‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ (Film)

‘STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS’

Please feel free to comment on the review.

The Kelvin Timeline’s Version of ‘The Wrath of Khan’
By Tim Bradley and Timelord007

Tim Bradley:
‘Star Trek: First Contact’ is my favourite ‘Star Trek’ movie! (Pause) ‘Star Trek II’ is pretty good too.

Timelord007:
‘Star Trek II’, ‘IV’ and ‘VI’ are my personal favourites! However each film has an interesting story to tell. It’s just that sometimes what we see on screen isn’t always the version the writers and the director originally had in mind.

Tim Bradley:
‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ is the second film of the ‘Star Trek’ reboot trilogy and was the twelfth made in the ‘Star Trek’ series. This was my second ‘Star Trek’ movie experience at the cinema when it came out in May 2013. Once again, this film was directed by J. J. Abrams who directed the 2009 film.

The film was also produced by J. J. Abrams with Bryan Burk as well as Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Not these two again!) who also wrote the film’s screenplay with other producer Damon Lindelof. After the surprising ‘high-rated’ efforts of the first movie, the second must be great, right?

Timelord007:
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci? (Pause; to Tim) You’re not selling this movie very well to me, Tim.

Tim Bradley:
(to Timelord007) I didn’t know I was. (Pause; to audience) I saw ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ only once at the cinema. I didn’t get the film when it came out on DVD as well as on Blu-ray that year in 2013. So it didn’t have a big impact on me. Mind you, I was busy with the ‘Doctor Who’ 50th anniversary celebrations in that same year.

With that said, after seeing the first film of the rebooted ‘Star Trek’ series, I can’t help but deny that I was still pretty underwhelmed about this version of ‘Star Trek’ before I saw ‘Into Darkness’ at the cinema. But still, I wanted to give this version of ‘Star Trek’ another go as well as another fair chance.

Maybe the second film will be better. Maybe ‘Into Darkness’ will do something original and interesting with this rebooted version of ‘The Original Series’ cast. I hoped so. After seeing the film though, it was a forgettable experience. I forgot what this film was about before I came to review it.

Timelord007:
Well, I also saw this at the cinema and I wasn’t happy at all with the character arcs or the villain’s reveal that this film delivered. In fact, this film is even a lazier effort than the previous film, but I’ll get into why this film annoyed me in due course. (to Tim) Warp speed now, Mr. Bradley! This ride is about to get bumpy!

Tim Bradley:
(surprised; confused) Oh. (Pause) Well…with that said….let’s talk about the movie!

The movie begins on the red planet of Nibiru where…Kirk and Bones are running away from the natives chasing them. Okay…interesting beginning to the second movie, but I’ll take it. Actually this is a mission for the Enterprise to rescue the Nibrians as the volcano on their planet is about to erupt.

Kirk and Bones are on the planet, supposedly leading the Nibrians away from the volcano before it erupts, whilst Spock in an environmental suit is about to detonate a cold fusion device inside the volcano to stop it erupting. They must abide by the Prime Directive at all times! Oh, so the Prime Directive does exist in this universe! Neat! Also the Enterprise is…parked underwater on the planet?

(to Timelord007) Was that a thing in ‘Star Trek’? That the Enterprise could park underwater?

Timelord007:
No.

Tim Bradley:
Was there was an episode in ‘The Original Series’ where the Enterprise parked underwater on a planet?

Timelord007:
No.

Tim Bradley:
Did the Enterprise….?

Timelord007:
NO!!!

Tim Bradley:
Then how come the Enterprise can park underwater?!

Timelord007:
I don’t know! Blimey, we’re jumping the shark with nonsensical bafflegab straight away in the film’s opening scene! The lazy writing begins!

Tim Bradley:
It doesn’t make any sense! How can the Enterprise park underwater? How is it able to maintain its balance whilst it’s underwater? Won’t it tilt sideways being underwater in being off-balanced? I mean…granted, it is the future and they must have anti-grafts for the ship! But it’s never explained!

Timelord007:
You’re looking at it from a logistic angle, Tim. Trying to make sense of senselessness! This scene is utter twaddle! Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, bow your heads in shame for scripting such incoherent nonsense.

Tim Bradley:
The other writer/producer Damon Lindelof and director J. J. Abrams must accept some of the blame too. (Pause) Anyway, Spock has the cold fusion device in place ready to explode and freeze the volcano. But the Enterprise is unable to beam Spock out of the volcano using the transporter system.

So therefore, Kirk decides to have the Enterprise…rise up from the sea! Thus every Nibiran native can see the ship before it goes to rescue Spock from the volcano. Thankfully Spock gets beamed out of the Enterprise, before the cold fusion device blows up and freezes the volcano to save the planet.

Now, you might think Kirk’s actions to have the Enterprise rise up from the sea for every Nibiran native to see it before going off to rescue Spock sounds ridiculous…and that’s because it is! Spock even tells Kirk that he broke the Prime Directive doing it. How come Kirk did not think this through?!

