STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Review

by     Posted 335 days ago

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Star Trek is not iconography.  There are plenty of iconic moments, inside jokes, winks, nods, and more, but it all stems from an original story starring fleshed-out characters who answered the call of duty and the call of adventure in equal and enthusiastic measure.  Director J.J. Abrams only sees iconography, but it was enough to get him through 2009′s reboot.  The story was barely patched together, still filled with holes, and wrapped in coincidences, but Abrams’ talent as a director managed to bring the story and characters to life in a way that felt fresh and exciting.  Much like his take on Captain Kirk, it was slapdash, occasionally clever, frantic, and charming.  Unfortunately, a flashy smile and big set pieces can’t save Abrams a second time as his follow-up, Star Trek Into Darkness, amplifies the shortcomings of his original effort, and removes the joy as the picture stumbles around looking for character arcs, themes, and a compelling, well-constructed plot.  But its greatest embarrassment is in trying to steal classic Star Trek moments without having a clue as to why those moments had meaning.

The reckless Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) comes home to find that his irresponsible actions on a recent mission have knocked him down to First Officer, but he quickly regains his rank after a terrorist supposedly named “John Harrison” (Benedict Cumberbatch) attacks a meeting of high-ranking Starfleet officers.  Seeking revenge and clearly having learned nothing from his demotion, Kirk gets permission from Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) to take 72 super-torpedoes, hunt down Harrison, and kill him.  Even though Spock (Zachary Quinto) is constantly warning the Captain about the severity of this action, and Scotty (Simon Pegg) won’t even have anything to do with torpedoes that could seriously backfire, Kirk charges ahead only to become a pawn in a much larger game.

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Later in this review, I will go into spoilers, but first I want to make something clear.  I’m sure my integrity will be called into question simply because I previously voiced my frustration with Paramount’s handling of the film in regards to press screenings.  For those who don’t know, in most of the country, press screenings were at 9pm Wednesday night, at which point, the film had technically already opened in IMAX 3D starting at 8pm.  They’ll say I was ready to take an axe to the movie, I was sharpening my knives, or any other blade-related metaphor.  These people do not understand that I go into every movie wanting to like it, but I can’t disregard studio behavior, and neither does anyone else.  We all feel a studio’s intent in trailers, posters, and every other piece of a marketing campaign.  Marketing is intended to provoke a positive response, and the last-minute press screenings were bad marketing.  Nevertheless, I took my good will towards Abrams’ 2009 film, and hoped that even if the screenplay was bad, he could work his magic again.

Abrams is all out of magic.  Part of the problem comes from the lack of a through-line he can build around.  Star Trek (2009) is a fairly straightforward plot that has two protagonists (Kirk and Spock), a simple villain (Nero), and the main goal of pulling together the crew of the Enterprise.  Star Trek Into Darkness, on the other hand, is painfully convoluted.  There’s a promising beginning where it looks like the immature Kirk will become the confident, cool-headed Kirk of the original series, but he never comes close to that point.  There’s also a lovers’ spat between Spock and Uhura (Zoe Saldana), but that limps off halfway through the picture.  And when everyone gets embroiled in the ridiculous machinations of the antagonist’s sinister plot, everything goes to hell.  There’s no amount of shiny set pieces or one-liners that can salvage the clusterfuck wrought by screenwriters Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof.

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Being generous, 2009′s Star Trek story problems stem from a script that was cobbled together from years of various and disparate drafts, and turned into the semblance of a workable story.  But Orci, Kurtzman, Lindelof, and Abrams had four years to create a Star Trek that was their own, and they ended up stealing someone else’s movie.  Not only did they rip off a better film, but their script is still filled with lazy cheats, building the story around the set pieces rather than vice-versa, and a general failing to understand how this world functions.  For example, after the attack in London, no one in San Francisco (the location of Starfleet HQ) reacts to the bombing, so apparently mass media and reporting don’t exist in the 23rd century.

I could go into more depth about all of the script’s flaws, but to discuss the movie’s biggest failing, I have to head into spoiler territory.

[WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD]

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If you haven’t already figured it out, “John Harrison” is actually Khan.  For those who never saw The Original Series or Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Khan Noonien Singh (originally played by Ricardo Montalban) is a genetically enhanced human who, along with his genetically enhanced brethren, tried to conquer Earth in the 1990s by wiping out anyone they deemed inferior.  They were captured, placed in cryo-sleep, and shot into space where they were discovered 300 years later by the Enterprise in the episode “Space Seed”.  Once he was awakened, Khan tried to take over the ship, he was stopped by Kirk, and then sent down to rule over the wasteland of Seti Alpha V.  In Wrath of Khan, he gets off the planet, lures Kirk to a battle, and Kirk manages to defeat his foe, but Spock ends up dying in order to save the Enterprise.

To be clear, Khan and Kirk aren’t life-long enemies.  Khan appears in “Space Seed”, Wrath of Khan, and that’s it.  The reason for making him the antagonist in the second feature film is because the story is about Kirk coming to grips with his lost youth.  So Wrath of Khan brings him a deadly nemesis from his past, who then forces Kirk to learn a harsh lesson, and lose his closest friend.  The movie embodies the best of the original series (the tense, naval-style battles; outsmarting rather than outgunning the enemy; an admiration for the creative and destructive power of science), but you can enjoy it without having seen a single episode. But if you’ve seen The Original Series, Spock’s death has serious weight.  It’s the end of a decades-long friendship, and the line “I have been, and always will be, your friend,” gets the tears flowing.

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Star Trek Into Darkness looks at all of this, and says, “So people know these moments?  Okay, we’ll twist them a bit, and call it an homage.”  In actuality, it’s just theft, and a poorly executed one at that.  To begin, the whole purpose of the alternate universe was to create new adventures.  That meant everything that happened in the Original Series couldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) happen in the new timeline.  However, since Khan was created before the timeline split, he should still look and act the same.  Abrams originally tried to get Benicio Del Toro for the role, and when the actor passed, the director apparently decided there were no more talented Hispanic actors left in Hollywood, and went with Benedict Cumberbatch.  Those talented Hispanic actors dodged a bullet because even a great actor like Cumberbatch can’t do anything with his bland character (it also makes no sense why Khan would now be a white guy, but I’m not going to get hung up on that).  Khan is held hostage by the Abrams’ mystery box where motives are submerged until they are drowned in our indifference.  The original Khan relished his superiority with zeal, and Montalban provided a seductive allure.  Cumberbatch is Khan insofar as a genetically enhanced madman is trying to trick his way into getting what he wants.  The joy and self-satisfaction are rarely apparent in the deadly serious character.

It’s truly Khan in name only, which is fine for Abrams because all he wants is the name.  He doesn’t understand that Khan was a potent villain in “Space Seed” not only because of his attitude, but also what he represented in terms of social commentary.  More importantly, as I’ve already pointed out, Khan has a special relationship with Kirk in Wrath of Khan, and that past adds depth to the relationship when they meet again.  In Star Trek Into Darkness, Khan is a guy that can dupe an endlessly gullible Kirk even though Kirk’s friends and fellow officers are saying that the captain should ignore their prisoner.

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There’s a brief glimmer of hope when the movie hints that maybe the filmmakers aren’t as shallow and derivative as they seem.  Perhaps they did take the idea of Khan, but have drastically transformed the character into someone who was wronged by Admiral Marcus (who awoke Khan in order to create weapons for a potential war with the Klingons) and desperately wants to save his 72 cryogenically frozen brothers and sisters for purely benevolent reasons.  He could be a model for Kirk: someone who also wants to protect his crew, but has the patience and wherewithal to make the smart plays.

Then the movie laughs, “Of course Khan is a bad guy!”, and we learn this because Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) comes along to tell Spock about the Khan from the original timeline.  Khan then proceeds to take back what he thinks are torpedoes containing his comrades but are actually active torpedoes (his genius intellect can engineer an elaborate plan to get the cryo-chambers back, but he doesn’t think to have the chambers beamed over instead of the torpedoes), and attacks the Enterprise before getting kind of blown up (but not really because the movie needs another set piece).  So Khan is behaving like Khan except this isn’t really Khan.  It’s just a genetically engineered bad guy.  If you had Spock learn about the character from a data archive instead of speaking to Spock Prime, then the bad guy could be named Gerald Q. Honeybottom and all of the conflict would remain the same.  Nothing ties these people together: not a past or a theme or an emotional state.

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With a complete misunderstanding of the character, the filmmakers should have gone ahead and created a new antagonist (or at least one who wasn’t as well known), which was the opportunity the alternate universe presented in the first place.  But that would require originality and effort, and no one wants to put in the hard work.  Instead, they continue to rip off Wrath of Khan without having any understanding of why that movie works.  They plagiarize Spock’s famous death scene but instead decide to “kill” Kirk.  There’s no weight to this death because A) These characters haven’t built a decades-long friendship; B) We’ve only seen them together in two movies; and C) a Lazarus potion from Khan’s blood was established earlier in the movie, so we know Kirk will be fine.  Abrams and his writers pat themselves on the back for reversing the roles, even though that role reversal doesn’t tie into any earlier conflict.  Kirk didn’t need to learn the merit of self-sacrifice, and Spock doesn’t have to cope with Kirk’s death since the Vulcan immediately goes to hunt down a fleeing Khan.

