The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

“Star Trek Into Darkness”

Bunny and I went to see the latest Star Trek movie, “Star Trek Into Darkness,” the latest film in the rebooted Star Trek universe. And overall, we both enjoyed the film. While not a perfect film (unlike the expertly plotted “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) it is a fun film.

Visually the film was stunning with the alien worlds looking, well, alien, instead of a sound stage filled with foam rocks or the California desert and the use of CGI not completely obvious (due to either a lot of time and effort into the effects, or the frenetic pace of editing, a complaint I had about the previous film). Also, to my relief, less lens flares in this film.

But that's not to say this film was flawless—far from it. The first major problem I had with the film was the tribble. Yes, it wasn't gratuitous—it did serve the plot of the film—but … tribbles? In the original series, they were creatures that multiplied faster than rabbits and infested the entire ship. Here … well, to me, it just seemed like the wrong choice for that particular plot point (yes, this is a spoiler-free review).

Also, this film could have used more Dr. McCoy. Karl Urban is wonderful as Dr. McCoy and it's a shame he doesn't get as much screen time as Captain Kirk or Mr. Spock (on the plus side, they toned down the physical comedy of Scotty and made his alien sidekick tolerable).

Another major complaint—they made too many references to previous Star Trek material, as if the studio just doesn't trust the audience to enjoy the film without using certain Star Trekkian tropes. Besides the obvious tribble, you have McCoy parodying himself when he goes “Damn it man, I'm a doctor, not a XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX!”; violating the Prime Directive (in the opening action sequence); explicitly referencing red shirts and the worst moment in the film that I won't mention (because it totally spoils the film) but you will certainly know it when you see it (and man, you see it coming a parsec away).

But to the film makers' credit, the ending isn't quite the deus ex machina it could have been—it was foreshadowed, so props for that.

Overall, I can recommend it. Just don't think too hard about it (why is the Enterprise underwater? Okay, it's because the plot needs for it to be underwater, but it still wasn't explained in universe) and enjoy it for what it is, a science fiction action movie set in the Star Trek Universe.

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