THE FIFTH DOCTOR (from ‘Warriors of the Deep’ in ‘Doctor Who’): “There should have been another way!”

Yeah, you’re right, Peter Davison’s Doctor! There should have been another way!

Timelord007:
So…what a load of nonsensical bafflegab that scene was. And once again lazy writing rears its ugly head. Oh we must have a bit of conflict between Kirk and Spock because…um…hmm…because conflict adds drama. Yes, that’ll do. We’ll have dramatic conflict between the film’s main characters because we can’t think of anything else. Oh, aren’t we all clever writers sitting around a table, drinking earl grey tea while doing ‘The Times’ crossword to come up with that amazing arc?

Tim Bradley:
After we’re given the movie title, we then cut to London on Earth where we see a Starfleet officer named Thomas Hareword… oh! Hi there, Mickey Smith! Yeah! That’s right! Noel Clarke from ‘Doctor Who’ as Thomas Harewood in this ‘Star Trek’ movie! I was so surprised to see him on the big screen.

Timelord007:
Well at least he isn’t Mickey the idiot. (to Tim) He isn’t Mickey in disguise is he, Tim?

Tim Bradley:
(to Timelord007) I thought he was Ricky at first. 😀 (Pause; to audience) What’s interesting about Noel Clarke’s character in this film is that Thomas Hareword is a member of Section 31. That was introduced in ‘Deep Space Nine’. Yikes, Section 31 exists in this alternative version of the ‘Star Trek’ universe?! That’s really intriguing!

Anyway, Thomas Hareword and his wife have a daughter who is currently in a coma with a severe illness at the Royal Children’s Hospital in London. After seeing her daughter, Thomas Hareword gets stopped by someone he has not met before who says that he can save his daughter if he assists him.

And it happens to be…Sherlock, I mean, Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison. Wow! Benedict Cumberbatch is in this ‘Star Trek’ movie! And…oh well, we might as well throw this one in…Benedict Cumberbatch was also Doctor Strange in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. Wow! What are the odds?

Timelord007:
Yikes! Another Marvel movie star in a ‘Star Trek’ movie! It seems that nearly everyone in this Kelvin timeline reboot gets to go on and work in a Marvel movie. I wonder who will turn up next in this ‘Star Trek’ universe? Robert Downey Jr. or Chris Evans. Maybe a Stan Lee cameo!

Tim Bradley:
Actually that wouldn’t be all that bad. If only Stan Lee was still alive though. 😦

Timelord007:
I like Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock. I didn’t rate ‘Doctor Strange’ that highly, but if I’m honest I always kind of hoped he’d become ‘Doctor Who’. So, Benedict’s playing a rather nasty bad guy is he? Old cliché! Want a good villain? Cast a Brit!

Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison, who turns out to be a former Starfleet secret agent, gets the compliance of Thomas Hareword to bomb a Starfleet archive installation in London.

Tim Bradley:
Which happens to be Section 31 no less with its cover as the Kelvin Memorial Archive.

Timelord007:
This is after having coerced Hareword into sneaking the bomb into the facility in exchange for healing his ailing daughter. Which he managed to do by injecting a vial of John Harrison’s blood into her IV at the Royal Children’s Hospital, thus saving her.

Tim Bradley:
Yeah! Not that I question Hareword blowing up the Section 31 archive installation in exchange for his daughter’s life, but why did he commit suicide in the process? Didn’t have an escape plan? Mind you, his Starfleet career would’ve been on the line and he’d face court-martial. But it isn’t explained.

Meanwhile, back at Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco, Kirk and Spock make their way to Admiral Christopher Pike’s office and WHAT KIND OF HAT IS SPOCK WEARING?! That is the most ridiculous hat I’ve ever seen! Why would Spock wear something like that?! He looks like a train guard! Wait, I take it back! He looks like a bus driver! You know, like Stan Butler from ‘On The Buses’.

(mimics Stephen Lewis as Inspector Blake from ‘On The Buses’) “Right come on, Butler! Get that uniform on from ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’! The one that Spock wore! I hate you, Butler! I hate ya!”

Timelord007:
(looks at Tim strangely; in Tenth Doctor manner) Err…no, don’t do that, Tim. Just…just don’t.

Tim Bradley:
Sorry, so sorry. I got a bit carried away there.

Timelord007:
Obviously Spock dresses for the occasion! Where’s Gok Wan when you need him?

Tim Bradley:
Provided Gok Wan exists in this parallel universe. (Pause) In Pike’s office, Kirk has his command of the Enteprise removed from him as he broke the Prime Directive! Yeah! I guess that wouldn’t have happened if you had not made Kirk captain of the Enterprise immediately at the end of the first film!

Yeah! Seriously, why did you think that was a good idea at the time? Kirk should have built his way up to become the captain! Start as an ensign then be a lieutenant; then a lieutenant commander; then a full commander before becoming a captain. I have stated this for the review for the first film!