But where the film truly and finally came apart for me was the moment after Kirk’s temporary death.  Spock looks down at his friend’s body, raises his head to the sky, and screams “KHAAAAAAAN!”  At that moment, I laughed and then put my head in my hands.  J.J. Abrams now has ownership of this Star Trek franchise and he truly doesn’t get that moments like these have to be earned and not stolen.  This moment in particular takes Abrams disrespect for Star Trek and moves it into open disdain.  It’s not for the people who love Star Trek; it’s for the people who understand references to Wrath of Khan without ever having seen Wrath of Khan.  Abrams is parodying Star Trek in a canon Star Trek movie.  I understand it’s a difficult balance in trying to appease fans and general audiences, but Abrams simply shrugs it off and goes for the easy reference even though that reference has been rendered completely meaningless within the context of his movie.

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This wretched repurposing of Wrath of Khan embodies the core issue of why Star Trek Into Darkness fails: laziness and fear of originality.  In a movie with few redeeming aspects (Pegg and Pine’s performances, and a couple of nice set pieces although Abrams still thinks the action should be like Star Wars), this behavior is disrespectful to all audiences.  Even if you’re not a die-hard Trek fan, the film no longer has the charm to speed past such questions as:

  • If they can beam Spock out of the volcano, why didn’t they just beam him into the volcano in the first place?
  • Why does Kirk kick Scotty off the ship for refusing to use the torpedoes, and then decide to capture Harrison rather than use the torpedoes?
  • Why does Kirk promote Chekov (Anton Yelchin) to run engineering instead of someone who’s actually an engineer?
  • How would Admiral Marcus keep a gigantic dreadnaught filled with private security officers a secret?
  • Why does Khan run away from Spock when Khan is physically and intellectually superior?
  • Why do they need Khan’s super-blood when they have 72 other genetically enhanced people already on board the Enterprise?
  • If Kirk is sent on a secret mission to retrieve Khan after Khan attacks the Starfleet officers’ meeting, then does that mean Starfleet had no official response to the direct attack?

There are other issues like Sulu (John Cho) and Chekov having almost nothing to do in the film, and missing the opportunity to include Bones (Karl Urban) as a character on the same level as Kirk and Spock instead of one-liner comic relief.

[END SPOILERS]

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When I saw Abrams’ Star Trek back in 2009, I enjoyed it, but I also hadn’t seen The Original Series, and had only seen Wrath of Khan one time many years before.  Since then, I’ve cultivated a serious appreciation for Star Trek.  I don’t think the original series is perfect, but I admire its spirit and its values.  I also recognize Wrath of Khan as a classic movie that can appeal to fans and non-fans alike.  Abrams’ sequel thinks it can achieve that same level of admiration if it simply copies the memorable moments for the 1982 film.

Star Trek Into Darkness proves the filmmakers’ apathy and ignorance regarding Star Trek by being the antithesis of the series’ famous proclamation, “To boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Rating: D

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  • Werefon

    Eat Shit and Die Hard!

    • Northern Star

      Wasn’t that the name of Bruce Willis’ last film?

      • Werefon

        Unfortunately it was but it also nickname of Goldberg

      • shadypotential

        and your mom

      • Werefon

        Speaking of mom’s. Tell yours that I take her for 1$ special and as result you will have a lil brother and call me Dad.

      • shadypotential

        wow. that was so lame it needed two replies just to make some kind of sense

      • Werefon

        wrong! It took 3! Did your mom like some flowers and do you have a sister or at least a nice mouth to make some 3some??? I will do this foreva you lil bitch))

      • shadypotential

        lmao wtf? that is hilarious lmaooo

      • Werefon

        Oh you thought I am all that serious! You will never see me coming!!!! Literally ! Lesson number one: Your moms boobs! There is no such thing.

      • shadypotential

        lmao

      • Werefon

        Owned bitch!

  • AlbertRuncorn

    Good review. Really disappointed that reviews like this keep popping up… I had such high hopes for this movie.

    • Sam X

      You still can like the movie. There are always going to be people like this one who don’t get it. You may find yourself liking, if you give it a chance. This is like someone who read, The Hobbit, and then says they didn’t like it. Do you think that same person is going to like the movie then?

      • monsterkillsthepilot

        SPOILERS!!

        If you are gullable enough to believe that the entire Enterprise crew could die in this film, go ahead watch the film and love it because they build the entire movie around such stupid scenarios as Spok dying after 3 minutes or the whole crew after 45 minutes or Kirk at the end, and non of the scenarios seem even remotely possible for the average fan, because we all know that there will be a Star Trek 3.

        The writers (hate to bash Lindelof, because I really like him) took advantage of some of the most overused cliches in sci-fi history and it really shows.

        This film is really dumb, although if you are a kid and never saw a movie before, you might enjoy this one.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.ligon.75 Nathan Ligon

        I am an adult film critic who reviews over 200 films every year and this is easily one of the best of the year. Characters being in peril have always been a staple of every series and the point that you miss with these situations is that it is not about whether the character is really going to die or not, it is about the emotional connections the other characters have to that one. The essence of this story is love at its purest form, friendship. This has always been the cornerstone of the Star Trek series, but the difference is that we now actually have actors that can make these characters emotionally vulnerable and believable. I just watched ‘Khan’ again for the third time last night. I feel asleep again because the film has no pulse or understanding of the art of manipulation. Shatner and Nimoy are also emotionally devoid. So, we have actors that can’t portray emotion and a director afraid to use the camera, lighting, music, or anything else to enhance his drama. The story and villain are good in ‘Khan’ and I understand why all the Trekkies consider it a classic. Yet, if it had never been made and was delivered to us in the same package today it would be reamed by critics for how uneventful it is.

      • Reality Check

        Yawwwnnn. Uneventful? Troll harder guy. It’s called a different era of filmmaking. Back when Khan came out audiences weren’t ADD and didn’t need constant frenetic cutting, flashing lights and special effects to engage them in a story. Abrams style is flash without substance. That may appease some and that’s fine but it’s rather disingenuous of you to assert that these elements alone contribute to the emotional connections viewers have with the story unfolding onscreen. If this were true Michael Bay would be the most emotionally stirring director who ever lived.

      • WT

        Well said.

      • JibbelyJoobs

        well said sir!

      • Cedhollywood

        He’s not but as you said he also appeals to the ADD generation. Which explains his box office numbers and making a soulless childproof forth transformers.

      • Adron Gardner

        “Shatner and Nimoy are also emotionally devoid.”

        You must be mistaking the words “lens flare” for the word “emotion.”

        Almost had me there!

      • Cedhollywood

        Maybe if you watched the space seed episode from the tv series then maybe you wouldn’t fall asleep while watching its sequel ST2;TWOK. Then you might see as the article in a most coherent way explain to you that there is a deep emotional investment and history with the characters from the tv series to ST2;TWOK who have served together for years and then had to face Khan years later for a second time. With into darkness (among so many mistakes) it’s a real joke to have Spock in such a sadend emotional state since in this new universe Spock has only known Kirk for three years.

      • barry bullshit

        hahaha really? what is there to get in this film? so if you don’t like it that makes you some idiot? This film is just dumb fun at best, at the same level as a fast and furious film but in space. It is trash sci-fi with a crap story with dull characters. But if you enjoyed it fair play, just don’t go acting like its above certain people like its some clever piece of writing and genius directing coz it simply is not!

    • Max

      Pretty damn sure the good reviews really outweigh the bad reviews

      • Captain Kirk’s Dick

        Just like the number of stupid people in the world outweigh the number of smart ones. Otherwise, everybody would be making Oscar worthy films, curing cancer, designing space shuttles, or defining the theory of relativity.

        Instead the world is full of mediocre f$&k- wits, content with watching Wrath of Kahn 2.0 and not understanding why this film was truly a slap in the face.

        Now, beam me up fag-cock!

      • Star Wars is F**KED

        hahahah Very true! I applaud you sir!

        Sad to say tho, some people will never see through their bullshit and will continue to insist that these shallow, cgi smothered “films” are great!
        They’re to busy being distracted by all the pretty things flashing on the screen at super fast cutting speeds to notice what makes for a good story and great characters….why else would they still be making trash like the Resident Evil films, some nob ends keep watching them.

        ….its all over :/

    • /tv/

      Go see it anyway. Goldberg is just being his usually pissy little self who hates life and can’t experience any joy.

    • Why does he keep getting work?

      Damon Lindelof is involved, how high could your hopes really have been? What, was Prometheus and Cowboys & Aliens and Lost not enough of a clue that bad writing might…just might be involved?

    • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.ligon.75 Nathan Ligon

      It is 87% on Rotten Tomatoes. There is no reason for you to feel disappointed. This is the opinion of one man who is in the vast minority.

