StarTrek: Into Darkness (1 star)

I streamed StarTrek Into Darkness, though it was much too long. So much potential wasted. I’m sure the NRA will be delighted to find machine guns are widely used in another 250 years. Why do StarFleet dress uniforms look like Soviet uniforms? Is the militarization of space a fait accompli? (Rhetorical, already true, but with fewer weapons, as far as I know.)

In the previous movie, I objected to a technique Abrams seems to love: the fake flare, the sliver of light across the screen. It’s just annoying and pointlessly overused.

Why do so many major characters have blue eyes — even a Klingon? Why touch base with the original series (Pike, Mudd, tribbles, Kahn, Nimoy) but depart so radically from that story line? I assume this is an alternate timeline.

Quinto as Spock is the only reason to watch this or future episodes. Of course, Spock is every nerd’s favorite, but he is the only character or actor who isn’t locked into mimicking the original. This is a different, and better Spock. Certainly, Spock has to be different thanks to most interesting twist: His girlfriend, the action-figure away-team member Uhuru. (That worked with Sheldon on the Big Bang, not to compare AFF to Uhuru.) I hope he sports a goatee in a future episode. (However, Spock’s wig flops oddly when he runs.)

I hated the old Bones, so duplicating him is no accomplishment. Ditto Scotty and Checkov. I do like the new Sulu. I enjoy seeing John Cho in any role. I wonder how he feels as a Korean-American playing a character with a Japanese surname.

Congratulation to Pino and the writers for making me hate this Kirk even more than the original. This guy is a raging bull in a china shop, completely out of control. And almost a superman himself, kicking the warp drive into gear. Gah!

What happened to the science in science fiction? One joy of the series (plural) was they peppered their dialog with real science. They inspired discussions of light speed, tachyons and so much more. (I can’t be the only one who thought “Jefferies tube!” in one scene.) More money just means more CGI for bigger crashes. Even Kahn, as superior as he is, is an ass-kicking ninja foremost.

Oh, don’t get me started on Kahn, one of the finest villains in TV history. Montalban himself rebooted the series from TV to movie. Now, a guy who could play Data in a future movie replaces the charismatic, sexy Kahn.

I think every TV series of this franchise has contributed more in character, plot, and science than any of the movies. What a waste. All of it. I hope that reanimated tribble eats the whole damn ship.

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