Saturday, May 18, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

It may be that the final downfall of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek can be neatly symbolized by the sudden appearance of peaked military caps on Starfleet uniforms giving Kirk, Spock & McCoy an uncanny resemblance to Amtrak Conductors. Gene Roddenberry's Starfleet, was dedicated to peace, justice, freedom and exploring the universe...and NO HATS! Visored military chapeaus and a sadly superlative cast, seem to be director J.J. Abrams sole contribution to the Star Trek mythos as the rest of this much hyped film consists of "greatest hits" pay off scenes extracted shamelessly from the prior ten Star Trek Features. Loud, frantic and ultimately cautious sums up this film. Having broken with all past practice and successfully recast one of the most iconic sci fi crews in history, given license to do anything with the franchise, director J.J. Abrams retreats into the past trots out the whitest least Sikh like Khan Noonian Singh in history (pasty faced Benedict Cumberbatch) and makes with the CGI chases and firefights. I'm calling it folks, if you want Star Trek to still be Star Trek we are gonna haveta let go of J.J. Abrams, he is making blockbuster movies for the world market, not reviving a real science fiction property. The sad thing is, I love this cast, Chris Pines was born to play Captain Kirk every bit as much as William Shatner, Zachary Quinto has literally found an even finer line dividing logic from emotion than even Leonard Nimoy and Karl Urban IS Doctor McCoy (even if he is largely unforgivably sidelined in this film)...the rest of the actors are amazing in every way and they struggle with this mishaugas with the utmost grace, but the script simply lets them down...They may was well be doing "Radar Men from the Moon". There is something I need to make clear here, we all laugh at the earnestness of Gene Roddenberry's liberal technocratic utopian with it's naive brushes with The Big Issues of the Times, but we live in the shadow of it nonetheless...however much one may mock it, it is still the least worrisome sci fi utopia on public record. But without those Brushes with the Big Issues, however rightly or wrongly or foolishly they may be rendered, Star Trek becomes Space Patrol, it was a Space Patrol movie I saw last night at the Mendon Drive In, not Star Trek as it ought to be.

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