      • Reality Check

        Why do you care so much about a minority opinion? Does it affect you in any meaningful way? Why are you taking personal offence to it? I’m honestly curious. Rather than create ad hominems attacking Wrath of Khan, engage with the film itself and provide counter arguments to Goldberg’s critiques. That would be a vastly more constructive approach.

      • fail!

        because they can’t…

  • GuyX

    Everytime I read the magic blood plot twist I just can’t believe anyone thought that was a good idea. Thank god Michael Arnt is scripting Star Wars VII otherwise I’d be worried. If I even so much as get a whiff of orci, Kurtzman or lindelof near that film I will execute an order 66 of my own

    • Joseph M

      When you saw the Tribble blood test, you immediately thought, “someone’s going to die and be brought back to life.” Then, as Spock bubbles for the guy he’s known all of three years, you just want them to give him the Tribble(!) test and get it all over with :) Agree about Arndt, too. Keep the Three Stooges away from that script!

  • Bret Dorman

    spoilers!

    1) The ship is underwater and at the time, was not allowed to be seen by the natives. Kirk breaks this rule to save Spock.

    2) Because Kirk acts with emotions! He trusts his gut! At first he was impatient and then he changes his mind.

    3) Because Chekov is a character we know and like and gives him something to do.

    4) Because he is the boss and the bad guy.

    5) Because he just crashed a spaceship into a city and wants to just get away and regroup, instead of fighting someone.

    6) Because 1 guy just COMPLETELY wrecked them, why wake up another person who could cause more damage?

    7) The official response was taken care of off screen and consisted of political hum drumming around. Kirk acts pretty fast after the event so the federation could have just said “We’re still figuring it out” with the plan to show them Khan’s corpse after Kirk was supposed to have succeeded.

    These issues aren’t really huge issues and some (1,4,6,7) are just looking for problems even though they are addressed in the movie or simply normal movie conventions.

    Yeah, the new Star Trek is light and fun, but its operating on a much much bigger budget and going for a much wider audience. I’m sorry you didn’t like the movie, but it really sounds like you didn’t even want to try. Even if you give the ‘I wanted to like it’ disclaimer, you also admit it was ‘basically impossible’ for you to like it because ‘the Studios’ really didn’t want you to.

    Admittedly, I’m no Trekkie. I like the dazzling easily digestible fun vibe this movie has. If I want to consume mega-hours of real Star Trek I can do so. Until then, I’m happy with the iconography.

    • ThisGuy01

      The man goes into intricate detail why the movie doesn’t work & then lists a list of things that had the movie been any good he probably would have been able to ignore (like when watching Star Trek 2009). There isn’t exactly a limited selection of big budget, brainless blockbusters out there meant for “All Audiences”, in fact that’s all we’re getting for the next three months. Soooo a movie shouldn’t get a pass just because it’s meant for a wider audience if it’s NOT ANY GOOD. STID is not good. It’s shallow, badly written & really only works on any level thanks to some talented performers doing what they can & what $200 million worth of eye candy can buy.

      • Alan Burnett

        Nah, Goldberg declared that the film is “disrespectful” to the audience and stated that the reason why is because of the above plot holes. The criticism is not only shallow, but displays a fundamental lack of critical thinking if Goldberg can’t understand why Kirk changes his opinion as if a character developing is the film’s failing.

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        I’m not saying Goldberg didn’t have any valid criticisms in his review, but he’s CLEARLY desperately trying to find plot holes which aren’t there. He’s trying to be a contrarian. This film has a 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, and he gave it a D.

        This list of seven points demonstrates that perfectly. In order to justify such a ridiciously low rating he needs more plot holes.

        The movie explicitly states why Spock couldn’t beam in. It’s major plot point which sets in motion the events of the film. Only one of the seven is an actual plot hole (and it’s a forgivable one) and not Goldberg trying to be clever.

        Which if Goldberg can’t understand why Spock couldn’t beam in, why wouldn’t expect him to have a better understanding of Star Trek than the people who made the film?

      • Bret Dorman

        The movie isn’t perfect, but clearly if you go in wanting to have fun and like the movie (Like Goldberg claims) you can find a way to do so. The problems Goldberg has with the movie are either non-issues or minor things that were traded in favor of fun action.

        I’m all for big budget blockbusters that don’t require you to turn off your brain, but clearly Abrams’ Star Trek is more concerned with fast paced dialogue and spiffy action scenes. In that regard, yes, I did like this movie. Will it be one I defend to the end, watch a million times over and over, and stand the test of time? No. But for a summer movie that reboots a known franchise in a fun way, yes, I would go so far as to say the movie is a success.

      • NathanArizona

        okay so if you want to like a movie, it’s wrong if you don’t? You shouldn’t have to “find a way” to like a movie, that is just silly. A good movie will present you with everything you need to recognize that it is a good movie, you should never have to make up possible scenarios to explain away plot holes. That’s just lazy writing. I saw STID last night, and I did want to like it, as you say, and I enjoyed it for the most part, in the moment, but found myself returning to many of the same plot holes Goldberg states. You can’t write off the other 72 super soldiers, saying they would attack as well, or that they might not have the same abilities Khan did. You can’t, because the movie never states those things, you are just making assumptions. How about Bones whips up a sleeping compound so that they could withdraw blood without one of the super soldiers waking up? See, now we’re just making up our own movie to please ourselves.

        We have to go by the information the movie gives us, and in that respect, the movie does have lots of holes. It may be enough for some to sit back and watch the spectacle and laugh at one liners, but it wasn’t enough for me. I loved 2009 Star Trek, but I don’t love this one, nor will I go out of my way to explain away plot holes. A “D” rating is probably too harsh, as the cast and visuals are impressive, but the screenplay bumps it down to a C+ for me.

    • Lance

      I don’t think Matt’s list of bullet questions are dealbreakers to liking the movie, and you answered them pretty well. Also, in regards to the 72 other supermen, who knows if they had the same regenerative abilities Khan did.

      I do agree with Matt’s bigger point, though, that echoing the powerful scenes of WOK is something that doesn’t quite work, because in and of themselves the scenes in Into Darkness don’t carry that much weight — Kirk and Spock still aren’t really great friends yet, as the early part of the movie demonstrates. To the extent the scenes in the new movie work at all, it’s only because they’re drawing on the emotional power of your own memories of watching Wrath of Khan.

      However, I think calling Into Darkness a Star Trek parody is too much. I suspect the writers and Abrams were sincere in trying to make this movie about the power of love and friendship, and how that power can potentially provoke us into monstrous behavior when that love or friendship is jeopardized. And I did enjoy the movie, though it’s clear how much Abrams loves Star Wars in all the set pieces in the movie. He may well be the right guy for Star Wars, after all. But I enjoyed the ’09 Trek more than Into Darkness. Personally, I don’t feel Abrams, Lindelof, Orci and Kurtzman quite succeeded in their goal of creating a sequel that was more better than the original movie.

      • Lance

        “more better” sigh… wish there was an editing function here.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.ligon.75 Nathan Ligon

        I disagree with this entirely. I cried like a baby watching that scene in ‘Into Darkness’ and have not been even slightly moved by the similar scene in Wrath of Khan any of the 3 times I’ve seen it (or 6 times because every time I’ve tried to watch it I fall asleep in the lethargic first 50 minutes). The reason for this is simple. Fans of the series were moved by that moment in 1982 because they had seen 80 episodes and were entering the end of a second film. I watched Khan as a stand alone experience and the film itself earns no emotion whatsoever. Trust me, I’m the type of pussy that cries at most anything. If i was emotionally manipulative enough on its own then I would have been moved.

        ‘Into Darkness’ on the other hand, is wonderfully constructed in the way it develops the relationship between these 2. There is a subtle beauty to their connection. Plus, Pine and Quinto are infinitely better actors than Shatner or Nimoy ever were. I occasionally watch some old Star Trek movies, but the problem with the old Trek films is they have no idea how to manipulate a mass audience. They have an appeal to a very specific demographic that they were never able to break out from. ‘Star Wars’ did not have this problem because pioneers like Lucas understood the essence of film as an art form and how to manipulate an audience. It was about more than the iconic characters. It was about the direction of the film itself. This is why the Star Wars series as outsold Star Trek over 10 to 1. Abrams understands this and knows how to deliver the heart of what makes Trek a memorable series while also tapping into what brings people into a theater in the first place and what makes an average moviegoer care.

      • Lance

        Actually, if Star Trek was not as big as Star Wars in the past, it’s probably only because Trek tried to be more cerebral, and didn’t go in for the giant action set pieces (largely due to budgetary restrictions) the way Star Wars did. The only original cast Trek film that had anything like the budget Star Wars did was the very first motion picture, but it was hobbled by a desire to be more like 2001 than Star Wars.

        And I don’t understand the rationale behind trying to compare Wrath of Khan with Into Darkness in terms of which has “earned” its emotional moments. Wrath of Khan doesn’t have to independently earn its emotional intensity — given this was (at the time) potentially the original cast’s last movie, and a send off for Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, it was geared toward fans who knew all about those previous episodes and adventures. That’s why they brought back Khan from the tv series in the first place, as a way to bring the experience full circle, and why the theme of endings, mortality, and new beginnings features so prominently in the film.

