21 July 2016

Star Trek Into Darkness


Star Trek Into Darkness - what the fuck is it about?


The film begins with Benedict Cumberbatch's John Harrison causing some shit that makes Kirk want to track him down and capture him. However perhaps there's more to this John Harrison than initially meets the eye? Perhaps he's not who we think he is? Perhaps he's somebody a little more iconic that that?! Well, I guess I Khan't tell you either way. Or maybe I can?! Meh, fuck it, he's playing Khan. Obviously. So the first half of the movie has a Godfather 3 style massacre- a villain who does one of those ridiculous 'get captured and then somehow predict everybody's movements' plans, and then it concludes with a spot of Wrath Of Khan karaoke. Oh, and all throughout, the guy who plays Robocop is trying to start a war between the Federation and the Klingons because, you know.. this is an action film and it's nice to see spaceships go 'boom'.

So was it shit or not then? (Spoilers.. obv)

Reviews were initially kind to this movie, however as the years have gone by its reputation has gone down faster than than a cheap whore that'll suck you off for less than a packet of fruit pastels. I think the initial love for it was simply because of how fast it moves and how fun it is and so people weren't given chance to turn against it. But as time has passed and everything it has to offer has sunk in, people have gotten an “it's ripping off the Wrath Of Khan” hump. Which is sort of justified of course, seeing as Kirk's cancery/radiation death is literally identical to Spock's in that earlier movie, but with one small difference. Wrath Of Khan's was between two men that had been friends for over thirty years and so was significantly more emotional. As such, many people feel the scene hadn't earned justification for itself due to this Kirk and Spock being about as moody with each other as a teenager that's been forced to stop tossing off and do some house chores. 

Except in Into Darkness's defence, I don't think its death scene is about Kirk and Spock's friendship, but simply how everything Spock touches turns to shite. His planet his destroyed, his Mum dies, all of his Federation leaders get wiped out, and then after all of that, his new mate dies too. If the Enterprise really was like a ship exploring the vast mysteries of the sea-like universe then I'd have Spock thrown overboard for being a fucking Jonah*. So I don't think we were meant to accept that Pine and Quinto's characters were as close as Shatner and Nemoy's, but rather Spock has finally fucking snapped. Hence him then going after Khan with all the anger and confusion of a man who's just sat down really hard on his own testicles. However if I do have a criticism of that scene being in this movie, it's that the Spock who died in Wrath Of Khan is in this fucking movie too. They even ask Nemoy's Spock about Khan. You'd think might mention “oh yeah.. that Khan's a right prick. By the way.. You know that reactor core thing? Maybe keep a fucking radiation suit by it, yeah?”. I mean that's just basic safety regulation, surely!

I suppose it's also a bit of a problem that Kirk is killed and then resurrected within the space of about ten minutes, which was also after his equally brief demotion and re-promotion had lasted about as long it'd take to have a piss. So I'm not saying that the script couldn't have done with being passed through the common sense machine at least one more time. Plus considering Khan's blood essentially brought Kirk back from the dead, and the film ends with Khan in a freezer, you've essentially removed any sense of threat from the rest of the franchise... whilst also doing the ship's doctor Bones out of a fucking job. And nor, as we discover as the film goes on, am I really sure why Khan thought it was a good idea to hide all of his friends in a load of missiles. Maybe it explained it and I missed it, but as stupid moves go, that is basically the equivalent of hiding your ice-cream in an oven and then wondering why it's melted. Short story.. because you were a dickhead.

I think the other thing people don't like about this movie is that it puts more of a focus on the Federation's militarisation than it does on the crew simply going off for an intergalactic jolly 'oliday. However it does kind of make sense when you consider that this timeline follows on from a film in which the planet Vulcan was destroyed. In which case, as a one off story to tell of the paranoid aftermath of those events, I was pretty happy with what I got. Although considering Vulcan was destroyed by a laser that was dangling from an easily breakable chain, I'm not so sure that they needed an army as much as they simply should have pulled their fucking thumb out and shot it down. Into Darkness might be a bit stupid but it is quite a lot of fun, and in a franchise in which Kirk asks “what does a God need with a Spaceship”, 'stupid but fun' isn't necessarily a step-down.

* Just in case you aren't an 18th century sailer or  haven't seen Master And Commander a 'Jonah' is basically a sailers version of a jinx.