I went for another go with Star Trek Into Darkness in 2D earlier this afternoon with two of my sisters and found myself enlightened enough to do another review on the movie (its my blog duh). Its completely unnecessary to read if you have read the other review but I could talk a whole day about the movie more since I watch I was able to watch it fully today. (The first time in One Utama, I missed out the beginning until Benedict’s first scene and recent CAMrip also missed out some part of the beginning…)
Besides, one of my sister said that my previous review on the movie have too many Benedict Cumberbatch monologues in it which I don’t apologize at all for it. But I kept some parts of the story myself because I don’t want to be spoilery.
This time, its spoiler fest. So be warned.
Also included some of the things I left off from the original review.
I never watched Star Trek The Original Series until 2009’s Star Trek . On the other hand, I was raised by Captain Picard’s Star Trek : The Next Generation. So, this is quite a new territory for me.
Last year I went to Star Trek Exhibition in Pusat Sains Negara so naturally I updated myself with several exhausting episodes of Star Trek : The Original Series only to realize that the exhibition focus primarily on Picard’s time. But the exhibition still have healthy amount of props (particularly Spock’s) from the Original series which is enjoyable at it is. But for a born-again Trekkie, I developed an appreciation with the reimagined timeline. (Actually, the new Star Trek franchise is basically Star Trek version of Fringe anyway)
“Star Trek Into Darkness” was set a year after the end of 2009’s Star Trek which began with a recon mission in a primitive planet which was destined to be destroyed by a volcano until Kirk decided to secretly save the indigenous folks by planning to render the volcano inert.
However, things went wrong when Spock fell inside the erupting fiery chasm with a tech. In the advent of an eruption, Spock stated that if the Enterprise decided to save him with the ship, they all would be exposed and thus he welcome his impending death much to the chagrin of Kirk and Uhura.
Of course, Kirk saved him. But by exposing the ship, they broke the Starfleet’s Prime Directive.
“No identification of self or mission. No interference with the social development of said planet. No references to space or the fact that there are other worlds or civilizations.”
Back on earth, Kirk was demoted from his Captainship and his ship confiscated because Spock reported the incident and Kirk lied in his captain log. Later, despite Admiral Pike’s heated argument with Kirk which lead to Kirk’s demotion and Spock’s reassignment to another ship, he managed to keep Kirk as a first officer on Enterprise.
However, things didn’t go well when a mysterious man called John Harrison who was a once a commander and an agent of Starfleet who decided to launch a war against them after he orchestrated a bombing of an archive in London. The ‘archive’ turned out to be a secret underground Starfleet’s intelligence and defense operation.
Due to Kirk being reassigned as the Enterprise’s first officer, he was also in an emergency meeting where all high ranked officers in the Starfleet gathered to discuss the attack. However, Kirk was too late to deduce the motive behind the attack when a gunship attack the floor, killing most of the occupants before Kirk managed to destroy and caught a glimpse of John Harrison beaming out of the ship. However, Admiral Pike was killed in the crossfire which left Kirk on a revenge mission against John Harrison. Kirk and Spock realized that John Harrison had hid himself on the planet Q’onoS, the Klingon’s homeworld. Realizing that a direct attack to the planet would mean starting a war with the Klingons, Admiral Marcus reinstated Kirk and Spock and granted Kirk with a secret mission to kill John Harrison provided with 72 torpedoes.
Thus, the Enterprise crew wrap away to encountering dangerous nemesis, fractured friendships and more sacrifices.
Malaysian Infernal Censorship
First and foremost, the insane Lembaga Penapisan Filem Negara (Malaysian’s censorship board) having a field day unnecessarily cutting some parts of the film which made it necessary to watch the pirated version to see the necessity of it. I only spotted three obvious censorship but I do felt there was more to it.
a) I think a bunch of Karl Urban scene in the main bridge saying “Dammit” or “Damn”
b) The dialogue where Scotty said “Captain, I found this in the crashed gunship, sir. This is how the bastard got away.”
c) Carol Marcus talking about the torpedoes and offering a planet where to open it and Kirk opening staring at her in her black underwear.
And apparently, Spock and Uhura kissing scene were saved from censorship.
And these censorship board were the ones you guys spent millions tax money on 3D and 2D movie editting instead of medical research? *sigh
As you can see, movie censorship never does work. Orwellian to a degree. Apparently our culture is to Most of the time I tend to ridicule them in every movie I go.