        Into Darkness, on the other hand, basically tries to recapitulate that scene from Wrath of Khan when Kirk and Spock are at the beginning of their relationship to each other, not the end, and so I felt on first viewing it didn’t really work as well. On a second watch I did enjoy the movie more, but only because I figured this Spock is a much more emotional being than the original. We can argue if that’s a good thing for the character or not but it has to be taken as a fact, because there’s just no way the original Spock would yell “Khaaaaaaaaannn!!!” like that at this point in his life, and when his friendship with Kirk still feels relatively undeveloped.

        I did like the way the Into Darkness showed a little bit of Spock rubbing off on Kirk, and vice versa. Spock manages to use chicanery the way Kirk would, and Kirk not only shows a willingness to sacrifice himself, but also to take responsibility for his actions, the way Spock would insist upon.

        As for Lucas’s understanding of film as an art form… Well. Maybe at one time. But then there’s Jar Jar. And trade wars. And midichlorian counts. The stuff of moving, cinematic art? I beg to differ.

      • fail!

        “every time I’ve tried to watch it (Wrath Of Khan) I fall asleep in the lethargic first 50 minutes”….

        well, that says it all really doesn’t it…
        Not enough flashing lights and fast moving effects? Finding it hard to focus that brain without any pretty things to look at?

        ;)

      • kvanar

        “because every time I’ve tried to watch it (Wrath of Khan) I fall asleep in the lethargic first 50 minutes”.

        Have you tested yourself for ADD?

    • Lance

      I don’t think Matt’s list of bullet questions are dealbreakers to liking the movie, and you answered them pretty well. Also, in regards to the 72 other supermen, who knows if they had the same regenerative abilities Khan did.

      I do agree with Matt’s bigger point, though, that echoing the powerful scenes of WOK is something that doesn’t quite work, because in and of themselves the scenes in Into Darkness don’t carry that much weight — Kirk and Spock still aren’t really great friends yet, as the early part of the movie demonstrates. To the extent the scenes in the new movie work at all, it’s only because they’re drawing on the emotional power of your own memories of watching Wrath of Khan.

      However, I think calling Into Darkness a Star Trek parody is too much. I suspect the writers and Abrams were sincere in trying to make this movie about the power of love and friendship, and how that power can potentially provoke us into monstrous behavior when that love or friendship is jeopardized. And I did enjoy the movie, though it’s clear how much Abrams loves Star Wars in all the set pieces in the movie. He may well be the right guy for Star Wars, after all. But I enjoyed the ’09 Trek more than Into Darkness. Personally, I don’t feel Abrams, Lindelof, Orci and Kurtzman quite succeeded in their goal of creating a sequel that was more better than the original movie.

    • bickle2

      Just consuming 3 hours of Star Trek, Space Seed and Wrath of Khan would be plenty to demonstrate how bad this really is

      1- Why is the ship underwater? There is absolutely no reason for this, nor is the ship capable of operating in atmosphere, and the natives totally wouldn’t have sween or heard the gigantic 500 meter behemoth landing in the first place. The mere act of stopping the volcano violated the prime directive, as it is interfering in the natural evolution of the species. In the end. It’s underwater because JJ thinks it makes for a cool shot, just like parking it in Iowa in a gravity well in the first movie, which made absolutely, positively zero sense

      2- No captain, however pissed off, would deny his chief engineer this kind of request. Period. Because when you’re travelling at warp you don’t want a torpedo going off in your hold. Not only that, but like the doctor, the chief can override his orders when the safety of the ship is at issue, which it obviously in his opinion was from having untried very powerful weapons on board he knew nothing about It’s simply a stupid way to get Scotty onto the ship at the end. Gee, perhaps a better way would be for the Admiral to request he oversee the completion of his new starship, and he gums up the works so the Enterprise can escape? Where did I see that before……..

      3- Checkhov is not, nor has he ever been qualified to be chief engineer of a starship. He is a navigation, and later weapons officer. He’s given the job so they can have a clown with a funny accent say “W” words.

      4- Umm, no. You can’t keep something that big, that takes years to build a secret from anyone. The sheer amount of material, the emissions from its construction, etc, it’s impossible

      6- Because they don’t have to. They sedate him the minute they thaw him (which still takes a long time to wake up from by itself), and immediately ice him again once they have the blood. Dead simple.

      7- The Captain’s meeting was part of the official response, which would have taken the form of demanding Khan’s extradition. Since the Klingons don’t like augments (Enterprise continuity still exists, even in JJ’s stupid world), they would have no issue with giving him the heave-ho.

      • Bret Dorman

        I would like to say “I stand corrected. You’re absolutely right. This movie is 100% garbage. The originals are completely flawless and every character always acts perfectly and every conflict is solved in an efficient manner.”

        BUT THIS MOVIE IS BRIGHTER AND SHINIER!

        so its automatically better. nice try though.

      • bickle2

        They are only 100% perfect in terms of being Star Trek and Khan. When you remake, you must follow the blueprint to the letter. Otherwise, you are wrong, and the original by default is always right.

        Since this movie bore virtually zero resemblence to either one, aside from the most superficial of occasional nods

        Khan is nothing like the real Khan. The real Khan is passionate, he’s not a genocidal maniac, in fact it is specifically stated in the episode that he went out of his way to NOT kill people during his reign on Earth. Khan is an egomaniac, and a man of great passions he needs to be told, and show he is superior. Cummerbach’s character is simply a cold blooded killer.

      • Bret Dorman

        They don’t NEED to make new Khan EXACTLY like old Khan. I prefer when they change it up a bit. They woke Khan up and he tells them they shouldn’t have. He doesn’t kill people for fun, he does it because he’s backed into a corner and left no choice by Robocop. I thought it was interesting how Khan said they should have just let him sleep. I mean, in this movie he’s not so much a power hungry overlord who needs Kirk to respect him, he’s just trying to make the federation pay for what they did to him and his family and used him for. Instead of focusing on his backstory a bunch (which most fans will already know and be bored with) they used him to propel the new universe in a forward direction.

        Plus in the original didn’t he kill a bunch of people in the movie, doesn’t he blow up some entire ship. And you’re telling me he went out of his way not to kill people on Earth, but wasn’t everyone one Earth at war or something? So he basically got to be one of the biggest and baddest leaders on Earth by hugging everyone or something? (he may care for his family, but not others)

        Oh, and you’re passionate loving Khan put brain eating monsters in peoples ears in the movie (which eat away at the brain but conveniently leave the one guy alone after a while with absolutely no brain damage). 100% perfect though!!!

        (point is movies are silly and yes, especially the new ones)

      • bickle2

        He’s nothing like Khan. That’s the problem

        Khan is completely driven by passion, he is also not a “genocidal maniac”, in fact it is specifically stated that he went out of his way to NOT kill people. He doesn’t need Kirk to respect him, he wants EVERYONE to acknowlege why he is their superior. What is his firs’ts last words? “Yours…is superior”.

        The Wrath of Khan contained all the information you needed to know about him in a few lines, There’s nothing “boring” about it, unless you really really need to take your Ritalin. They could not be more different in their motivations, their tactics, their strategies, their personalities, and everything else that defines a “character”.

        In the original episode, he deploys non-lethal tactics to take the Enterprise. He cuts off their air and waits for them to pass out. He does NOT wait the extra 5-10 minutes to finish them off. Why? Because he wasn’t a killer, and he needed the to acknowlege his superiority, which is also why he didn’t suspect that MacGyvers was going to betray him.
        His arrogance got in the way. He even accepts Kirk’s sentence at the end because it gives him mostly what he wants. He has a woman he loves, and he has a planet to conquer.

        Yes, 15 years marooned in a desert hellhole does change a man doesn’t it? Single-minded obcession tends to cause people to abandon their long held morals, especially when it comes to revenge.

        You’re going off of probably decades-old memories of these stories and claiming it as fact. I rewatched both of them last night. He doesn’t blow up an entire ship, He maroons the Reliant crew on Ceti Alpha 5, and takes Terrell and Checkhov along with him becaue he needs them not only to explain how to work the ship to him, but to act as the front so he can get what he wants. A friendly face goes a long way into obtaining weapons of mass creation.

        Kirk’s pulling victory out of certain defeat snapped his last thread of sanity. He had Enterprise cold, but Kirk’s superior knowlege and abaility when it came to starship command defeated him, AGAIN, thus proving he was NOT superior. This is exactly the fire that fuels his insanity, on top of the legitimate wrongs that were done to him (not checking up or dropping new supplies).

        You have a great misunderstanding of the movie, the episode, and the themes and characters contained therein. Please watch them tonight so we can have a conversation about it on equal footing, where we both start with a fresh state of information

      • Bret Dorman

        I watched them (Space Seed, my very first episode of any Star Trek ever) and Wrath of Khan for the first time two weeks ago. They were okay, which is why I didn’t remember every tiny little detail. I will not be rewatching them to continue this conversation. Yes, Old Khan is better than New Khan, but I liked both movies just fine. I’m sorry you don’t.

