawls him out.
- If Harrison can transport from Earth to the Klingon home world using a portable device, why can’t the Enterprise, using all the ship’s power, transport Spock out of a volcano that seems to be just a few miles away?
- Dr. Carol Walker conceals her identity as Admiral Marcus’s daughter to get on board the Enterprise. Why would she need to do that? More to the point, why would she want to?
- Uhura explains to the Klingons that Star Fleet is there to help them by capturing a human criminal who’s hiding in the swiss-cheesed ruins of Kronos. They respond by fighting with the good guys, while ignoring Khan even tho he’s killing them and blowing up their ships. Abrams was so close to a much better plot angle. The Klingons could have been in league with Harrison/Khan. We were told that the “archive” that Harrison destroyed was really a military R&D operation aimed at the Klingons. So Harrison’s destruction of it makes sense as a Klingon covert response. And it sure looked like they were in league with Khan when they intercepted Kirk’s mini-ship despite its being a Klingon ship. I wonder if that was how the first draft read, and Abrams red-penciled it out; “Bah, too complicated.” But he forgot to cross out the setup.
- Harrison/Khan, on being apprehended, asks how many photon torpedoes Kirk has. Kirk tells him 72, for no reason. Since this is the number of people in Khan’s crew, he surrenders. So, he suspected that Marcus set Kirk up to unwittingly kill his crew by using their suspended animation units as weapons, and he just asked that off-the-wall question to confirm the thought. GAHhhhhhh ….
- In the hyperspace chase scene, Marcus’ ship fires on the Enterprise. This violates another rule of Federation pseudoscience that’s basic to several TV shows; weapons can’t be used in hyperspace. Fans know this, and were robbed of the pleasure of a clever workaround by a lazy writer.
- Khan gives Scotty the coordinates of Marcus’ ship near Jupiter. Scotty flies there in a shuttle and sneaks aboard. But, wait! The ship is also near Kronos, shadowing the Enterprise. Is that the best Abrams could do to get Scotty back into the story?
- Spock tricks Khan into taking torpedoes onto his ship, after removing the mutant crew members hidden in them. They blow up nicely, but afterward Khan’s ship seems basically operable if a bit disheveled-looking. Trekkies may recall that a torpedo contains antimatter (which also powers the warp core). While a nuclear explosion converts a small portion of an unstable heavy element to energy, a matter/antimatter explosion supposedly converts all of the matter involved to energy. So these torpedoes are even more powerful than nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, 72 of them don’t seem to be enough for the job.
- McCoy revives Kirk with a blood transfusion from a mutant (or maybe from Khan? I got confused here), after McCoy revives a tribble with a blood transfusion from Khan (or another mutant?). Why does McCoy say he needs Khan’s blood to save Kirk when he has 72 other mutants on ice? Mutant human blood must be very restorative if it can even restore an alien species. Why didn’t the tribble reproduce wildly and fill the ship with tribbles, like every trekkie would expect?
- I see that the Enterprise’s “impulse power” consists of rockets in its underside. But they need power from the warp core to work? Add that to the many head-scratching design flaws of this ship.
- A kudo; I loved to see Uhura helping Spock subdue Khan.
- Another one; I loved to see Spock slug Khan once more with feeling. It’s always a pleasure when Spock goes emotional.
They ought to make a sequel where mutants are hunted down one by one for their marvelous blood. Sci-fi with vampires! Now that would be some story.