pitry: (philosophy)
pitry ([personal profile] pitry) wrote2013-05-23 10:34 pm

Star Trek Into Darkness waffling + overly geeky analysis

So! Movie's entertaining, yay!


KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

... Don't say I didn't warn you.

I cannot believe they threw in this scream. This brings the TPTB type of fanwank into a whole new level. Also, the whole Spock/Kirk role reversal was hilarious - putting Kirk in the radiation chamber. And he knocked Scotty unconscious! And and and the hand on the glass. LOL. Also there were Tribbles! THEY HAD TRIBBLES IN THIS MOVIE! It's hilarious.
Not-so-hilarious-stuff:
It started looking like Uhura and Sulu and Chekov would actually have something to do in the movie, but turned out they didn't. Meh.
Speaking of wasting people, meh @ Noel Clarke's role. I was really excited when I heard he's in it, but this was disappointing, to say the least. Mickey deserves better!
Benedict Cumberbatch... well he didn't win me over, let's say that. I still dislike him a lot. And he still looks like a lizard. Also, Khan was a Dalek.
Which brings me to the overly geeky analysis, which starts in complains about one thing I never thought they would a) do and b) that I would complain about. The DS9 reference.

There's this thing about science fiction, that it reflects the attitudes and beliefs of the time it's written, pretty consistently. I could complain about the writers over what they did with Section 31 - I mean, hell, they sure do deserve it if only for being the guys who wrote the Transformers script - but I actually think this isn't as much their fault as the side effect of this tendency in science fiction. The reason the Section 31 plots in DS9 worked and here they're a detracting factor from the movie is because of the change in our society between then and now.

DS9 played a lot with the question of what to do when facing an enemy that wants to destroy who you are and at what point you're doing it yourself. It was a major theme long before they introduced Section 31 - they had it as soon as they truly introduced the Changelings. But then, that was society back in the 1990s. The changelings weren't Daleks. They didn't want to destroy the Federation because they're evil - they were once-peaceful-people who became persecuted and developed the strategy of annihilating those who could prove dangerous before they get the chance to annihilate them. Villains, sure - but villains with rationale and depth and not Daleks. The same thing came up with the Section 31 plots. It wasn't just taking a stand that at some point, what exactly are you fighting for? But also tied in with the Romulan subplot (which seriously tackled this question with In the Pale Moonlight) and bothered to show the complexity of the Romulans and their actions as well as Section 31's convictions.

Needless to say, the other part of the DS9 equation, the Bajor plot, proved a thoughtful examination of the line between freedom fighters and terrorists and where exactly does it pass.

A 2.5 hour movie doesn't have the time to develop the complexity of 7 seasons of a show. I'm not expecting this at any way. And if TDKR showed us anything, it's that sometimes throwing in this kind of complexities can muddle the water and confuse the audience even more - although I'm still amazed at the sheer number of people who said they were taking a right-wing conservative approach, when what they were doing is point out that people with good intentions who take a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" approach and don't much check the hidden agendas of their new friends can be manipulated by people with bad intentions. But sure, that part of TDKR was a mess so it makes it easier for this point to disappear in the general confusion.

At least they tried.

Like I said, STID had Section 31, but never tried to examine their convictions too much. They threw in some of the classic DS9 'destroying the Federation values in order to protect it' but it was only ever a plot twist, only ever a mcguffin to get to the next cliffhanger or to enable Khan's next actions. Khan himself, as I complained, is a Dalek. He's not an enemy with a reason or motivation, he's a caricature villain who simply wants to destroy everyone. There were shades of the war on terror, but again, it was the most simplistic shades of the war on terror. No examination, no complex narrative, just the way for the next explosion. The terrorist is a mcguffin to set up the plot, which is - hunt down the terrorist. It's all about the hunt. The rest is pretence of complexity, but as soon as you give it a second look, you see the smoke and mirrors and here are the strings.

In the end, the movie is a homage to Star Trek 2 and a blockbuster, which is fair enough, because that's all it ever aspired to be. The problem is that by doing that they reminded me that there was once something more into it.