  • I told Y’all

    Star Wars Into Suck

    • Johnson

      Star Wars FTW

    • Johnson

      Star Wars FTW

  • The Exploiter

    New low. Incredibly narrow-minded and hypocritically lazy review. Give yourself a hand. Maybe you impressed a critic.

    • Wilhelmet

      Have you seen the film yet? Because I have, and his review is spot on. I really wanted to like this, but my god, it’s like a Family Guy take on Wrath of Khan.

      • Andrew Sanders

        I would say a ‘D’ was a bit harsh.
        I watched it at IMAX last wk & although i quite enjoyed it,i found the scenes they’d ripped out of Wrath of Khan were unforgiveable.

      • Jen

        This moron of an author gave Iron Man 3 a, B rating. Go figure

      • http://thenonessentials.blogspot.com/ Sean Chandler

        But it’s not spot on. He goes on to list a series of plot holes which aren’t actual plot holes. He didn’t like the film and then tried to find ways to make it seem far worse than it actually was.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.ligon.75 Nathan Ligon

        Not even close. I just watched Khan again last night and there is about 4 minutes worth of comparison between the 2 here. Only someone who has a deep connection to that film is going to give two shits about the connection at all. Also, the emotional moment between Spock and Kirk here works a million times better than it did in Khan. It is not even close. I was never moved in the slightest by that moment in Khan (because I didn’t watch 80 episodes of the show before seeing that film) and the moment in ‘Into Darkness’ made me break down in tears. I knew that Kirk would be brought back, but that is not what mattered. It was the devastating power of the performances and connection between the two actors. Their chemistry is just electric, and by turning the table on that particular situation, they exposed what was truly powerful about the concept in the first place. Also, the scene in ‘Khan’ where Shatner yells “KHAAAN” twice was so cheesy. Especially, since he already knew that he would be easily escaping soon. In this movie, that iconic moment has good reason to be iconic. Abrams understands this, and that is why this movie will connect with a much larger audience than the previous series ever had a chance of doing.

      • Reality Check

        You can’t self-consciously create an iconic moment. The moment only works at all because its trading off fan recognition of a moment that is truly iconic, the scene pilfered from the original Khan. Iconic moments occurr after the fact, once they are integrated into the zeitgeist.

  • mike

    This review seems harsh but I’d have to agree. As soon as you put any thought to virtually anything that happens in the film, it falls apart and logic goes out the window.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.ligon.75 Nathan Ligon

      No it doesn’t. Everything that someone has mentioned here is veeeerrryy easily explained. Name something that falls apart and I will explain it to you.

      • Reality Check

        Are you a studio plant?

      • blaablaablaa

        ….you still here? the film sucked, jog on! ;P

  • Mikey The Riot

    he’s still pissed about how they released it a day before his screening… lol

  • Ishant Kumar

    This review is based on broad-minded man who brings all the concept of its own while watching movies.

  • http://twitter.com/TanuRoshan Tanu Roshan

    It has fresh rating on Rotten tomatoes and metacritic.

    • Da5id

      And the Twilight saga. And I think a couple of Madea movies are well positioned, too. So what?

      • TotesMcGotes

        On rotten tomatoes none of them are.

      • Sam X

        The Twilight saga never had a good rating you moron!

    • Get a load of this guy

      Yes, listen to the hive mind. Forming your own opinion is for fools.

    • Get a load of this guy

      Yes, listen to the hive mind. Forming your own opinion is for fools.

  • SV7

    This review is sadly spot on. The decision to take the story in this direction is simply staggering. The Wrath of Khan references felt like a lame parody. There was no emotional weight. It wasn’t earned. The blood cure set up with the tribble was sooooo lazy. I still can’t believe it all. I really enjoyed Star Trek 2009 but a “D” here sounds about right to me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.ligon.75 Nathan Ligon

      Yes it was. It wasn’t earned in ‘Khan’ by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve watched that film over and over. I was never even slightly moved by it. I cried like a baby in ‘Into Darkness’. The only people that will be left unmoved in this film are those who have that old Trekkie connection to Wrath of Khan and those who are just generally unmoved by anything in movies. Everybody else (the vast majority of people who could care less about the old and inferior Trek movies) are going to be moved by this film.

      • Reality Check

        Ladies and Gentleman: JJ Abrams! How are ya J? Don’t worry about Into Darkness being an inferior effort. You’ve alway got Star Wars.

      • Nathan LigoZZZZZZZZZ

        dude, shut up haha you are real goblin aren’t you? People have a better connection to Wrath because…and brace your self here… ITS A BETTER MOVIE!!!!

        Only kids and idiots will love this more than the original, thinking its more than what it is, which is a shallow cgi fire work show, a fast and furious in space!

        How can you hold a film that unashamedly rips off another film in such high praise? From a film i might add that is old and “inferior” according to you. They couldn’t be assed to work out their own original story so they had to take a plot and it’s ideas from an old and “inferior” film, apparently, go figure you joker! :D

  • Angel of Death

    Goldberg, you’re such an idiot. They address almost all of your “plotholes” in the movie, if you were freaking paying attention, which you weren’t. You were just being a whiny little prick:

    If they can beam Spock out of the volcano, why didn’t they just beam him into the volcano in the first place?–THEY CLEARLY SAY THAT SOMETHING IS MAGNETICALLY JAMMING THE TRANSPORTERS WHILE THEY’RE UNDER WATER.

    Why does Kirk kick Scotty off the ship for refusing to use the torpedoes, and then decide to capture Harrison rather than use the torpedoes? BECAUSE AT FIRST KIRK IS FILLED WITH RAGE AND NOT THINKING LOGICALLY ABOUT HOW TO GET HARRISON. HE ONLY CARES ABOUT THE VENDETTA. HOWEVER, SPOCK’S REASONING ENABLES HIM TO RECONSIDER SINCE THERE’S A RISK OF STARTING A WAR WITH KLINGON, AND SINCE KIRK IS NOT A KILLER. THIS WAS MADE SO CLEARLY. YOU’D HAVE TO BE RETARDED NOT TO CATCH IT.

    Why does Kirk promote Chekov (Anton Yelchin) to run engineering instead of someone who’s actually an engineer? THEY ALSO ADDRESS THIS. CHECKOV HAS BEEN SHADOWING SCOTTY AND KNOWS THE ENGINE BETTER THAN MOST. HE’S ALSO A PRODIGY OF GENIUS LEVEL INTELLECT AND HAS MOST LIKELY PICKED UP THE KNOW-HOW FROM SHADOWING SCOTTY.

    How would Admiral Marcus keep a gigantic dreadnaught filled with private security officers a secret? IT’S ON ANOTHER FREAKING PLANET THAT NO ONE ELSE BUT KHAN KNOWS THE COORDINATES TO. ALSO WHY DOES THIS MATTER?

    If Kirk is sent on a secret mission to retrieve Khan after Khan attacks the Starfleet officers’ meeting, then does that mean Starfleet had no official response to the direct attack? STARFLEET CAN’T GET TO KHAN IF HE’S HIDING ON A KLINGON PLANET SINCE STARFLEET’S OFFICIAL RESPONSE MAY RESULT IN WAR WITH KLINGON.

    Why don’t you watch a movie properly before dissing it you fat tubby blind-ass piece of garbage?

    • Joseph M

      Death, instead of calling reviewers pissy little names and using lots of CAPS, go learn about structuring a script and handling characterisation. When you’re done, go watch STID again.

      • Angel of Death

        Joseph M, if you know so much about structuring a script and handling characterization, why aren’t you a famous screenwriter instead of a frustrated, wannabe, no-talent, nobody who lives in his mom’s basement and feels that he’s above the movies that are actually being made (as opposed to his own–which will NEVER be made) and thinks he has a self-important right to criticize others for no reasons at all other than delusions of grandeur?

      • Wilhelmet

        Angel? You’re simply wrong. Accept it. Move on. And after reading your little whinge above, I’m just hoping you’re no older than 9.

      • Josh

        Actually, Angel of Death you’re completely right, an these other Hacks are just jealous. So much hate for movies that are meant to entertain, not be intellectually firing on every cell.

      • Wilhelmet

        Must be looking forward to Transformers 4 then boys. Enjoy.

      • Kim

        Are you a fan of Iron Man 3? IF ANYONE HERE LIKED IRON MAN AND NOT STAR TREK PLEASE RESPOND HERE SO I CAN TELL YOU HOW STUPID YOU ARE. Thank you.

      • Wilhelmet

        Iron Man 3 was better than Star Trek Into Darkness. There. Hit me. (I love what you did with the capitals, by the way)

      • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.ligon.75 Nathan Ligon

        I liked them both for very different reasons. So has the vast majority of everyone else that has seen the two films.

      • Hop

        Iron Man 3 was far superior to Star Wreck Into Darkness.

      • where are the brains?

        hahahahahhahahah really!?

