4 June 2013

Thoughts On: Star Trek Into Darkness

If there’s a thought going through my head about Star Trek Into Darkness, it’s that I wish I was more bothered by it. Most of the movie’s imbecility sloughed off me so easily this time that it feels like a personal defeat.  

I swear there were times I was almost ready to “get into it".  The primary reason I didn’t came down to my inability to make peace with its audio-visual assault on me--its editing was too frantic and its sound too painful, at least in the IMAX theatre where I saw it--but I was willing to cut it some slack.

Maybe I just don't want to be thought of as a cranky old fogey.

Before I go further, the movie’s every bit as stupid as its predecessor, constantly inventing and junking its every component for the sake of speed, speed and more speed.  No doubt about it: it's a restless leg of a movie, and five times as much of a whore as any other studio offering.

Once again, story-time is mucked with to the point that one has to suspect the movie's writers have a four year old’s subjective comprehension of distances and durations.  Once again, technologies are invented on the fly to solve plot problems and then immediately forgotten, lest a dozen new plot problems be raised as a result.  And once again, the soul-crushing subtext of this new Star Trek is an insult to anyone with any modicum of hope for the future of our culture; Jim Kirk 2.0 and the rest of his “American Idol” crew are constantly rewarded, recognized and promoted in a “who needs institutions, standards, or tradition?” type of way that must give the the Millenials and libertarians in the audience massive ego-boners.

But I rolled with it ... almost some the way.  If my ears hadn’t been bleeding, I’d have gotten through most of the thing semi-pleasantly entertained (with the exception of the film’s “redo” of certain sections of Star Trek II: Wrath Of Khan, cause there’s stupid and then there’s moronic, meaningless, ill-conceived pandering.) 

I must've been in a kind mood, or maybe I don't much care what just about what any film gets up to these days, unless it has a Marvel superhero or a lightsaber in it.

It's probably that second thing.  Cause as much as I say I wasn't that disgusted with Star Trek Into Darkness, man, I really don’t want to see J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars, with its endless close-ups and pointless but cool-sounding one-liners, its endless smarmy jokes, its endless pandering to geek blood-lust and ratcheted-up “dark” ultra-violence, its endless winks to the audience and then its sucking up to them by subverting all the audience-winking by “raising the stakes” (i.e. more impossibly sexy violence and shouting).

I know I’m the only one in the world, but I’d really rather endure another round of Senator McBoring Exposition walking idly down a digital corridor with Jedi Master Joseph Campbell Subtext, if it at least allowed me to spend more time in George Lucas’s out-of-touch but still relatively human, past-generation psyche, as opposed to this howling wilderness.

Especially if they get the sound mix right, cause I’d hate to be seduced by a howling wilderness.

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