Despite all of the action-packed, angsty trailers that Star Trek: Into Darkness sends out to the interweb universe, complete with Benedict Cumberbatch, not so much chewing up the scenery, but smoldering it to death, I am bracing myself to be rather disappointed with the film. What chaps me about these Star Trek reboot films is that JJ Abrams has never been a Star Trek fan. Why do that? Why hire someone who does not have love for the franchise? Yes, money. That is the only reason and a pathetic one. He was hot off his LOST fame and the powers-that-be wanted to cash in on his star power and apparent brilliance. But Abrams claims he is more of a Star Wars fan (by the way, I have never understood the acrimony between these two fandoms as I personally love both) and now he gets to realize that dream. Good for him. And if I don’t like this second Star Trek installment, I hope he sticks with the Star Wars movies and does them credit because I want someone with love for the Trek universe to be in charge of shaping it.
Overall, I quite enjoyed JJ Abram’s first Trek film, but I had some serious complaints about it. I didn’t like that he changed Kirk from being a competent but maverick starship captain to being a somewhat sociopathic jerk that someone would only allow to command a ship under duress. Despite my utmost love and respect for Leonard Nimoy, always, I did not think he needed to be in the film at all. I felt that the time travel storyline was tired and overused in Trek and that the crew should’ve been strong enough in portrayal to hold their own and not need an actor from the original cast to lend it credibility. If you need that, you aren’t doing your job well. I felt most of the casting choices were great, but it is true that the whole venture left me feeling like there was no bite to the film and a lack of soul somehow. While, I thought that Quinto’s Spock was quite well done in intonation and deportment, I felt he still lacks the depth and sheer angst (heck even the humor) that Nimoy brought to the role. He could work on that. And finally, for all of my writing a couple of weeks ago about Spock’s sexual allure, I am also not one of the fans that wanted to see Spock and Uhura making out quite so furtively. I am all for a Spockura ship, just not one like we saw in the last film. A more Vulcan approach would not have been amiss. Leaving it out, was. By the way, it feels like the first film came out eons ago. In movie world time, I guess with it having been four years between films, it did.
All of my complaints do not mean that I am some Trekkie elitist jackhole that didn’t want Trek to change, I just wanted a tad more respect for what came before and some sense of continuity between the two that goes beyond the same names, same color of uniforms, and flying around in a ship called Enterprise. So, although I watch the Into Darkness trailers and get wowed and bowled over by the dark and brooding tone, the touches that harken to the original, the incredible special effects, the sheer shock value, and the delightful Cumberbatchiness of it all, I then later, in a contemplative mode (you can imagine me with palms together, fingertips touching like Spock used to do if you like), worry that it will still feel as empty and soulless as the new villain appears to be. Abrams, I hope you prove me wrong.
Here’s the latest clip to have been released. http://news.moviefone.com/2013/04/23/star-trek-into-darkness-clip_n_3134184.html