      • blakeavon

        no Angel is actually right, he is certainly more grown up and capable of listening to basic film dialogue so much more than the reviewer is

      • fail!

        your right, this film has very basic dialogue hahaha trash

      • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.ligon.75 Nathan Ligon

        What is it that he wrote that was wrong other than being rude. His explanation of the plot points in the film are right on.

      • Joseph M

        Angel of Death (awesome tough Internet name btw), I write for TV in the UK. You’re probably a fan of one of the shows I write for…As for income, my wife and I are doing well, thanks. Now off you go and stop being a silly little angry boy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.ligon.75 Nathan Ligon

        I am also a film critic and an independent film critic in Dallas. I agree Mr. Death (lol) is being a bit of a child (like most people on the internet), but his dispute of the plot points are absolutely correct. Explain to me how he is wrong and what about this film missed the understanding of how to characterize or structure a script.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.ligon.75 Nathan Ligon

        I know exactly how to structure a script and handle characterization very well. I also loved this film. It is a brilliantly directed film. There are some issues with the script, but there are some issues with every script for every major blockbuster ever made. Name one blockbuster that people have not beat up on in the last 10 years. I do this for a living and I can guarantee you that even films like TOY STORY 3 (which was 99% Fresh) had plenty of people on forums pointing out silly supposed plot holes. Your statement means nothing unless you can point out an issue.

    • Twintosser

      great post, and dead on. This guy went in ready to compare it the the Khan from many years ago and got pissy about it.

      • Wilhelmet

        Given that they pretty much stole the whole of Wrath of Khan, and tried to pawn it off as an ‘original film’, then the comparison is hardly an unfair one to make.

      • Angel of Death

        Wilhelmet,
        A) Uh…Prove that I’m wrong. I am citing concrete evidence from the movie in my post to counter all of Matt Goldberg’s stupid “plotholes” about the movie. You, on the other hand, are just calling people wrong for the sake of calling people wrong, then name calling them (and you think I’m the one who’s 9?) without any sort of evidence or argument to back up why they’re wrong.

        B) No one is trying to pawn anything off as an “original film”. Your misinterpretation is what’s wrong. This is a sequel/reboot of an existing franchise. Events of Wrath of Khan can still happen again, and as history has a tendency to repeat itself in alternate timelines, could very well do so again in different ways–case in point, in the 2009 movie, Kirk still becomes a captain, in a different way from how it happens in the original timeline. In this, we get a different version of “Space Seed” and “Wrath of Khan” in which similar events transpire but in a different way.

        If neither you, nor Goldberg understand this concept, then the movie industry must confuse and scare you, since you clearly have no idea or concept of what a reboot is.

        PS: I DARE you to give me a logical argument this time to counter any of these points you stupid, crying, little infant.

      • Wilhelmet

        Wow! You are just too good to be true!

        Ps: I DARE you to grow some pubes.

      • http://www.facebook.com/rob.cline.94 Rob Cline

        What a poor, pathetic little wannabe Trekkie you are.

      • Angel of Death

        And you people are literally even more pathetic trolls who just go on these things to piss people off. Please take your tiny male genital organs and forcefully insert them into your rectums over and over and over again. That’s all you jackoffs are good for.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.ligon.75 Nathan Ligon

        This is a ridiculous statement. The Khan stuff is all done as a loving homage. However, it amounts to about 5 minutes of the film and even then they flip the tables on the characters. I just watched ‘Khan’ last night. It is not even slightly the same as this film. The plots don’t line up at all. The only thing that is similar is a scene at the end of the film where the tables are turned from that film and Kirk goes into the radiation room to save the ship. Now, some will find this homage a loving and beautiful take on a story they love. Others will feel cheated like you do, but dispute your actual issue and don’t make statements that are broadly false.

    • Kim

      This movie had too much INFO for this idiot to digest. He surely enjoyed Iron Man 3, gave it a B-rating as a matter of fact, lol. His opinions mean nothing and he should be replaced with such sh!tty taste in movies.

    • blakeavon

      glad to see someone shared the same level of an anger i felt reading this, if you cant see and understand these basic things that are clearly explained in the movie, why then should be take his thoughts in the rest of the review with any value?!

    • http://www.facebook.com/nathan.ligon.75 Nathan Ligon

      I completely agree with you, but calling him names doesn’t do you any good.

    • Hop

      Ladies and Gentlemen, behold the new breed of fanboy. Now shut up, ANGEL OF DEATH.

  • amar

    I don’t visit this site for reviews as this site is worst place for movie reviews.

    • http://www.thecorrigan.com Corrigan

      …I feel like you’re confused as to what you just did here.

    • Fitzchiv

      you are so right, its the movies news and trailers that keeps me coming back, matt goldbergs reviews are of absolutely no value to anybody but matt goldberg

      • Nerdgasm

        False he’s pretty spot on here, with this one…

      • Kim

        He enjoyed Iron Man 3 more than Star Trek, that must tell you a lot about this tasteless author.

  • Sigh

    It’s as simple as this: If you are are not a trekkie, you’ll probably enjoy it. It’s a breezy fast-paced film that has a few cool set pieces and a bucketful of funny lines. Anybody who’s ever been on youtube is aware of KHAAAAAAAN and the handful of other references Into Darkness has, so it’s accessible to a wide audience. Basically, it’s mass-appeal Star Trek; a film to plonk yourself in front of and turn off your brain. But for any real hardcore Trek fan, this film is an absolute travesty. Abrams saved the franchise four years ago because he isn’t a fan of the series, and tragically, this same lack of devotion is what brings it all crashing down this time around. Many points from this review are spot-on; this film has no real soul, and every meaningful moment has already been done better by a previous film with a fraction of the budget. It pains me to say it, but Into Darkness is a disjointed rehash, plain and simple.

  • Miran

    Good review! Agree 100%, fast and stupid movie, that rips a good one. Movie made for dumb american audience, yes and yes! Everything needs to be explained with two guys punching, guns firing, camera shaking, extra fast cutting. No drama, no good written situations, characters or even plot. 30 years after original move, we fail so much as audience, and they fail as storytellers.

  • Rod

    OMG, I just saw the movie and floved it! If you didn’t enjoy this roller coaster, then you need to have a personality transplant. It was the most fun I’ve had at the movies this year, and it was 10 times better than IronMan 3. I’ve seen every episode of Star Trek and knew Gene Roddenberry. This movie is a joy to watch, and I’m sure even Gene would have gotten a kick out of it. You need to chill out and check back in two weeks to apologize for this nitpicky, overblown “review.”

    • Nerdgasm

      If your that close to Star Trek you shouldn’t have anything to say about it being as you are now… a dumb biased person who doesnt realize he’s biased.

      • GunzOfNavarone

        Coming from a guy who doesn’t know the difference between your and you’re. Genius.

  • http://www.thecorrigan.com Corrigan

    Spot-on review.

  • Ken

    The author of this article gave Iron Man 3 a rating of B. He gives Star Trek Into Darkness, a rating D. Need I say more about this poor man’s terrible taste in film? Star Trek was 10000 times better than Iron Man 3 and no, I am no trekkie.

    • http://twitter.com/TanuRoshan Tanu Roshan

      Yes if Iron Man 3 gets B then it should get B+

    • Johnson

      Great comparison. MG doesn’t mind they made The Mandarin, Iron Man’s greatest and for the longest time foe (and one of Marvel’s biggest bad-asses) a drunken unemployed lazy actor who problematic bowels, but doesn’t like the way Abrams and Co have shown Khan…

      • Fitzchiv

        ben kingsley is a frickin amazing actor you dumbass!

    • Johnson

      Great comparison. MG doesn’t mind they made The Mandarin, Iron Man’s greatest and for the longest time foe (and one of Marvel’s biggest bad-asses) a drunken unemployed lazy actor who problematic bowels, but doesn’t like the way Abrams and Co have shown Khan…

    • Still a fan

      I grew up watching Trek my whole life, I was 2 when I saw Search for Spock in theaters. I agree with you! Iron Man 3 was one of the biggest slight of hand gag movies I’ve ever seen. Trek at least had a knowledge of the characters involved, shook things up a bit, but the characters never lost who there were. Khan was Khan… he wasn’t a drugged out actor. That alone makes this movie better than Iron Man 3

    • Still a fan

      I grew up watching Trek my whole life, I was 2 when I saw Search for Spock in theaters. I agree with you! Iron Man 3 was one of the biggest slight of hand gag movies I’ve ever seen. Trek at least had a knowledge of the characters involved, shook things up a bit, but the characters never lost who there were. Khan was Khan… he wasn’t a drugged out actor. That alone makes this movie better than Iron Man 3

  • Scuba

    I can try to answer your questions. The first two questions alone show you just weren’t paying attention and wanted to hate this movie.

    1. They couldn’t beam Spock in because there was interference with the volcano. That’s why Kirk had to break Starfleet regulations and reveal himself to the indigenous race just to beam Spock out.