Timelord007:
So, Kirk breaks the rules to save his friend Spock and all Pike can say in appreciation is that he broke the Prime Directive? Thus, Kirk gets demoted in the process? What an ungrateful git!

Tim Bradley:
Pike soon gets reinstated as the captain of the Enterprise and Kirk gets sent back to Starfleet Academy. Well good! At least Kirk will get to learn some lessons…or Pike can just reinstate Kirk as first officer on the Enterprise whilst Spock gets transferred to another ship! WHAT?! It’s lazy writing!

Timelord007:
Shortly afterwards, an emergency meeting of high ranking officers is called at Starfleet Headquarters. Kirk attends as Pike’s first officer before the meeting falls under attack by Harrison via a small Federation gunship. Kirk takes down the gunship, but Harrison escapes by transporting himself to an unidentified planet. And…shock, horror, dramatic drama…Pike gets killed and dies!

Tim Bradley:
Wow! I didn’t see that one coming when I saw it on the big screen! Admiral Pike dies? He doesn’t even get to go back to Talos IV to reunite with Vina and the Talosians from ‘The Menagerie’. Assuming that happened in the Kelvin timeline. Pike’s death also seems emotionally played out here.

Anyway, let’s talk about the main characters. Chris Pine once again fares well as Captain Kirk in this. In fact, if this movie was better written, I would’ve enjoyed Kirk’s journey in being a starship captain and his friendship with Spock and Bones. Sadly, once again, the writing does not do Kirk any favours.

This is clearly demonstrated when Kirk arrests John Harrison on the Klingon planet called Kronos (or is it Qo’noS?). Well, a simple arrest should do it…or Kirk could just beat Harrison up in anger for the deaths he caused. And guess what?! Kirk beats up Harrison again…and again…and again…and again!

Timelord007:
Yes! Kirk lets the fists fly, doesn’t he? To be fair, Chris Pine is excellent as James T. Kirk. He can convey both the charm and the emotion. However, as we’ve emphasised numerous times, a good actor is nothing without a good script. And this script, especially as the film progresses, becomes a copy ‘n’ paste lazy rehash of a previous ‘Star Trek’ movie. Oh just you wait till we get to that ending.

Timelord007 begins to sharpen his Wolverine claws, ready for an epic rant.

Tim Bradley:
Hmm! I’m sure we’re all looking forward to it. (Pause) Meanwhile, Zachary Quinto as Spock also gives an excellent performance in this movie. It was interesting to see how Spock reacts to Kirk’s breaking of the Prime Directive and how Spock seems to prefer sticking by regulations in this movie.

The shuttle-craft scene where Kirk, Spock and Uhura are on their way to Kronos/Qo’noS and Spock and Uhura have an argument was also interesting. Spock even shares what he experienced when mind-melding with Pike’s mind before he died. Sadly again, the writing doesn’t do any favours here.

Timelord007:
Zachary Quinto as Spock isn’t the problem. It’s the shambolic writing and the awful characterization of how Spock is written, which in this movie is an egotistical unlikable jobsworth. Where is the warmth to the character that Leonard Nimoy brought to the role? Quinto’s performance feels cold and uncaring, making me feel no empathy for the character.

Tim Bradley:
I wish I could say something positive about Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy. But honestly, I’m not getting into Karl Urban’s interpretation of the character. Every time I see him, Bones seems to be grumpy and moaning about something. I’m sure DeForest Kelly’s interpretation of the character wasn’t like that.

There were some moments when Bones got his arm caught in a torpedo and he joins Kirk on Nibiru at the film’s start. But apart from that, Bones doesn’t do much as a character. Bones’ remark to Sulu sitting in the captain’s chair was a little amusing. He also…(sighs)…miraculously saves Kirk’s life in this.

Timelord007:
Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy’s performances is dull as dishwater. I mean, all he does is moan or react grumpy to any given situation. I keep saying it and probably sound like a broken record now, but it’s not the acting. It’s the writing of the characters that are very lazily written and the results end up being a shoddy effort. So my advice to Bones is to quit Starfleet; buy a house in the middle of nowhere and retire.

Tim Bradley:
Simon Pegg as Scotty is pretty good. I hoped we’d see more of him and get into his character as he appeared late in the second half of the first movie. But…he resigns being chief engineer of the Enterprise once he refuses to allow untested torpedoes on the ship without knowing what they are.

Wow! This is not the depiction of Scotty I wanted to see in these rebooted ‘Star Trek’ movies. Him falling out with Kirk; getting drunk in a bar before redeeming himself and saving the Enterprise which was awesome. Scotty seems underused and wasted. All I’ll say is…bring on ‘Star Trek Beyond’!

Timelord007:
I actually find Simon Pegg as Scotty to be one of the movie’s highlights! He keeps the morals of the James Doohan version of the character and shows he cares so much about the Enterprise and the crew’s safety that he’ll resign from being chief engineer.

