Before I get into this, let me qualify that Star Trek Into Darkness is a four star film. It is bold, vastly entertaining and it has moments of emotional poignancy that the original creator of the sprawling space soap opera, Gene Roddenberry, would have marveled at. And the better moments, like most of those featuring Benedict Cumberbatch’s grandslam villain and Abrams’ numerous and epic action set-pieces, drag it easily into that rating band, but it is far from flawless.
It would seem to be a disease of the modern tent-pole sequel that along with the high points, there are some jarring bum-notes: The Dark Knight Rises was badly hamstrung by poor creative decisions and diabolical editing, and Iron Man 2 & 3 were fun, but deeply flawed. In the quest to do everything bigger and bolder after an initial success, mistakes can creep in, and just as the success peaks are higher, the flaws tend to be exponentially more noticable.
After all, when you’re closer to perfection, the missteps are magnified, and that is the case with Star Trek Into Darkness. Audiences will not be wowed as much as with the original, and at least some are likely to point to the following issues to stress their complaints. So in the interest of pre-empting the complaints, here are the six flaws that almost derailed Into Darkness…
The key to the half-Vulcan/human relationship at the center of Abrams’ first Star Trek movie was the way it played with expectations – an underlying theme that Abrams continues to roll out in Into Darkness, almost consciously defying everything canon might suggest would happen (the marketing has consciously reinforced this through openly defying links to the original series) – and it worked in the original.
But after too long, the idea of Spock in a committed relationship begins to feel like a betrayal of the character as we know him and though we aren’t supposed to see this Spock as anything like the old Spock, the appearance of “Spock Prime” in this new canon draws an unhelpful comparison.
Yes, Spock’s human side is his most intriguing asset, but it is far more engaging to see the mask of logic slip in charged situations, as happens towards the end of the film when his voice even breaks with emotion, and we see something of a Spock we haven’t seen before. That is far more worthy of investment rather than seeing how his odd-couple romance is playing out.
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