Hell, why can’t you just rate Star Trek with R-rated so that it could spare yourself from censorship anything.
Star Trek in 3D or 2D?
Since I’ve watched both version of the format. I got to say 2D version is good for the whole movie appreciation. Since I was partially myopic, I think its good for those who have problems fitting the 3D glasses with own glasses.
Yes, CGI effects are stunning on 3D but in this movie there are a bunch of fast fight scenes and gun battles that was simply blurry on 3D glasses. It didn’t help that the background blurred so that some images would seem to pop up. I also found out that the 3D effect is much better with brighter lighting than in total darkness.
As for 2D, despite my gripe about the censorship and subtitles, I found it was enjoyable to watch the landscape which are the point of creating a new series anyway. You would appreciate more in high definition from the bright red forest in Nibiru, the futuristic London and more scenes of futuristic San Francisco, the Q’onoS and other planets.
The only thing I like about the 3D version was Benedict Cumberbatch becoming more prominent on the screen. Other than that, save your money for Blu-Ray.
More on Character Development
The script was too ambitious to allow complete developments of all of the characters in Enterprise. To put it simply, there’s only Kirk/Pike and Kirk/Spock and Kirk/Khan/Spock.
Other than the prominent supporting characters like Scotty and Uhura; Sulu, Chekov and Bones are sidelined to allow the focus between Dr Carol Marcus (still a minor character with introductory storyline) and Khan.
I am not complaining as the franchise was massive but it does felt sad that the regulars were sidelined to comic relief or romance interest. Despite Uhura and Carol’s prominent sass in the story, I do felt their roles are limited to allow the larger role of the male counterparts albeit, Kirk/Spock/Khan dynamic was awesome on screen. But, If you are from Feminist Frequency, you should flip by now.
But if you watch the original series, the franchise itself can be quite sexist. (But it improves, thankfully)
But I do find interesting parallel between Kirk and Pike relationship with Carol and her father’s relationship in the story and also the Starfleet guy with his dying child. Daddy’s issue ran rampant in this installment along with a notable absence of mothers with speaking role.
Of course, you can’t please anyone with a limited movie time. But personally, this movie deserve a two parter or 3 hour movies more than ever. *Me throwing money…*
Parallel version of Star Trek II : The Wrath of Khan?
I did say that JJ Abrams totally Fringe-d Star Trek.
I am correct.
By now I don’t expect people to become butthurt with the reference by now.
Unfortunately, it does made the movie predictable somehow.
I think other Trekkies made a good comparison between these two movies but it does provide an interesting view on what it could have been. But I think the original ending was more unexpected than the new version but both Khans are truly a force to reckoned with.
I do found myself appreciating both Khans and the intensity they bring on the screen. As I tried not to fangirl so much about Cumberbatch in this review, all I could say was Benedict was a perfect cast for the role.
On a side note, a friend of mine complained about why a white character play Khan who have an Indian name (Punjabi actually) but I look up and found the original Khan was played by Ricardo Montalbán, a Mexican actor. So hmm… cultural appropriation right there.
There were some moments in the movie which gave tribute to the previous series (the standoff, monologues, etc) but whether it was necessary or not, I still think the sentiments was taken more seriously than overall character development (precious seconds of one liner wasted). But I would say the same with the original movie too.
But I do think original Khan was more scary than Benedict’s Khan. Brrrr… but as far as the deep conversation goes, Khan’s scenes are always a delight.
But as always, the overall movie lean on Benedict Cumberbatch’s role more than the rest of the Enterprise characters. I’d wish for the third movie who does the franchise more faithfully than a tribute franchise.
on another side note, that one scene look Star Wars to you? i.e: “It will not fit!” “It WILL FIT!!” (a bit yaoi moment too)
Like the Star Trek, even in normal highdef format, the glares were there. A lot. I mean, I like it with the blue torch light in Fringe but seriously seeing glares in front of characters while they’re saying their lines… somehow distracting.
As if reading on tablets wasn’t glarish enough. It does make me want to yell “JJ Abrams! Buy kindle or you’re ruining your eyes from squinting!!!!” but the afternoon’s cinema wasn’t all that packed and sound travels.
and the sad thing about some cinema goers…..
“I never heard of Star Trek before. What was the story about?” ….moments before entering the cinema for Star Trek ID.
At this rate… let me guess, I’m not be able to watch Fringe movie or Veronica Mars movie either….
Being a geek in this country can be hard