The drunk scene was hilarious, but thankfully Scotty returned to the Enterprise to basically save the day. (to Tim) Blimey, Tim! We finally have a character arc and some motivation. This is too much! My arms, my legs, my everything. I need a lie down in the zero room for an hour. Be back soon!

Timelord007 goes off somewhere for half an hour, leaving Tim confused.

Tim Bradley:
Well, when he puts it like that I suppose Scotty wasn’t all that wasted in the movie. (Pause) Zoe Saldana as Uhura…um, I don’t really think there’s much I can say about her. Her character isn’t anything different compared to how we saw her in the first movie. She doesn’t seem to have changed or developed. She is still a cold, unapproachable person that has a relationship with Spock.

Yes, she does share with Kirk that she and Spock have fallen out over the volcano incident. But she seems a bit mopey about Spock not considering her feelings when he nearly self-sacrificed himself during the movie opening. Honestly, I do feel Spock should dump Uhura for being so mean-spirited.

Timelord007 returns.

Timelord007:
Here I am, Tim! I’m back!

Tim Bradley:
(surprised) Has it been an hour already?

Timelord007:
Yes! I have a TARDIS, you see. (Pause) What were we talking about?

Tim Bradley:
Zoe Saldana as Uhura.

Timelord007:
Ah, right! Zoe Saldana as Uhura…um…well, she does get involved in a bit of the action. But as for her character progression, there’s nothing. Still cold, unlikable and up herself. I can’t believe J. J. Abrams watched a rough cut of this movie and didn’t notice there wasn’t any character progression for any character arc from the last film.

Tim Bradley:
Actually, now I think about it, it was good to see Uhura speaking Klingon and trying to negotiate with Klingons first on the planet Kronos/Qo’noS before all out battle occurs. Actually, as I also think about it, how is it that Uhura seems really fluent in Klingonese when she didn’t seem to be in ‘Star Trek VI’?

John Cho as Sulu is very good. Like the first movie though, Sulu doesn’t seem to have much of a character arc. I liked it when he got to sit in the captain’s chair during Kirk’s absence. It’s nice to see that foreshadow Sulu’s progress to being a captain, hopefully of the Excelsior in the Kelvin timeline.

Timelord007:
John Cho as Sulu is just completely wasted, given nothing to do barring sitting in the captain’s chair, awaiting his future Netflix spin off series.

Tim Bradley:
Though a ‘Star Trek: Excelsior’ series with Captain Sulu would be awesome. (Pause) Anton Yelchin as Chekov gets thrown in the deep end in this movie. He gets the chance to be chief engineer of the Enterprise when Scotty bails out over the torpedoes incident. Chekov does his best of course, but it’s pretty clear that he’s inexperienced and doesn’t know what he’s doing in the job. I don’t blame him.

Timelord007:
Anton Yelchin, who’s sadly no longer with us, shows that he was a capable actor and had a great acting range. So, it’s shambolic that this film’s script made it seem that Chekov is a complete buffoon or an imbecile.

Tim Bradley:
Right, let’s talk about the villains. First the Klingons, which we don’t get to see enough of in this movie. The Klingon’s make-up…oh my goodness! What have they done to the Klingons?! They look ugly in make-up and unrecognisable from their counterparts in the films, ‘TNG’, ‘DS9’, ‘Voyager’, etc.

NO!!! Just…NO!!! How can J. J. Abrams’ filmmaking team take a classic ‘Star Trek’ alien species, that looked fine in make-up and design from prime ‘Star Trek’ movies and spin-off shows…and make them less impressive than they were?! Honestly! The Klingons should have had a better appearance!

Timelord007:
Blimey, they look ugly! I know Klingons aren’t supposed to be pretty, but these are very ugly Klingons. So Spock not only created an alternate timeline, but his interference has somehow changed the Klingons’ evolution as well?

Tim Bradley:
(unconvinced) Yeah. I just don’t get that. (Pause) But of course, there’s our main villain to focus on – Benedict Cumberbatch! I did wonder who this John Harrison was and what was his grudge against Starfleet was. Hints and layers get revealed throughout the film on his identity and what his motivations are. But…as we ‘Star Trek’ fans deserve it…we do find out who John Harrison really is.

John Harrison: “John Harrison was a fiction created the moment I was awoken by your Admiral Marcus to help him advance his cause! A smoke screen to conceal my true identity! My name is…KHAN!”

Timelord007:
(taken aback) Wait! What did he say? Rewind that back!

John Harrison: “My name is…KHAN!”

Suddenly, out nowhere, the Darth Vader Imperial March music from ‘Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back’ gets played in the background. Timelord007 begins to act strangely, eyes embellished in Sith fury.

Timelord007:
(yells) NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim Bradley:
(perplexed) What? What’s wrong with Benedict Cumberbatch being revealed as Khan? Benedict Cumberbatch is very good as Khan! He’s menacing; threatening and intimidating as well as being a good fit for Khan. Even Khan apparently crushing Admiral Marcus’ neck off-screen was so horrifying!

