Watching Star Trek Into Darkness awoke the part of me that wants to use dental floss as a garrotte, my impotent rage. Impotent, unending, head aching, day ruining, simmering rage. Director JJ Abrams better stay away from me or my rage might become pretty damned erect.
When a terrorist (Benedict Cumberbatch) attacks Star Fleet command, reckless douche bag space ship captain Jim Kirk (Chris Pine) decides to ignore exploration and feed his blood lust. His second-in-command, Spock (Zachary Quinto) talks to him about it. Eventually things blow up. Sound boring? It is.
Ire convulses from my body when a director has the balls to demand full admission price for a fraction of a movie and JJ is measuring his balls for a wheelbarrow. Star Trek Into Darkness requires hours of independent study. It does not bother to develop characters. It does not bother to explain relationships. It just presumes we will already know what the hell is going on and have emotional buy-in. Entire scenes in the movie make no sense without the context of previous movies and the television show. It stuffed so full of dialogue Easter eggs for fans, there is no room for plot or character development. There are entire subplots that can be entirely removed without sacrificing any plot.
Hey, Wheelbarrow Balls – no one calls you professor. You do not get to assign homework.
Star Trek Into Darkness is less science fiction and more sexless soap-opera. Characters give long winded speeches with their backs to their rivals which climax in a lonely tear – more than once. Someone call the ASPCA, we need to find out how many crocodiles were killed to harvest the tears used in this movie. The actors sputter unnatural, banal and obvious dialogue.
The terrorist was the only character the writers tried to give any depth. He was deep like a footprint but that is about 16 times the depth of any other character. Unfortunately, Benedict Cumberbatch's searing orations and cunning use of eyebrow could not overcome the droll, heartless, melodramatic dialogue.
Here is the trouble with failing to develop the heroes more than the villains: there is no reason to give a crap about them – so I didn't. I actively rooted for the terrorist. I wanted Spock and Kirk to die fiery, hellish deaths while feeling the air being sucked from their lungs in the vacuum of space. Stupid physics.
Abrams and writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof want to make sure no one in the audience leaves without getting the theme so they imply it, they show it, they talk around it, and in case a brain was still intact after the theme-driven skull-beating they just laid down, they summarize it explicitly at the end.
My husband is a fan of the series and he enjoyed the movie. I suspect that will be the case for many fans of the show and previous movies.
Now excuse me, I'm going to fill out a restraining order for JJ's protection. I don't trust myself.