Star Trek: Into Darkness
Into Darkness is a bit of a double entente. It could mean the descent into darkness of some of the key characters. It could mean a toe dip into the Eugenics Wars (Did anyone other than me read this series?). Or it could be a brazen in your face to old school Trekkies about the state of the “new” Star Trek.
Let me start by saying, I grew up on the classic series. For the first decade plus of my life, I grew up believing that Star Trek was real. I knew that there were galaxies far far away and that I could boldly go where no one has gone before; as long as I had loyal friends and a cocky attitude! My overriding thumbs up comes from loving Karl Urban. I’ll watch him recite the phone book. Simon Pegg is gobsmackingly funny. Of course, I have a massive crush on Zachary Quinto. Having some of my favourite actors on one screen elicits a massive SQUEEEEEE from my lips.
I like the direction the new Star Trek has taken. It’s bold. It’s flashy. It’s adrenaline fueled. Is it “classic” Star Trek? No. I don’t expect it to be. Star Trek is an extension of Gene Roddenberry. Star Trek was his vision of how life should be. It’s based on what Gene saw in HIS life, HIS experiences, HIS expectations and frustrations with humanity. No one, NO ONE born in the 70s or 80s can hope to duplicate his vision. We aren’t privy to having the type of social interactions he had. We can only view Star Trek and by extension write about Star Trek based on our environment and societal commentary. We are a product of our environment and sad to say, the American environment has been in decline.
Instead of fighting for a better tomorrow, most now just whinge and moan about the situation. In our predominant sense of entitlement, we want things to change, think someone should change it, as long as it isn’t us as we’re too darn busy. The impetus to change things and make a social difference is replaced by the need to consume things, to buy things, to loose ourselves in an illusion of success. The collective America rushes about from one big thing to the next big thing in a hyper zombified state of being. Shiny. Flashy lights. Squirrel.
That’s what Star Trek: Into Darkness is. It’s shiny. It’s flashy lights. It’s fast paced and kinetic. There is no depth or breadth to it. I don’t feel for the characters. Unlike the family that TOS was, these actors see each other a few weeks a year and with a four year gap in between. They haven’t had the time to form bonds and become close. The lack of real and personal connection shows on screen. They are all competent actors; but they aren’t friends or enemies or have baggage.
As an uber sci-fi geek, I acknowledged the Dr. Who nod: there are fixed points in time and space that cannot be changed. Nudged. Nuanced. Haphazard. But ultimately, there are some things cannot and did not “change”. There is a scene that should evoke emotional stirrings but it was flat. I did shed a tear at the crucial moment, but in hindsight, the tear was shed because I had seen it before and I was channeling that image (which was essentially the same), those words (which were essentially the same), and how it impacted my life.
That being said; I understand how some die hard Trekkies will not like the film. It’s a rehash of what’s gone before and a paltry one at that. Go into it with a firm grasp of what it is. It’s fun. Things explode. Great score. Iconic scenes. Cheesy one liners. Just enjoy it.