Timelord007:
But when I think of Benedict Cumberbatch, I think ‘Sherlock’, ‘Doctor Strange’ and hopefully one day a future ‘Doctor Who’. I don’t think of him as Khan! So here we have lazy screenwriting 101. Spock created an alternate timeline where ‘The Original Series’ episode ‘Space Seed’ never happened!

SHAMBOLIC BAFFLEGAB! NONSENSICAL PIFFLE! WHAT WERE THE WRITERS THINKING? OH! CLEARLY THEY WEREN’T! BECAUSE INSTEAD THEY WERE THINKING OF WHAT TO SPEND THE HUGE PAY CHEQUE THEY WERE PAID FOR WRITING THIS RUBBISH ON! THIS IS TOO MUCH!!!

Timelord007 walks off in a huff and gets into his TARDIS. The TARDIS dematerialises with Tim watching it go, looking perplexed and confused.

Tim Bradley:
Well, I’m sure he’ll be back later. After he’s spent time in the zero room of his TARDIS and got out a whole plethora of swear words which…I won’t add here as…this is a family-friendly review. His words, not mine mind. Not that I’m saying ‘Bradley’s Basement’ isn’t family-friendly, but anyway…

As if Khan appearing the movie wasn’t enough, let’s talk about another character from ‘Star Trek II’ appearing in this! It’s Alice Eve as Dr. Carol Marcus. Yeah, do you know that character? In ‘Star Trek II’, Carol Marcus had a relationship with Kirk and the two had a son together and named him David.

In this movie, Carol Marcus is a science officer who comes aboard the Enterprise and uses the pseudonym Carol Wallace. And this is where I think the writers had a missed opportunity here. You see, this is a movie that could’ve seen Kirk having a romantic relationship with Carol. It’d be superb.

Yet…they don’t do that in this film. Apart from Kirk having a sex scene with…two women…who have tails…that’s weird!…there’s not much of a romantic relationship between Kirk and Carol. How come the writers didn’t take advantage of this? Mind you, there is that scene where…Carol strips down to her bra and undies before Kirk…where she could’ve done it in private…as she suits up to go outside.

Moment of confused silence.

(bewildered) What the heck is going on here?!

Just then, a whooshing sound echoes as Timelord007’s TARDIS returns.

Tim Bradley:
Oh! Timelord007’s back!

Once the TARDIS has landed, Timelord007 exits, still in a huff, and re-joins Tim in the review.

Timelord007:
And he isn’t even Mexican! So to make it clear, Spock in the previous movie created an alternative timeline which has not only altered history; made characters dull as dishwater; advanced Klingon evolution but has also turned a previous Mexican superhuman classic villain into a posh speaking Brit! ARGH!!!!!

Moment of silence.

Have I missed anything, Tim?

Tim Bradley:
Yeah. Alice Eve as Carol Marcus!

Suddenly…’Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear’ by The Carpenters begins to play in the background.

Timelord007:
(sighs; happily) Alice Eve as Carol Marcus! (daydreams) Oh lovely, lovely Alice Eve! In her skimpy bra and undies!

Timelord007 continues to daydream.

Tim Bradley:
(breaks into Timelord007’s thoughts) Timelord, snap out of it!

Suddenly the sound of a scratched vinyl record bellows out, snapping Timelord007 out of it.

Timelord007:
Err…I mean…how sexist it is to have a starship crew member wander about in her underwear to appease the teenage adolescents. The character is quite redundant. Not even a possible potential hint at a romance between Kirk and Carol.

Tim Bradley:
(satisfied) That’s more like it. Let’s continue. (Pause) But it’s not just Khan who’s the villain of this movie. There’s also Carol’s father – Peter Weller as Admiral Alexander Marcus. Yeah! Admiral Marcus acquired Khan’s services in order to…provoke a war with the Klingons? (Pause) Um…why is he in Starfleet? In fact, why is he the head of Starfleet?! He should be a peaceful and non-violent man.

I think the writers for this film got their facts about Starfleet mixed up. Starfleet isn’t a military organisation as it seems to be implied in these films. This would explain Spock’s ridiculous hat and uniform. Starfleet is peace-seeking with exploring the universe. They only use weapons for defence!

Marcus, as the head of Starfleet, wanting to provoke a war with the Klingons puts a very bad reputation on the Federation. How does this happen or make sense? I know this is meant to be an alternative reality within ‘Star Trek’, but you might as well make all of it the Mirror Universe instead.

Timelord007:
(threatening manner; to Tim) “Drop it, dead or alive! You’re coming with me!”

Tim Bradley:
(confused) Wait, what?

Timelord007:
(awkwardly; threatening manner; to Tim) “Your move, creep!”

Moment of confused silence.

Tim Bradley:
Wait a minute.

Tim googles Peter Weller on his computer.

