?

Log in

No account? Create an account
parrot_knight [userpic]

Trekkin'

May 30th, 2015 (02:22 am)

Yes, I should have gone to bed, but I caught up with Star Trek - Into Darkness instead. Several visually impressive moments, but the cast were underused and there isn't as much mileage in immature boy Kirk as they seem to think. I am not a Star Trek expert, but I had the feeling that it didn't mirror the beats of The Wrath of Khan as well as it seemed to believe; and it wore its legacy too heavily too. There were also far too many fisticuffs, and little sense of lessons learned on the part of people or institutions - but that is the mode of action films in our time, I suppose.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2015/05/30/trekkin.html.

Comments

Posted by: thanatos_kalos (thanatos_kalos)
Posted at: May 30th, 2015 08:28 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I love Into Darkness but it's flawed on a lot of levels. You can kind of tell that the writers initially were not going to have John Harrison and Khan be one and the same-- essentially, the only reason his character is 'evil' is because he's Khan and the original Spock says he is. Making him a new character/sympathetic villain (to Admiral Marcus' warhawk type character) would, I think, have been a better choice. And the beats were off. I liked the reprise of the warp core scene, but having Spock shouting Khan's name was mistimed/ In TWoK, Kirk is shouting ast him like that because they'd been talking on a communicator and Khan taunts him and purs the phone down on him, essentially. It's Kirk's expression of impotent rage. So it doesn't work in the context of just shouting in the engine room. I am glad they tamped down on the hypermasculinity/hypersexuality of TOS' Khan, though, which was problematic.

The cast was badly underused, also; I'm hoping McCoy and Scotty in particular get to do more in Trek 3. It's fine for there to be fisticuffs, so long as there's a point to it; we've seen Spock lose control before, though, so it's not...new, really. If anything it just makes one concerned for his sanity. :(

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 30th, 2015 11:09 pm (UTC)
Spock annual 1975

I didn't think there was much of a point to the fighting except to show people fighting! I'd no idea about Harrison and Khan having originally been distinct characters; the threat he poses is heavily reliant on the backstory related by Spock, as you say.

Posted by: thanatos_kalos (thanatos_kalos)
Posted at: May 30th, 2015 11:51 pm (UTC)

(take 2 on this, as a power cut ate the first draft...)

I didn't think there was much of a point to the fighting except to show people fighting!

In this instance, yes-- we've seen Spock lose control before, so it's not anything new particularly. You can argue that having Khan save the characters on Kronos is necessary if he's to be a sympathetic villain, but that's undercut by 'He's evil because he's Khan so he's evil.' Action can be great for characterisation-- Marvel films/tv do this quite well, as does the Whedonverse in general-- but here...it's just there because it's there.

I'd no idea about Harrison and Khan having originally been distinct characters; the threat he poses is heavily reliant on the backstory related by Spock, as you say.

Yeah. I think it would've worked much better had they kept Harrison a sympathetic villain/compliant victim and had Admiral Marcus as the 'villain' of the piece. You can still have the TWoK elements in there; Marcus could just as easily destroyed the warp core. That in and of itself signals to the audience that we've just entered a TWoK analogue. That then ratchets up the tension because of the intertext (intratext?) as well as acting as a mislead. Though I'd have preferred to avoid Khan's 'magic blood'...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 31st, 2015 02:01 am (UTC)

There's a lot of ambiguity in the way Khan's blood is used, but it's as good as ignored.

Posted by: thanatos_kalos (thanatos_kalos)
Posted at: May 31st, 2015 02:03 am (UTC)

Yeah; one assumes there should've been consent issues raised, plus matters of matching blood types (or not) but...

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: May 30th, 2015 09:53 pm (UTC)
Leekley

I like the Abrams films and think they're good fun, but over the last nine months or so I've worked my way through the whole of the original series and original films and am now working my way through The Next Generation (just started season six!), none of which I had seen for years, and it does feel like the Abrams films somehow lost the heart of Star Trek - exploring strange new worlds, meeting different civilizations, being small l-liberal and humane in favour of action and broad comedy.

(I realise this is a vast run-on sentence, but am too pressed for time to edit!)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: May 30th, 2015 11:07 pm (UTC)
Spock annual 1975

I'd agree with your summary. I look forward to seeing what a reshaped creative team does with Abrams's legacy now he's moved on from the films.