Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness - The scoop and digest

When established television creator and Director J.J. Abrams took on the task of rebooting Gene Roddenberry’s famous creation in 2009, this was a mountain that few would like to climb.

In this day and age of technical wizardry, special effects are bound to impress but if the galactic legacy is compromised, pretty visuals are scant consolation.

Of course, you didn't have to be a devoted Trekkie fan to appreciate Abram’s original work as it was a decent sci-fi action blast.

Unlike the previous set of Star Trek feature presentations, the temptation to use numerals has been resisted so we’re quite content to be plunged Into Darkness.

It’s time for the ‘younger generation’ to give it a second shot.

Plot details and/or spoilers will be delivered at warp speed.

Those exploring strange new worlds and new civilisations include:

Chris Pine – Kirk
Benedict Cumberbatch – Harrison
Zachary Quinto – Spock
Karl Urban – Bones/McCoy
Simon Pegg – Scotty
Anton Yelchin – Chekov
Peter Weller – Marcus
Zoe Saldana – Uhura
John Cho - Sulu

Kirk and Spock are fleeing from the angry inhabitants of a strange looking civilisation on the Planet Niburu.

With their faces caked in papier mache and wearing stupid looking yellow costumes, they would be laughed out of any fancy dress party.

Unbeknownst to their hosts, their unwelcome visitors are here to save the planet from destruction as a nearby volcano is pretty keen to erupt...

Surrounded by fierce lava, Spock saves the day when some kind of extreme freezing fusion device is primed, leaving nearby lava geysers colder than a snowman’s joy department.

Back on Earth, Kirk is scolded for breaking the Prime Directive while rescuing Spock and demoted, losing command of the Enterprise for his troubles.

John Harrison, a mysterious Starfleet agent, bombs a facility and an emergency meeting is called to discuss how to ‘run the bastard down’...

This little get together is adjourned when a gunship intervenes with Harrison leaving a trail of carnage in his wake.

Kirk uses a makeshift fire hose to bring the craft down but using a transportation device, he makes a swift escape to the hive of all Klingon activity, Kronos.

Kirk and Spock visit Admiral Marcus who authorises Kirk to take Pike’s killer out.  Knowing that any slight nudge will force all out war waves with the Klingons, 72 photon torpedos are to be taken to fire upon Harrison’s location.

After the accepted resignation of Scotty due to his reluctance to board the torpedoes, the inclusion of Carol Marcus and idle chitter chatter, it’s all a tad boring until Kronos.

When they are forced to land by Klingon ships, Uhura fails in her attempt to sweet talk their enemy and ‘ironically’, the person they've been sent to destroy saves their asses by wiping out the Klingon threat.

We all saw that coming, right?

After learning of the curious number of torpedoes, he openly surrenders.  Kirk lays into him but as Harrison barely flinches, he needn't have bothered...

Now imprisoned, a blood sample is taken for examination who turns out to be Khan Noonien Singh.

His ‘old friend’ is in fact a genetically engineered super soldier who has enjoyed the peace of cryo sleep for 300 years, after his own war with his pals to dominate the Earth went tits up.

The 72 torpedoes each house Khan's buddies and Carol's father is a bit of a naughty boy.

Khan blows the whistle on Marcus as he explains that his awakening was for his own selfish gain in using his overall superiority as a weapon against the Klingon Empire.

With the Enterprise’s warp core deader than a dodo, this operation has cancelled all means of return.

Having kissed and made up, Scotty repairs the warp core but Marcus’s mighty battleship, the USS Vengeance, attacks the lowly Enterprise.

In exchange for the lives of his crew, Kirk offers Khan and his buddies as bargaining material.

This generous offer is refused and quickly orders the annihilation of the Enterprise but thanks to Scotty, Kirk and co will live to fight another day.

Kirk finds not a friend in me, but discovers an ally in Khan and Marcus should be slightly concerned.

Back on the Enterprise, incoming message Mr Spock and who’s this, why it’s only Mr Spock (Prime).

During a brief discussion, the other Spock explains that defeating Khan is possible, but at a great cost.

We bounce back to Kirk and Khan kills Marcus off screen.  The noise suggests that he breaks his Gregory Peck.

It’s now Khan’s turn to negotiate with Spock and believes that his crew is beamed aboard Vengeance.

However, the wily young Vulcan sent live torpedoes, keeping his comrades safe as houses.

If Riggs was pissed in Lethal Weapon, Khan is really pissed when the torpedoes go off with a bang.

With the two spaceships descending to Earth, Kirk instigates an inevitable but smart role reversal from 1982...

Despite the warnings of Scotty, Kirk knocks his hysterical friend sparko.

He enters the deadly radiation filled room and successfully manages to re-align the warp drive.

Spock, [pause] you better get down there.  Hurry!

After a reworked version of the means of the many, outweighing the means of the few, Kirk dies.

KHAAAAANNNNNNNN!

Calm down man, at least you didn't flood the whole compartment.

After knowing that only ‘he could’ survive the explosion, Spock pursues Khan on the streets of San Francisco intent on dishing out his own form of vengeance...

A minor scuffle ensues and when Spock’s death neck grip fails, he seems invincible.  Help is at hand though in the form of Uhura as she beams down to their precarious position and stuns him rigid.

Spock manages to eventually subdue the situation as they need him alive.

In Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride, the Miracle Max (Billy Crystal) revives Westley (Cary Elwes) using a chocolate coated miracle pill.

He is able to do this because of him being in the state of only ‘mostly dead’ because if he was ‘all dead’, then there’s only one thing you can do.  Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

It’s therefore fortunate that using Khan’s blood, Kirk is brought back as he was only slightly dead.

We see the central antagonist sealed in his cryo tube and stored away with the rest of his crew.

The film ends with Kirk and his cronies departing for its five year mission of exploration in a restored Enterprise and before the credits roll, a certain monologue is spoken.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the franchise but this qualifies as not just been an enjoyable Star Trek movie, but also a good sci-fi yarn in its own right, even if action is sporadic and the story can toll.

It does suffer from some terrible cheese from McCoy and Simon Pegg's accent hasn't improved.

Urban should instead let his chin do the talking and leave metaphors and humour well alone.

Others are largely redundant with Pine and Quinto as brash Captain and emotionless rock merely repeating their competent performances from the first outing.

This also demonstrates that Peter Weller is still around and Directive 4 need not result in shutdown.

Is Cumberbatch a suitable replacement for Ricardo Montalban?

Well yes and no, but he's definitely crazy enough and it’s important that he doesn't spit his last breath at thee.

Before being forced to physically land on Kronos, Kirk’s ship performs a manoeuvre that would either make the Millennium Falcon fume with rage or howl with laughter.

During the scoop of recent Tom Cruise vehicle Oblivion, I mentioned AFTER BURNER.

This sequence is DEAD SPACE during zero g, without Necromorphs.

Going back a few years, Inception smacked of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 during a snowmobile chase...

Do film directors know what they’re doing or do they really think that their actions emit innovation?

Who the fuck knows?

Okay, it would be illogical to say this is great but given all the available data, I compute it’s good and well worth a watch.

With the hat trick more inevitable than daylight appearing in the coming years, I wonder what's in store next because Star Trek: The Search for Kirk is definitely out.

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