Tim Bradley:
Who’s Peter Weller?

Tim gets the search results he wants.

Tim Bradley:
(to Timelord007) Timelord, are you quoting from ‘Robocop’?

Timelord007:
(awkwardly) Yes.

Tim Bradley:
(impatiently) Timelord! Your thoughts of Peter Weller as Admiral Alexander Marcus!

Timelord007:
Right, right. (clears throat) Well, another good actor who’s sadly given little to do except be there to add a shocking plot twist conspiracy regarding a rogue Starfleet faction group. It’s not like this hasn’t been done before in ‘Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country’.

Tim Bradley:
What, they’re ripping off ‘Star Trek VI’ as well as ‘Star Trek II’?! Crikey, had I realised it! (Pause) I don’t need to repeat how sad it is that Bruce Greenwood as Admiral Christopher Pike never got to have his ‘Menagerie’ story featured in this alternative ‘Star Trek’ timeline. It is good that we have one of the characters from the first film get killed in this film and for our main characters to react to.

Timelord007:
Bruce Greenwood turns up as Admiral Pike; has a pep talk with Kirk and dies. That’s about it really. There is very little to go on to form an opinion as to whether the performance was good or not.

Tim Bradley:
I’d say decent would be best to describe it. (Pause) In this movie, we have a welcome cameo of Leonard Nimoy as the older Spock. Mind you, I don’t think there was really a need for him to be in this film. He just appears on the Enterprise’s view-screen for the young Spock to talk to on the bridge (why couldn’t he have talked to older Spock in his quarters) and to gain information regarding Khan!

Timelord007:
Leonard Nimoy as older Spock doesn’t need to be included in this film. In the previous film, his character served a purpose. However, here he cameos to inform the Enterprise crew that Khan is a very bad man. Sadly this was Nimoy’s final performance as Spock and he deserved a more emotional farewell than what we have here.

Tim Bradley:
Now, here’s the thing. I don’t deny that the action sequences in these ‘Star Trek’ reboot movies are impressive. That’s the thing that stands out about these movies – the action. Even Kirk and Khan journeying ship to ship in spacesuits from the Enterprise to the Vengeance (why would you call a Federation starship – a ship for peace – that name?!) was pretty impressive to see on the big screen.

Timelord007:
There’s no denying J. J. can shoot intense action sequences because as a visual director, he’s one of the best. The action sequences are very impressive. However, as good as the action is, if there’s little substance to the plot and the characters, then how is the audience supposed to care and invest in the characters.

Tim Bradley:
Sadly, the action-packed spectacle gets botched up when we come to the movie’s end.

Timelord007:
(getting excited) Oh I’ve been looking forward to this, Tim!

Tim Bradley:
Yeah, I know. Calm down, Timelord!

Timelord007:
Sorry, sorry. Carry on.

Tim Bradley:
You see, during the film’s ending when the Enterprise is crashing down to Earth, Kirk makes a desperate attempt to save the ship by entering its radioactive reactor chamber. This is to realign the warp core. But in doing so, Kirk sacrifices himself to save the ship. Wait! This all sounds very familiar.

Oh wait! It does! This happens to be a rehash…or a carbon copy, whatever you call it…of the death scene featured in ‘Star Trek II’. Except this time, it’s Kirk who’s inside the reactor chamber. Not Spock. They even have familiar lines and shots of Kirk behind the glass with Spock looking in on him.

Okay, this is an interesting recreation of that ‘Star Trek II’ death scene in one of the ‘Star Trek’ reboot films. I don’t think it works altogether that well with Kirk inside and seemingly dying instead of Spock dying. But I’m willing to accept it. So long as Spock doesn’t scream Khan’s name like Kirk did…

Spock: (screams) “KHAN!!!!!!!!!!”

Moment of silence. Tim looks on, unimpressed. He’s about to speak before…

Timelord007:
(interrupts) Wait! Can I take over here?

Tim Bradley:
(shrugs) Yeah sure, go ahead.

Timelord007 takes a glass of water and drinks it. Once finished, he takes a deep breath.

Timelord007:
(yells; enraged) RIP-OFF! A LAZY STINKING ‘STAR TREK II’ RIP-OFF OF ONE OF THE BEST ‘STAR TREK’ SCENES EVER!!!!! WHAT IS THIS SHAMBOLIC PIFFLE?! HOW MUCH WERE THOSE LAZY WRITERS PAID TO BUTCHER NICHOLAS MEYER’S CLASSIC ‘STAR TREK’ MOVIE?!!!

Well, I’ve seen it all now. Here we have an alternate timeline that reverses events of ‘Star Trek II’s most iconic scene, which is just a lazy cut ‘n’ paste job the writers came up because they can’t think of anything original. This scene is devoid of any emotional impact which made ‘The Wrath of Khan’ so iconic and memorable. (to Tim) Oh look, Tim! Finally Mr. Spock is feeling emotion again, because he’s in tears and realises his friend’s life is worth far more than some silly rule book.