    2. Kirk had a change of heart due to things like Scotty quitting and Spock repeatedly questioning the mission.

    3. Not a good answer for this although in the first movie Chekov assisted in beaming people back to the ship under impossbile circumstances so he should have great engineering knowledge.

    4. I don’t even think I can address this question. This isn’t even a good complaint.
    5. Because Spock has a phaser gun and Khan doesn’t and although Khan is far physically superior to Kirk, it’s clear from the first film that Spock is physically superior to Kirk as well.
    6. Maybe because they would have to thaw them out to get the blood. Probably the most valid argument you have but not worth tearing apart a movie over.
    7. It’s a secret mission because the Admiral has a secret agenda. He’s trying to start a war so of course he’s keeping it off the books.
    I really liked this movie. I have friends that loved this movie. I won’t resort to name calling. I just get the impression that your loved the original series and Wrath of Khan so much that this just felt like a rip off. This movie was made for a non-Trekkie audience but still leave some of heart of the original series. I agree the new movies are more about action and less about strategy and intellect that the original series focused on. Sadly, this is the world we live in now.
    Star Trek into Darkness was a fun movie to watch. I admit having seem Wrath of Khan that the emotional moments, especially at the end, didn’t hold much weight. But I’m sure more people will see the movie this weekend than ever saw the second Star Trek motion picture.

  • http://erasend.blogspot.com kingdom2000

    Whoa Goldberg read my mind and wrote the review from it. Mind thief!!!

    Just watched the film and I think it is an entertaining action flick but its a crappy Star Trek story. If gong to crib from a film usually the goal is to do it equal to or better. Not even close here. The film is desperate for emotional beats but the action is so unrelenting that none of them were earned and most go by so fast that they probably should not have bothered to try.

  • Alan Burnett

    MATT GOLDBERG SAYS

    “I didn’t have an agenda, but screw Paramount and they’re stupid and they don’t respect my greatness and they are going to be REALLY SORRY when they read my review.”

    Yikes. I have never seen someone with as little power as Goldberg wields corrupted so easily. The studio is the studio: the film is the film. Does anyone watch a Michael Curtiz film and say, “well, you know, he was a giant asshole so I can’t enjoy ‘Casablanca’”? And, unlike Curtiz whose negligence on a film set led to the death of three extras, Paramount decided to, um, not give Goldberg the free screening when he wanted one. These people are SICK!

    And Khan was Indian, so I am stunned why race-lifting is OK when Indian actors missed out in the first place, but is SUPER RACIST when Hispanic actors missed out.

    • Fuck me right?

      Which just shows how dumb the original writers were. “Lets make him north indian but he’s gunna look hispannic and have a latino accent. Ahh who gives a fuck right? 0 fucks here!”

      • LOL At America

        Better Hispanic than the whitest whitebread BRITISH actor they could pull away from his tea to provide an accent that would dupe American audiences into believing what he’s saying is intelligent and/or menacing because of the (as demonstrated by this comment section) of the obdurate anti-intellectualism rampant in America. “I’m proud that I don’t care ’bout story” “I’m proud shoddy writing doesn’t bother me!” “I don’t care ’bout no thinking so long as da guv’ment don’t take me guns or taxes me for the social services I uses!” “YEEEE HAAAAAA!” [Fires six shooters in the air]

      • LOL At America

        Better Hispanic than the whitest whitebread BRITISH actor they could pull away from his tea to provide an accent that would dupe American audiences into believing what he’s saying is intelligent and/or menacing because of the (as demonstrated by this comment section) of the obdurate anti-intellectualism rampant in America. “I’m proud that I don’t care ’bout story” “I’m proud shoddy writing doesn’t bother me!” “I don’t care ’bout no thinking so long as da guv’ment don’t take me guns or taxes me for the social services I uses!” “YEEEE HAAAAAA!” [Fires six shooters in the air]

  • Joseph M

    Great review, and I agree completely. I’m actually amazed by the amount of mistakes Abrams has made with this film. A convoluted mess, full of inconsistencies and empty, almost mocking, lifts from the original cannon. Abrams shows little respect for the intelligence of the viewer, thinking some old names and comedic iconography references will have us all clapping like seals. I was hesitant but blindly positive about Abrams being given the Star Wars gig. STID was his tester, to see if he’s ready. Now, I think Lucas and Disney have the wrong man.

    • marigol

      Almost the same as Nolan did with dark Knight Returns. Both had made good previous movies, I knew this was bound to disapoint.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorena.sanzvallas Lorena Sanz Vallas

    IT’S A CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously, what other thing did you expect with JJ Abrams involved?

  • Susie

    Very good review. Abrams has no respect for the Star Trek universe, the character of Kirk, or the friendship between Kirk and Spock (to say nothing of McCoy) and it shows. The casting of Cumberbatch in this particular role (no spoiler) makes no sense.

  • Tony Ferris

    Thank god for this review. I thought I was going mad listening to all the positivity directed at Abrams’ admittedly well crafted (in terms of production design and set-piece construction), but frustratingly empty and – I’m sorry – stupid Star Trek movies.

    He doesn’t seem to like Trek particularly. He certainly doesn’t understand it, or even really know it. Shame!

    But to those that are having fun with his take; more power to you. I wish I could join you, but it’s just not good enough.

  • Asgarpth

    Actually Star Trek Into Darkness is one of the most perfect film that come out in recent years. No moment of boredom, great actors and especially Benedict Cumberbach is magnificent. You can actually feel how dangerous he is, instead of the bland villian Nero. Also the movie give every character a meaningful existence and task, instead of the previous one. Something nearly none movie accomplished with so many rich characters.

    The author of this review couldn’t be more wrong about everything. Especially that he missed the real plot holes of the story.
    1) Why does nobody find out that there are people within the bombs?
    2) How could scotty get into a ship that can pinpoint people exact locations and differentiate them?

  • spongefist

    Not a bad review, mostly accurate, especially the action scenes being shot like Star Wars, the shuttle chase on Kronos scene was M-falcon all over.

    However in spite of it all, it was quite enjoyable.

    There were terrible spoon fed giveaways through out, you always knew what was coming and Khan was a wasted opportunity, but hey about a million times better than GI Joe and Iron Man.

    • marigol

      The conference attack was mimicking Robocop or some other 80s movie.

  • Daniel Ronczkowski

    Matt sucks

  • Fred

    Typical review fromn a typical “know-it-all” wannabe reviewer. Sad, really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Richards/100002224412328 Jason Richards

    FUCK GOLDBERG. MAN CUNT PUSSY.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rob.cline.94 Rob Cline

      Poor little Abrams-lover can’t handle the truth huh? There is nothing more pathetic than a wannabe Trekkie like you.

  • Oliver

    is this meant to be journalism? It’s one of the shittest, most rambling and irate reviews I have ever read. Collider – you really need to edit this guy! People might actually listen to him!

  • ikkf

    J.J. Abrams is turning into the Joel Schumacher of his generation.

  • Frodo

    Sorry, but the patented ‘JJ Abrams Mistery Box Method TM’ is an empty box. What’s the island of Lost? It’s never answered. What happened with that Rambaldi guy in Alias? Again, never answered. And my favorite: What THE HECK is the Rabbit’s Foot in MI3? Who cares? Look, it’s Tom Cruise! Adding riddle after riddle without giving an explanation can hook the audience during some time, until you you end up alienating them if they don’t get some answers (ie: Lost, Prometheus, etc.). For me, JJ Abrams is the poor man’s Spielberg. I prefer the real thing, thanks.

  • vicious1fan

    It’s 87% positive on Rotten TOmatoes…Matt always likes to be in the minority, he’s a hipster douche bag

    • fandom

      Because Rotten Tomatoes is a sure proof of the quality of a movie. And obviously the studios doesn’t tweak the system over and over again hiring a batallion of Bombay typewriters to add positive reviews for their newest releases. By the way, my name is Bob and I’d like to talk you about the new Verizon prepaid plan for cell phones.

  • whodey17

    I think its more Goldberg is pissed they didn’t give him his special treatment and allow him to see the movie before everyone else.

  • sense11

    Your in the minority on this one

    • http://www.facebook.com/rob.cline.94 Rob Cline

      Wrong there. Even half the morons who liked the first wannabe Trek hate this one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.cocker Lee Cocker

    I agree with Matt and Tim. Matt is spot on with everything that is wrong with the movie. OK yes it is a reboot, but it has so many plot holes it is a joke. Everyone needs to get off the J.J bandwagon he is way overrated. And Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci……how in the hell are these guys still writing movies. One guy destroyed Prometheus and the other two are the guys that ruined Transformers!

    • Still a fan

      It’s Michael Bay that ruined Transformers, Orci and Kurtzman only wrote an outline for 2(Bay did the rest during the writer’s strike), most of their script for 1 got rewritten on set by others and they refused the offer to come back for 3 and it was still shit.

      • marigol

        There was no freaking chance that Transformers would end up good, even if P.T.Anderson wrote it.

    • Still a fan

      It’s Michael Bay that ruined Transformers, Orci and Kurtzman only wrote an outline for 2(Bay did the rest during the writer’s strike), most of their script for 1 got rewritten on set by others and they refused the offer to come back for 3 and it was still shit.

  • Dandru

    The writer of this article is incorrect in saying that Khan “tried to conquer Earth in the 1990s by wiping out anyone they deemed inferior.” Quite the opposite–Khan was a tyrant, yes, but he was a tyrant under whose leadership there was peace. “Space Seed” made that abundantly clear–Khan was NOT genocidal. He was interested in ruling people, not killing them. That’s one of the many things the writers of this film got wrong, continuity-wise. It’s as if they never saw “Space Seed.”

    • whodey17

      You know this is a reboot right? They are not obligated to follow any sort of canon. They’d be wise to, but not obligated to.

  • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/‎ tarek

    I didn’t watch it yet. And I will watch it for sure. I loved the first one. So this one will hopefully be as good as the first one.

    Regarding the Iron Man 3 review: I watched it and was pissed off by the silly script. It was just a show off of what the CGI guys were able to do. Tony jumping from a suit to another on fly was entertaining, but not sufficient to give to the movie an epic dimension.
    My rating for Iron Man 3: C-

  • Juaners

    The character Khan is supposed to be from India so please get off your high horse in reporting they couldn’t find a “hispanic” actor to play the role.

  • ArmandoSanchez8233

    I can’t wait for the Fast 6 review, oh and the Man Of Steel review.

    • Kim

      This tasteless author will give Fast 6 an A+rating. He’ll give Man of Steel an F-rating. Why? He has sh1tty taste in movies. He enjoyed Iron Man 3 better than Star Trek….lol….

  • http://twitter.com/TheChiHawk Sean Hawk

    While I tend to have wildly differing opinions from Matt regarding Cinema; his central point revolving around this film is spot on–its an example of laziness and banality in Hollywood.

    Whatever you think of the experience of watching this film, you cannot avoid the following truth–Abrams and Co. rebooted the Star Trek Universe by going back in time and despite having a couple of years to come up with an original plot … they STILL end up recycling a character and iconic moments.

    You can debate about Star Trek canon and all that, or ignore it as you like–either way is fine with me. But these two movies exhibit the reality that without its own history to draw upon, this Rebooted Universe lacks gravity and traction.

    Star Trek movies are not one-off stand-alone entities–they NEED backstory. They need a series to draw upon.

  • John

    Why can’t we have Frosty review movies? This guy is just a hater and a troll.

    BRING BACK FROSTY!

  • Saltonstall

    Um. Goldberg gave Dark of the Moon a B-. He then proceeded to bash the writings of Tolkien. So excuse me if I can’t fully respect his opinion.

    • Kim

      He gave Iron Man 3 a B rating. This author is fcking ridiculous, sh1tty, complete sh1tty taste in movies. FIRE HIM PLEASE

      • Saltonstall

        This is awkward… I liked Iron Man 3.

    • DjangoBro

      I can’t believe people forgot about that and they still choose to defend him lmao. Why are people so angry with this movie, it was no where near bad that people are making it out to be. Leave it to the Trek nerds to get their panties in a bunch for a rebooted franchise that basically brought Star trek back.

      • kerashov

        because something you anticipated most this year (after a real good first movie) ended up a big letdown. that’s why there’s ‘the angry’.
        and after spiking news about how Abrams the greatest guy to do another legendary scifi (SW) it just boils the top the more

      • DjangoBro

        Well who’s fault is that? Everybody knows when you set your expectations at absolute heights, you will find nothing but disappointment. Don’t ever go into a film thinking its going to be a masterpiece.

  • DarkistheKnight744

    Possible Spoilers:

    One thing that always bothered me about the first movie is the fact that although it was a “reboot”, they decided to use an actor from the original series: Leonard Nemoy. And in this STID he does nothing except fill in young spock of what to expect from Khan in the furture. So is Nemoy just going to show up in every future installment in the franchise to warn young Spock of every potential problem that may arise? Abrams really had a wasted opportunity to start fresh for an ACTUAL reboot where no other previous characters and/or adding little things like Spock this time yelling “KHAAAAANN”. As serious as that moment in the movie was supposed to be, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. Here’s hoping whoever takes over the franchise, they will let it stand on its own 2 feet and not make so many platent lazy references to the old franchise.

  • Nathaniel Haywood

    Why are people surprised at this review? Any blockbuster-type movie that I am excited about, I assume that Goldberg is going to hate. Then I see it and usually end up liking it. Never fails. I’m sure the movie has plot holes and things that could be improved. But there’s no sense in reviewing this movie like it’s trolling for an Oscar. That’s not what this is. I teach a film class, so I could Goldberg every movie I see if I wanted to, but what’s the point of that? Great Gatsby (interpreting classic American Literature)? Bring it on. Star Trek? Give me the original crew, a good villain, some crazy action, and then get out of my way and let me watch it.
    I like to refer to The Dark Knight, which critics adore. There are a LOT of minor plot, tone, and logic issues in that movie too, but they don’t overpower the film so you can still appreciate and enjoy it. I’m sure Into Darkness is no Dark Knight, but that doesn’t mean it’s garbage.
    I won’t be able to see this until this weekend or early next week, but I’m sure that history will hold true and I’ll enjoy it.

    • Kim

      This tasteless author like Iron Man 3, nuff said

    • HopeTrio

      into darkness is dark knight returns…

  • ~The Cleveland Kid

    The reason this review seems so unfair is that the readers can hear the anger in your tone. Just because you prefaced the problems you had with the studio doesn’t mean that you didn’t put that anger into this review. This movie was not as solid as JJ’s 1st one, but it was still a very good movie. Of course you can’t compare it to Kahn(although you do). All the original treks don’t even come close to Wrath.

    Everyone enjoyed the flick that was at my packed theater last night and trekkers seem to dig the way JJ changed things around but stayed true to the Trek franchise.

    Most of your supposed inconsistencies were answered in the movie if you payed attention and the one’s that were not were too small for people to care. Kirk wanted to kill the bad guy who killed his mentor, so he wasn’t going to listen to Scottie. It was only after Scottie, Spock & finally Mccoy voiced the same feelings that he decided not to use the photons. I won’t go into length at the other questions, but they are all pretty small & nit picky.

    I usually enjoy the reviews on here but this one should have been thought out more and drafted again & again until the anger was gone & the facts remained. Maybe spock can teach ya how to do that one. At any rate, in the future you should take yourself out of the running to write a review if your are already mad at someone(s) in the flick. You obviously had a conflict of interest and you did Collider a big disservice. I think I’ll take some time away from the site until I hear things are fixed here. I would hope others will to.

    • hi

      I agree. There was way too much anger in this review. Screening, no screening, what’s the big deal?

  • Jagdish

    - “I can write controversial opinion pieces, devoid of fact or logic. Like, what if I picked out plot holes in big summer movies? Think of all the page hits and comments.”

    - “You’re hired!”

  • Josh

    Matt Goldberg you’re a fucking hack. This was a great exploration of the continuation of the Spock and Kirk characters of this series, this alternate timeline. I was also in a packed theater with fans and general audiences and the general consensus was that we all loved it. I’d like to see you do a better job, the script, the acting, the directing, all good and fun. You didn’t even see the series until after Jo’s first film, you have no authority to speak for Trekkies. Take your D rating and find a new career!

    • http://www.facebook.com/rob.cline.94 Rob Cline

      As a real Trekkie, I have the authority to speak for all real Trekkies. I say Abrams is shit, as are his fanboys.

      • Nathaniel Haywood

        I’m also a real Trekkie who watched every series from TOS to TNG to DS9 to Voyager to Enterprise and I have no problem with JJ’s take. If you want it exactly like TOS then just WATCH THOSE INSTEAD! I think JJ has done a pretty decent job of doing a modern interpretation of the characters while staying true to them. Tell me one SUBSTANTIAL element of TOS that has been destroyed? Vulcan? Please – how many times did you see another Vulcan – or the planet itself – on TOS? Once? The relationships? Nope – different actors, but the essence of the characters are there. Spock and Uhura? Who cares. There were no intimiate relationships of any kind on TOS because of societal racism, so there was nothing to destroy. Marvel fans (of which I am a huge one) seem to be okay with Iron Man and The Avengers even though those films change A LOT. Way more than Abrams did, to be honest. (They don’t even have all of the original Avengers, for crying out loud!) Same thing with X-Men and X2 and X-Men First Class. They changed WAY more than Abrams (different characters, time periods, relationships, powers, etc) and those films are still good. It’s an adaptation. So don’t be so serious about it – it’s not like it’s Superman Returns. Or if you can’t handle it, pull out your VHS player and watch Wrath of Khan again.

      • http://www.facebook.com/rob.cline.94 Rob Cline

        Sorry, wannabe. You have made no valid point. There is nothing similar about this wannabe Trek with real Trek other than character names.

  • cloud720

    “it also makes no sense why Khan would now be a white guy”
    Coming from the guy who had this to say about casting a black guy in fantastic four…
    ” This fact will undoubtedly infuriate geeks who are racist and/or horribly OCD.”

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