Monday, 13 May 2013

JJ Abrams Is A Hack And Star Trek Into Darkness Demonstrates This



MAJOR SPOILER WARNINGS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Okay maybe I am being unfairly narrow with just this. In the name of fairness, it's better to say that the entire Star Trek Into Darkness creative team are pussies. But they're pussies in a particular way, maybe not in strength or speed or stamina, but they are creative pussies, with their artistic dicks cut off and no intellectual balls in sight.

I'm going to talk about certain parts of the film in particular. This is not a full review but just a criticism of one aspect in particular about this film. That aspect is regarding how Star Trek Into Darkness attempts to hold a mirror to or at least be a homage, or even reference The Wrath of Khan. Whatever it's trying to do with Wrath of Khan, it sure as hell isn't demonstrating why it's better.


I'm not going to compare Khans here, because overall I actually liked Benedict Cumberbatch's performance and enjoyed parts of his character more than the Ricardo Montalban's original Khan – but this is still not having seen the TOS episode he first featured in and therefore not having the benefit of this earlier character development. I think Cumberbatch's new Khan though doesn't manage to redeem the film, but instead is a good distraction from how the film is failing in numerous other areas to compete with the original, or in my opinion be that good of a film in the first place.

The plot involving Khan is abit of a mess to begin with. Instead of making it a straight up battle of intellect and strategy between Khan and Kirk, Into Darkness for some reason feels the need to insert a second layer
into the film, which could've been more interesting if it didn't feature a secondary antagonist who makes little to no sense. Admiral Marcus is somehow, without the knowledge of Star fleet or questions from anyone, building a super starship by himself, using the increased intelligence of Khan in order to fight a Klingon war. Oh he's also trying to start this war himself personally even before he's got one of the ship's off the production line. He makes no real sense and is just thrown into the movie completely underdeveloped to give Khan a cause (which also therefore makes no sense) and to create a distraction to avoid Kirk and Khan actually interacting or outsmarting each other.

The Wrath of Khan was basically a range war between Khan and Kirk who never actually meet face to face during the film and instead play out their strategies in isolation from one another to see who can play the strongest hand. Thank god then that this is the Star Trek reboot, where Abrams and his writing team find all of this plotting and thinking is abit boring so instead have their characters all have basic personality tropes and not be able to sit still for one second without something exploding. Every element of the film is trimmed down, whether it's a plot exposition spouting scene or a short emotional break, or as I like to call it emotional exposition, where basically the characters just say exactly what they're thinking and how its affected and changed them. All of these scenes are quickly followed by a convenient explosion because heaven forbid we should linger on anything too long.

All of these problems with the movie; its hyperactivity, insistence on showing explosions every two minutes and dull trope characters wouldn't normally be so bad. They'd be boring aspects of a film and I'd still dislike it, but when the film is constantly referring to the superior original, it makes irritating that they think they're really doing as good of a job. If you remake something, regardless of what spin or changes to put on it, you are still competing with it and trying to improve it. You've taken on the challenge and merits that the other film put down and claiming you can be better. The Wrath of Khan then is a well plotted, revenge story between Kirk and a nemesis blast from the past who's come to kill him and his entire crew. Within this is a good character drama, with actual character development and themes. Into Darkness attempts this slightly, but given that its plot is all over the place, its antagonist is terrible, the characters are flat and it even attempts to portray itself as slightly thoughtful (but fails to do it horribly), then it just highlights how the film has failed to compete.

At one point they even drag old Spock, Leonard Nimoy, up on the monitor to ask him about the time he faced Khan, as if the writers are looking for tips about how to make their film better. Spock is hazy, doesn't really say anything and is just an excuse for the film once again to point the finger and say, hey look we're making a remake of Wrath of Khan. Yeah I know you are, and it sucks.

I'm not even being nostalgic about this, because as soon as I got home from being slightly irritated for 2 hours,(or was I watching Into Darkness, I can't remember), I went to watch the Wrath of Khan, and it was much better. It's in hindsight which I find Into Darkness more annoying by its constant reference that it's remaking an old film and acting as if doing a good job at it.

The only character development or character at all we see in the film is minor and pointless. During the first act, the film spends about twenty minutes with Kirk having lost his captaincy before getting it back. Why does he get it back? No real reason, just that the antagonist gives it him back for no reason. The same antagonist who later is annoyed that an officer who is known for not playing by the rules and so was demoted for it, has turned out to have not played the rules and disturbed his plans. Who'd have thought that this could get any more fucking stupid. So Kirk gets his ship back for no reason and having learnt nothing about responsibility. He does later (and I'm getting to this bullshit bit in a minute) have some kind of character development, but it really comes from the situation he's in and not because of the earlier losing captaincy part of the plot. The first act of this film is basically pointless.

I also found Spock far more grating in this one, not simply being the intelligent and logical character he was in the first film and the original series, his insistence on logic is treated like a character trope here and gets irritating. He uses the word logic all the time, sometimes for no real reason and it makes me think whether or not the writing team actually know what logic means, or whether they're just using it like a superpower, similar to when scientist characters in films use the superpower of science to get them out of situations. Spock is pedantic, Kirk is stupid and an asshole and the antagonist makes no sense. The only characters that come out of this film well are Scotty, who Simon Pegg manages to pull off very well when compared to the film he's in and Uhura, who doesn't really do anything here, but never really did anything anyway, making her as good here as she was in the original.

This is the part where John Harrison announces he's Khan. He says it in a way that's supposed to be a reveal, but doesn't mean anything to Spock or Kirk. So I guess he's just shouting down the lens at us.