Tim Bradley:
(perplexed) Sorry, I’m not getting that…

Timelord007:
(enraged) Well, neither am I! I’m not buying into these performances at all! Zachary Quinto is overplaying it with the teary Spock whilst Chris Pine as Kirk looks like he’s nodded off, dreaming of Gal Gadot in ‘Wonder Woman’ with his incoherent mumbling. This scene sums up the entire movie in six words! Lazy, unimaginative, inferior, alternative Khan sequel!

Tim Bradley:
(checks) One, two, three, four, five, six… (to Timelord007) Yeah, you’re right. It is six words. (Pause; to audience) What makes this even lazier is how nonsensical it is. Especially with Spock screaming Khan’s name at the end of that scene! The reason why Kirk screamed Khan’s name in ‘Star Trek II’ was because he was enraged about being left ‘buried alive’ by Khan. So his screaming Khan’s name was well-justified. Here…Spock screams Khan’s name because he’s upset about Kirk getting killed saving the Enterprise.

This is in spite of the fact that Spock isn’t supposed to feel any emotion. Yeah, he’s half-human; half-Vulcan, I get that. But Leonard Nimoy kept Spock reframing from showing any emotion because he chose the Vulcan way. Not the human way. So the logic (if you pardon the word) of Spock expressing emotion over Kirk’s death and taking it out on Khan in a brawl at the film’s climax is very unjustified.

Oh yeah! Spock chases after Khan when he’s on Earth and very soon beats him up with his Vulcan strength like when Kirk was beating Khan up to have him arrested on Kronos/Qo’noS. What’s even annoying is that Uhura is like “Go get him!” when Spock is about to go and get Khan. Oh yeah! She actually said that! And later, Uhura stops Spock beating Khan as he’s the only one who can save Kirk.

Yeah! The recreation of the ‘Star Trek II’ death scene in this movie was…I can’t believe I’m using this phrase…a cop out! Because Kirk, with the help of a dead Tribble that gets Khan’s blood to bring it back to life (I’m dead serious here!), gets saved by Bones to restore him back to life. So all that emotion in that recreated ‘Star Trek II’ death scene between Kirk and Spock was all worth…nothing!

Timelord007:
I remember being at the cinema and when Spock shouted “KHAN!!!!!!!!!!”, I cowered my head in my lapin embarrassment. The way it’s quoted is ridiculous, simply added to appease to the fanboys/fangirls by going “Oh look! Spock’s shouting Kirk’s line from ‘The Wrath of Khan’! How awesomely cool is that?” And that dead Tribble that gets Khan’s blood to save Kirk. I mean for crying out loud! Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more ridiculous and these are supposed to be top quality writers; they churn out this absurd tripe! I mean, what’s next?! A Gorn turns up and it’s the new head of the Federation?

Tim Bradley:
Don’t give them any ideas!

Timelord007:
I’m in actual despair, Tim! My arms, my legs, my everything! We just need Paul Jericho as the Castellan from ‘Doctor Who’ to turn up and quote, “No, not the mind probe” or Soldeed’s ‘dreams of conquest’. We’ll be well away into cloud cuckoo land!

Tim Bradley:
Anyway, we have the final scene where it’s nearly a year later (you could’ve fooled me! I thought it was days later) where Kirk addresses a gathering of Starfleet officers for the rechristening ceremony of the Enterprise and…OH MY GOODNESS!!! They’re all wearing train guard/bus driver uniforms in the scene! It isn’t just Spock though! There’s also Bones, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, Uhura and even Carol!

Wait, I take it back! It’s not train guard or bus driver uniforms that our ‘Star Trek’ heroes are wearing in this! They all look like they’re wearing Nazi uniforms – like the Gestapo or the SS wear! I can just imagine all the Starfleet officers saluting “Heil Hitler!” in the film! Seriously! It’s not hard to imagine!

(goes crazy; salutes with crazy voice) “Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler…”

Timelord007:
(reacts very strangely to this) Um, can someone prepare the mind probe please? I think Tim’s about to lose it!

Tim Bradley:
(stops; realises) Wait a minute! I just realised something! I know how this happened! I know how the Kelvin timeline was caused! Not just through older Spock! But another via third party altogether! I know what caused the awful evolution of the Klingons; the changes in the Khan story; the reason why Starfleet officers are wearing Nazi uniforms! MY GOODNESS! I KNOW WHAT CAUSED ALL THIS!

(crazily) This was all caused…by the Nazis in the ‘Patterns of Force’ episode in ‘The Original Series’! Somehow, the Nazis from that planet managed to break the laws of time; create a parallel universe and made sure the Starfleet officers in that universe all wore Nazi uniforms! My goodness! It all makes sense now! How could I have missed something so completely obvious and horrendous here?

Tim screams out loud; falls off his chair onto the floor and sobs away like a baby, kicking and screaming his legs about.

