I feel like I’ve spoken a lot about World War Z and Man of Steel so I don’t want to re-tread old ground here. Instead I’m going to pick another of last year’s blockbusters and talk about Star Trek Into Darkness.
I’m not a prequel hater and I don’t hate J.J. Abrams. I actually find the new movies quite enjoyable and I’m glad that it’s brought in a lot of new fans to Star Trek and I’m just happy that there are Trek films being made. However, I was left feeling a little flat after watching Star Trek Into Darkness and it disappointed me because I didn’t feel it lived up to its potential.
I know there was a lot of consternation about splitting it off into another timeline (personally I think it would have been much smoother if they had just done a clean adaptation) but I was quite excited because it meant that they could do their own thing and they weren’t going to be restricted by what came before. Part of the fun was also going to be seeing how things turned out differently, and how familiar elements could be given a new spin.
I like Khan and I liked Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as Khan but firstly the secrecy campaign was ridiculous. It was so obvious that it was Khan from the beginning, and even the reveal wasn’t exactly a climactic moment and my reaction as…”uh…okay.” But the thing that disappointed me the most was that the story was just lifted from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan so at the climax it had no tension for me because I just kept thinking, ‘I’ve seen this before,’ and then obviously the ending had no dramatic tension whatsoever since the solution had been telegraphed, so I was pretty much twiddling my thumbs.
The real climax for me came at the end when Chris Pine did the iconic speech, because to me that signaled everything coming together. However, that disappointed me in another sense because I want to see the five year mission. 2 hours of new Star Trek every few years just isn’t enough!