So now onto the bullshit bit and I must say this really demonstrates why Abrams and his writing team are truly shit. They basically took the end of Wrath of Khan where Spock goes into the warp drive to save the ship and gets killed by the radiation. The scene is surprising, it's hitting and sticks with you after the film has gone. It's someone following through on their beliefs that the many are more important than themselves and then making the ultimate sacrifice. In all fairness to Into Darkness, this aspect of it is pulled off as Kirk, being the captain, goes into the warp drive knowing he'll die. Him and Spock then share a nice scene, at the end of which Kirk dies. It's role reversal and cheap that they sort of ripped off the original scene. It's not as good as it, but it at least succeeds in what it needs to do.

Khan had recently shown he has regenerative blood. Kirk is dead. You can put the two ideas together pretty quickly and know what's coming next. But while the original had the nuts to kill a main cast member, Into Darkness can't bring itself to do it and I see this as a weak move by Abrams and team. Kirk isn't even bought back to life in a sensical way. The guy is dead, although looking strangely good after dying of radiation sickness. At least Spock had some makeup that mad him look burnt whereas Abrams is so obsessed with having everything shiny and smooth that even radiation burns aren't good enough for Abrams camera and Chris Pine's lovely face.


Kirk dies, and I mean actually dies, like brain dead, dead. His eyes are open, he's not breathing, he's been dead for several minutes and is confirmed dead by Bones before Bones realises that the blood he got from Khan has bought a blob of Jesus knows what the hell he put it into, back to life. Basically it looks like a Furby that's been run over by a car and left in a rainy ditch for several days and then starts pulsating, which makes Bones know that the blood will bring Kirk back to life. Bones tells them to put Kirk in a cryotube to stabilise his brain function before they can inject him. Now I'm no doctor but I think that when you're dead, brain function can't really be stabilised, because it's already pretty stable at zero. He is dead, there is no brain function to effect. It is gone. You could argue that Kirk isn't actually dead, but instead that he's just alive, but just abit. However, as I've already said in the scene before Kirk collapses, eyes open, silently staring so deeply down the lens you can almost make out the reflection of JJ Abrams smearing his shit all over a blank Star Wars draft script in his eyes.

The only way to make his resurrection have any consequences would be for William Shatner to come back and play Kirk. Now that would be a crushing ending, almost as brave as the original. Like an inverse phoenix, the attractive and muscular Chris Pine dies and from the ashes rises the sweaty, fat, stuttering carcass of William Shatner. His body and mind destroyed by the heavy doses of radiation, Kirk spends the rest of the third film trying to rediscover himself and his identity in an existence where he's lost all sex appeal and charm. Star Trek III: Search For Dignity.

Whether you see this as a cheap get out of jail free card pulled out of the film's ass, or a perfectly acceptable set up to Kirk's revival, it is a cheap move, and the creative equivalent of changing the goal posts to rob you of emotions that you may have felt earlier, and then throw it back in your face simply to show you how toying Abrams can be. They're referencing, heralding and comparing themselves to the original movie, famed for its death of a major character and demonstrate at the end that they're just not good enough to compete. They're not brave enough to pull a move like it and instead just put it out there half heartedly before withdrawing that decision as quickly as they can when they see the producers put the money back into their wallets. It makes no sense why the death scene is in this movie since they do nothing with it other than have Spock get abit angry. It also makes us unable to ever fear again for any character because now they have immortality juice in their hands and so no character ever need die again.

They may have a bigger budget and more splosions, but all of this adds up to just a poor remake, that is inconsistent, riddled with plot holes, pseudo exploratory and most of all just not that interesting.

I'll never understand why JJ Abrams continues to do so well and is so praised. To me, and I find Into Darkness really demonstrates this, Abrams is nothing more than a bad Spielberg hack, who has no interesting ideas and doesn't deserve the money he gets to carry them out. He's a Michael Bay with a good reputation and him and his writing crew are uninteresting and spineless when it comes to not only failing making good entertainment but failing to offer payoff to any of the setup they do in their films.

Oh and I just found out why the plot makes no sense, is full of plot holes and has a cheap ending. One of the creative minds behind Lost, Damon Lindelof, was one of the screenplay writers. May I say a kind Fuck him as well before I go.

Tits are a substitute for making any fucking sense, right?

13 comments:

  1. That furbie is a tribble my good man, and someone better give that tribble an academy award because it gave the best damn performance in the entire feature.

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    1. loved the way it shook around like a lap dancer's ass. So rhythmic and hypnotic, yet still helpful to the plot

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  2. Also, the first 10 mins where pretty good, chronicling the lives of some nobodies who die instantly. They are the deepest characters in the film, it isn't good writing if your extras produce more emotion in the audience then the main cast.

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  3. Star Trek - Tribbles - (look like) - fat hamsters - Will Champion - Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto...

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    1. This is very clever. But I don't fully understand what it is you want from me good sir.

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  4. Lindelof was interviewed about the underwear scene and what wzs the point of it. He stammered a bit and said he didnt really kn ow and apologised.

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    1. Thanks for the info on Lindlelof, so you know where I can find the interview. I just like watching him making a fool of himself. Most of Lindlelof's work, including and especially lost, seems to have a feeling of not knowing what he's doing.

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    2. Written interview, not video. It was inamongst a lot of other stuff, cant remember exactly where...sorry.

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    3. Actually, try keying in lindelof underwear scene and youll get there.

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    4. "There's a good reason for that but I'm not telling you because... uh, mystery". I don't think he could've given an answer that could make him sound more like a cunt.

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