07 September 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness

Over on the Facebooks a friend posted a link to Roberto Orci saying that critics of Star Trek: Into Darkness don't appreciate what an awesome screenwriter he is. So I spat out this rant.

Y'know, I enjoyed JJ's first Star Trek movie.

It had almost none of the Spirit Of Star Trek. It was thoroughly nonsensical. But it was fun and it was full of little winks to Trek fans and I felt like we could use a space opera franchise and since Trek was kind of lounging around not doing anything, so why not use it for this?

But Into Darkness was gawdawful, not just as Trek but as a movie, period. The blame belongs entirely to Orci's cheap, dishonest screenwriting. I know I don't have the chops to be a professional screenwriter, but I could scribble out something better than Darkness in an afternoon while fighting a head cold.

What really offends me, that few commentators have noted, is there's a moment in the second act where it seems like we're going to get a smart movie full of intrigue. What's Harrison's plan? How are the Klingons involved? What's with the torpedoes? What's Carol Marcus' angle? What isn't Admiral Robocop telling us? Who sabotaged the warp drive, and why?

Kirk hates mysteries, they give him a bellyache; he must have had a beauty right about then. But I love ’em.

But that was all bullshit meant to make the movie seem smart. None of that stuff was gonna pay off. Harrison eventually demonstrates that he doesn't really have a coherent plan. The Klingons aren't involved; there was no reason to go to the Klingon homeworld. The torpedos do have a secret; it's just one that makes no sense. Carol Marcus is just there to have cool hair and strip down to her skivvies for a moment. Admiral Robocop does have a secret, but it doesn't make sense either. And I'm still not quite sure who sabotaged the warp drive, or why.

By the end of the movie, we're in Lost territory: anything can happen, so nothing matters.

Yes, when Spock died in Wrath he eventually got better. But there were consequences. It took an entire movie full of sacrifice to get him back, and no one emerged unscathed.

Into Darkness made me feel dirty and it made me feel angry. That it toyed with my love of Trek is part of my rage at it, but not even close to being the biggest part.

That Orci is smug about being a good writer having produced that monstrosity is disgusting.

No comments: