Movie review: Star Trek: Into Darkness



Last Saturday I went to see the new Star Trek movie (finally!). It`s not technically released in the Netherlands until June 6, but there were pre-premieres last Friday and Saturday. Don`t ask why, I don`t know, but I do know that I`m not complaining that I finally got to see the movie while the rest of the world apparently already had.

First off, I really loved the 2009 movie. I know a lot of Star Trek fans didn`t like it, and I know that they had a lot of good reasons. I`m sure the same goes for this second movie. But as someone who just sort-of watched Star Trek (the series with Picard as captain, specifically) as a child because my mom watched it, and as I therefore don`t remember all that much from the series, I`m able to go into these movies with an open mind and just sit back and enjoy.

And enjoy it I did: Benedict Cumberbatch makes a very, very good villain who had not just the Enterprise crew fooled but the audience too. I liked how Spock is so confused at the actions of everyone around him. I liked how Uhura was totally kickass. I don`t care much for Kirk, at least not the one in the movies (sorry, Chris Pine), but I can see his appeal to most other people. Also, holy fucking shit, how blue are those eyes. I also liked the action. I liked how the crew is really dependant on each other and learning to function like a real family.

I know this movie is getting a lot of crap for a lot of reasons, but I don`t agree with most of these.

Take for example the lens flare addiction JJ Abrams seems to have. I know this has been getting a lot of criticism because he uses it so much. But I personally liked this. I like how the lens flare adds that extra cinematographic touch, that bit more drama. Just look at the scenes, they`re gorgeous. Especially combined with that sleek interior and all the clean, bright spaces and shots with all the metal and glass. The lens flare adds that extra bit of colour, that extra bit of futuristic feeling, and I love it.

Another thing that has been getting a lot of crap is the misogyny. While I do admit the movies could use some more women, I don`t think people who have been complaining a lot about it have actually been paying attention. Did they even see Uhura going to face a bunch of Klingon by herself? And her fighting against Khan? Did they see Carol sneaking onto the Enterprise, or her being a master of arms? Did they see her save McCoy`s life? So yes, Carol at one point gave in and stopped being awesome. But she`s hurt, and in a room with one of the most dangerous men in the universe, who has just killed her father. Can we really blame her for sitting in the background? No. We can`t expect everyone to always keep going no matter what, that`s not realistic.

Besides, putting more women to the front would be politically correct, but it would not match the original series as much. Try as we like, the series had mostly men in the leading roles too. And if we verge off that path, it`s not cool either, right? There`s a dilemma here, that I think was solved pretty decently.

Although, admittedly, Carol changing her clothes and standing there on display in her underwear was wholly unnecessary and served no purpose to the plot whatsoever, aside from fanservice to the male fans. But I don`t think us girls can really complain: we get a whole cast of pretty boys to fawn over.

(To serve this point even more: I saw a picture on Tumblr where they had put Kirk in Carol`s place, and all of a sudden the general response was “YESSS”. I`m not sure why that`s suddenly okay while Carol`s scene isn`t? Surely showing Kirk only in briefs when unnecessary is just as bad?)

Anyway, before I go off on a huge feminist rant, I`m just going to stop myself here.

All in all, I thought Star Trek: Into Darkness was a very good movie, very enjoyable, and I recommend you all go and watch it. No excuses. Just go. Now. (And take me with you so I can see it again.)

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