JJ Trek’s New Clothes

Another Trek fan has posted that most people who don’t like Star Trek Into Darkness just haven’t accepted that this is an alternate timeline. This attitude is really starting to tick me off.

Nearly all of my problems with the movie have to do with its problems as a movie, regardless of it being Trek in general or its specific timeline. If you like the movie, that’s fine, I’m glad when people like Trek, but don’t dismiss my criticisms with a whitewash of “Oh, you just don’t like it because it’s not Shatner and Nimoy.” 

I don’t care that it’s not Shatner and Nimoy, and I certainly don’t care that it’s set in an alternate timeline. I wrote an alternate timeline Trek novella for Simon & Schuster! I enjoy alternate timelines, and rebooting the franchise in an alternate timeline was the right decision. 

But when I read a book or watch a movie, I hope for a certain level of quality in the writing. That includes believable characters with relatable emotional arcs, as well as consistent plot points that evolve organically as complications develop from the actions of the characters. 

As a film, Into Darkness fails upon those points, and any other details about timelines or actors are irrelevant. Now come the spoilers. Hiding the Enterprise underwater made no sense. Hiding cryopods in photon torpedoes made no sense. Relying on a madman frozen for three hundred years to design new weapons made no sense. Harrison fleeing to the Klingon homeworld made no sense. The idea that a giant warship could be built in secret made no sense. And so on. 

That’s just sloppy writing. You can either try to persuade me that I’m mistaken with details from the movie or even just say I’m taking it too seriously. But please don’t brush me aside as some sort of disgruntled fanatic, which is really just sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “Lalalalalalalala” in a Pee-Wee Herman voice. Feel free to enjoy the movie in spite of these flaws, but don’t disrespect my reasons for not liking the movie.

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5 thoughts on “JJ Trek’s New Clothes

  1. “But when I read a book or watch a movie, I hope for a certain level of quality in the writing. That includes believable characters with relatable emotional arcs, as well as consistent plot points that evolve organically as complications develop from the actions of the characters.”

    There are so many ways to pick apart this movie, but I think that the interrelationships between the characters is one of the problems. One of the positive comments that I’ve heard about the movie is that Uhura is given a character arc. But what is it? She gets one fight scene. But the rest of her character arc is pouting because her man ignored her when he jumped into the volcano. It was a very regressive story arc, defining her almost entirely in terms of her boyfriend.

  2. Yes, THIS. one hundred times, THIS.

    next time someone asks me what I thought of the movie, and I try to politely tell them that it crushed my dreams, I’ll just send them a link to this post instead.

  3. I’m torn about the movie. When I realized in the first new film that it was an alternate timeline, I breathed a sigh of relief. My protective instincts toward canon (that ran riot during the series “Enterprise”) could switch off and I could just enjoy a film. I think my problems with the new film are that it felt like five films crushed into one.

    Plus the blatant “This could be this timeline’s ‘Wrath of Khan'” scenes kind of bugged me. Because it wasn’t Shatner and Nimoy? Hmm..maybe, because in my opinion no one does the “Khan” death scene as well as them. And also because I just didn’t feel any pain when the new film had Spock scream the famous “Khaaaaaan” line. In fact I kinda laughed. ::sheepish blushing::

    As one of your other commenters posted, I love this part of your post: “But when I read a book or watch a movie, I hope for a certain level of quality in the writing. That includes believable characters with relatable emotional arcs, as well as consistent plot points that evolve organically as complications develop from the actions of the characters.”

    And the biggest problem I had was the destroying of San Francisco scene. It wasn’t believable to me, and it felt like an all too familiar trend in action movies these days: let’s kill thousands of unnamed people just to justify a tricky CGI fight scene between our leads.

    So, I’m with you Pearson. It’s not a black and white issue. Looking forward to reading more!

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