Timelord007:
Now Tim knows how I felt about watching ‘The Last Jedi’. Tim Bradley is in need of urgent reconditioning and a possible memory wipe in my TARDIS zero room. I better help him into the TARDIS and see if I can erase this film out of his memory.

Tim gets back up from the floor; onto his chair and stops TImelord007 taking him.

Tim Bradley:
No, no! I’m not done yet! I’M NOT DONE YET!!! (Pause; continues) Once the Enterprise gets rebuilt and everyone is about to go out on their five year mission…wait a minute! They’ve been out in space for…goodness knows how long…and they haven’t even started their five-year mission yet?! What were they doing that whole time in between the first and second films?! That doesn’t make sense!

Timelord007:
Err…what?!!! (deep breath) So let me get this straight! Whatever missions that have gone on beforehand like the ridiculous opening mission and battling Khan and the Klingons. They all take place before their five year trek to seek out new life and new civilizations?

Tim Bradley:
(happily) Exactly!

Timelord007 covers his face with his hands in annoyance.

Tim Bradley:
Oh incidentally, Carol Marcus is now a part of the Enterprise crew and family. Aww, that’s nice. Maybe we’ll see what she gets up to in the next film…wait a minute! She doesn’t appear in the next movie?! Carol Marcus isn’t in ‘Star Trek Beyond’?! (bamboozled) WHY?! Why isn’t she in the next film?! The writers could’ve had an opportunity to develop Kirk and Carol’s ‘romance’ in the next film!

Timelord007:
Carol Marcus is up the duff on maternity leave in ‘Beyond’. But Kirk isn’t the father. It’s Dr. McCoy, which will give him more stuff to moan about in the next movie when he has to start paying child maintenance.

Tim Bradley:
I don’t think that’s how it works, Timelord (Pause) Once again, the film’s musical score by Michael Giacchino is excellent! I still love hearing the recreation of Alexander Courage’s original ‘Star Trek’ theme during the end credits. It’s also great to keep hearing the ‘Star Trek’-like music that featured during the first film brought back into the second film, as well as hearing brand new music cues here.

Timelord007:
Michael Giacchino is an excellent composer whose excellent music cues at least add some much needed atmosphere to the movie. If this film was as good as the music score, it would easily score a 10/10.

Tim Bradley:
The Blu-ray special features are as follows. There are the behind-the-scenes featurettes ‘Creating the Red Planet’; ‘Attack on Starfleet’; ‘The Klingon Home World’; ‘The Enemy of My Enemy’; ‘Ship To Ship’ and ‘Brawl by the Bay’. There are also Blu-ray editions containing ‘Continuing The Mission’ and ‘The Mission Continues’ as well as a DVD copy and a digital copy of the movie.

Timelord007:
Before we finish Tim, what are your final thoughts on ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’?

Tim Bradley:
Well…(sighs)…it’s on par with the first ‘Star Trek’ movie of this Kelvin timeline series. I mean, I did gain some enjoyment from watching the movie when I saw it at the cinema. But I can’t say it left a huge impact on me. I took it as one of those movies that was a rehash on another ‘Star Trek’ movie!

I know this ‘Star Trek’ reboot movie series needs to have its own identity. But you don’t do that by recreating another classic ‘Star Trek’ film and have it seem lazily written, especially towards its end. There needs to be something original; interesting and more character-driven. This film didn’t have that!

Timelord007:
‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ is a jumbled mess. Again, weak character arcs let this film down and trying to do an alternate ‘Wrath of Khan’ reboot reeks laziness. There’s no originality to the script and while the cast are solid enough, the script gives some characters very little to do. There’s no growth to the characters. Kirk is still a smug jerk; Spock unlikable and way too emotional; Uhura cold and emotionless; etc.

There are some impressive action sequences and in that regard the film delivers. But the Khan reveal is ludicrous and while Benedict Cumberbatch is a good actor, he’s totally miscast as Khan whose character arc completely jumps the shark for me.

Overall, a lazily lacklustre sequel that features spectacular action scenes to pave over the script’s incoherent cracks and having one of the weakest climaxes of any ‘Star Trek’ movie!

Tim Bradley:
However, there is one more film to cover in this trilogy of ‘Star Trek’ reboot films. And this would be a film released at a time when ‘Star Trek’ was celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016. Would it be worth it? Will this third instalment be a good celebration of the ‘Star Trek’ series as we go ‘Beyond’?

Timelord007:
Beyond the final frontier?

Tim Bradley:
(groans; to Timelord007) You had to end it on that note, didn’t you?!

TO BE CONTINUED…

‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ rating by Tim Bradley – 6/10
‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ rating by Timelord007 – 4/10


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2 thoughts on “‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ (Film)

  1. Timelord 007

    Can i just say how much fun I’ve had reviewing this trilogy reboot with you Tim, i don’t care if this sounds like self praise but we have written three brilliant reviews my friend.

    We ain’t held our opinions back on this one that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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