Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Into Uncertainty

I was quite enjoying 2009's Star Trek remake, right up until the end, in which New Kirk orders the destruction of the crippled Narada. Star Trek is supposed to be an optimistic view of humanity's future and yet here the heroes more or less murder their opponents, backed by stirring music leaving the audience with no doubt that it's a heroic act and not, you know, a war crime.

So to my mind, New Kirk is more a villain than a hero and so when I see the trailers for the new film show him getting his comeuppance at the hands of Benedict Cumberbatch -- who is almost always excellent, and is playing a character who is not just a cackling villain but seems to have a legitimate grievance -- I have to admit that I am intrigued.



The problem is that based on the first film, I have no confidence at all that anything interesting will happen. New Kirk will blunder in like a thug, his mindless violence given tacit approval by the film-makers, any questions raised by Cumberbatch's character's motivations will be ignored, and New Kirk will not learn anything or develop as a character. Perhaps worst of all, Cumberbatch is going to be wasted in the role of a punch bag.

Of course, I am being unreasonable. There's no way the film-makers are going to allow their hero to lose, but the way they've set him up that's the only outcome that I could see satisfying me. I'm going to see Star Trek Into Darkness this week, so let's see if they can surprise me.

6 comments:

  1. Hmm...I can't really judge from a trailer but there are a couple of things that look raaather familiar about this one. The helicopter attack on a conference, a la Godfather 3 and the ship flying in a twisty turny way through very tight spaces, much like the Millennium Falcon going into the Death Star in RotJ. Still, there's nothing new under the sun (hey, the whole concept is a reboot) but Cumberbatch is always worth watching and if he steals the show the way he made Sherlock his own, it might be worth the price of admission. As long as it's in 2D. IMHO, 3D sucketh the eggs (and the glasses won't work with mine)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's my exact quandary; Cumberbatch is brilliant, but I suspect he'll be in a bit of a thankless role in this.

      Delete
  2. You make some interesting points about the first Star Trek reboot that I hadn't considered. But, I'm also reminded that TOS Kirk had a grudge against technology and computers and violated the Prime Directive on several occasions so destroy any kind of technology that was "ruling" over any human-like civilization. His answer oftentimes seems to be "Blow it up."

    And, although it was slightly off topic, I have to agree with Daddy Grognard that 3D movies suck. The glasses weigh so much that I end up with a huge dent in my nose and a massive headache after the movie just so I can see a hand stretching toward my face and pretend that it's scary. Whatever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kirk has always been a bit more down-to-earth -- to use an inappropriate pun -- than many scifi heroes, but murdering helpless men -- even enemies -- doesn't seem like him. His callous and xenophobic attitude towards the Klingons as the earlier film series went on was supposed to be a shock caused by the death of his son -- SPOILERS -- but in the new series he's already there, and for no good reason that I can see.

      Kirk is a bloody-minded fellow, I agree, so what he should have done is transport the crew of the Narada straight to the brig, thus denying Nero his dramatic death. What we got instead was not right.

      Delete
  3. Dude, you're either with the Federation or against the Federation. No fence sitting in this man's universe. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Federation of the Willing!

      Delete