Five Things I Hated About “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Warning: Here be spoilers. Do not continue if you have not seen the movie.

I suppose “hated” is too strong a word. I loved the movie, actually, and I have seen it twice. I wish, however, that I had known before seeing it the first time that the timeline was an alternate universe.

Since I did not want to read any spoilers before seeing it, I had read no reviews and was not prepared for what I saw.

My first reaction was “How can Kirk and Spock not know who Khan is when they meet him in this movie? Didn’t they defeat Khan in “Star Trek: The Original Series” and again in the movie The Wrath of Khan? Why does Young Spock have to ask Old Spock whether Khan is dangerous? I was almost screaming at the screen.

I don’t care if you mess with the timeline. You are messing with my mind.

Now, of course, I realize I should have known that it would be an alternate reality since that possibility was set up in the 2009 movie.

Once I read the reviews and understood that was the case, I was able to enjoy the movie the second time I saw it.  I do hope, however, that the next movie will have a totally new villain. I spent most of this movie comparing everything that happened to what I already knew from the earlier shows. I think I would have enjoyed the movie much more if I had never seen those earlier ones.

Here are my complaints:

1. Why did they use a woman with a British accent to play Carol Marcus? I liked the Midwestern accent of the original Carol. After she saw the glorious world she had created using the Genesis Machine, she asked, “Can I cook or what?” Delightful.

The whole time I was listening to the new Carol, I thought, “How could they have miscast her so badly? Was it because she looked so good in almost nothing?” I felt betrayed because I wanted her to sound like the old Carol, who must have been from Iowa or Idaho or Illinois or Indiana. You get the idea.

2. Why didn’t we get to see Kirk or Spock or Khan half-naked also? Or all three. Fair is fair. Give us both male and female, please.

I have learned that there was a shower scene in which we could have seen Khan naked from the waist up. Maybe more. Why was it cut?

Why was half-naked Carol even in the international trailer? What did that have to do with the plot, other than to show Kirk as still a frat boy rather than a man. The fact that he could not even remember who Christine Chapel was shows us that Kirk is a love-em-and-leave-em guy.

3. Khan Noonien Singh being played by a veddy, veddy British actor. I would much rather have seen someone who looked more like Ricardo Montalban’s Khan than someone who was so white he almost glowed. There are many great minority actors out there. Why wasn’t one of them chosen? I’m not a minority, but I think minority actors are underutilized by Hollywood.

4. Roddenberry was deep into thematic significance. From the two races that hated each other because the wrong side of their faces was white to the people who milled around aimlessly shoulder to shoulder all day because they had overpopulated their world, Roddenberry gave us themes and causes. If there is a theme in “Darkness” it is that if you have enough special effects the audience will put up with a modicum of thematic significance.

We have the military leader who wants to create a war. We have the eugenically enhanced superior being who wants to take over the world and get revenge in the meantime. We have Kirk who grows up a bit when he loses members of his crew. Okay, maybe I’m wrong on this one. Maybe those are enough.

5. Finally, Spock should not cry. Not real tears. I don’t care how much he grieved over the death of Kirk.

One of the appeals Spock has had for decades is that he can control his human side. Now he is so human I don’t recognize him.

Spock cries, Kirk cries, Khan cries, Scotty cries, Uhura cries, Bones cries. Did I leave anyone out? Abrams certainly did not. But Spock should not cry. Ever.

Now that my rant is finished, let me say I truly enjoyed the movie the second time I saw it. These are just my individual reactions.

My greatest hope is that they will come up with a new villain in the next one. Keep the Tribble. Leave the Khan.

P.S. I have three previous posts about “Star Trek.” If you look at the list of topics below and on the right, you will find them.

Question: Do you have complaints/kudos for the movie? If so, I would like to hear them.