I Demand Those 133 Minutes Back

God damnit, J. J. Abrams. God. Damnit.

The 2009 Star Trek reboot was launched for ostensibly one reason; modern Trek scribes were simply too hamstrung by decades of continuity. There was no way to tell fresh, new stories with all that established history clinging to the franchise, like barnacles on a ship's hull.  In order to tell twenty-first century stories, we needed a twenty-first century Star Trek.  I never actually accepted that argument, and would hold up the 'Typhon Pact' book series as being clear evidence that this is in fact complete nonsense, but at least it was something. And heck, even if the reboot wasn't necessary, at least there was talk of bold, new ideas. Coming off the pathetically anemic Star Trek: Enterprise and the simultaneously backwards-looking and continuity-ignoring Nemesis, that was worth something.

And then, apparently to prove all that was simply the most epic case of trolling imaginable, Abrams makes Khan the villain. No wonder he called it 'Star Trek Into Darkness'; if he'd called it anything even remotely like Star Trek 2 and had it use Khan as the villain, even his omnipresent lens flare and Apple Genius Bar-looking starship aesthetic couldn't have hoped to disguise the absolutely shameless and transparent failure of imagination that is this movie.

Also, the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch, one of the most quintessentially white actors imaginable, as Khan Noonien Singh, an Indian Sikh 'prince', is downright offensive. Like, 'The Last Airbender' levels of offensive. Or beyond, even.  It was bad enough that the racial and sexual dynamics were being recycled from a nearly fifty year old product, completely ignoring three series' worth of progress (Enterprise offered no forward motion for any group) in terms of crew breakup and reflection of present multiculturalism.  But to actually be less willing to cast non-white actors than an American network television series from the 60s?  That's so far beyond sad it starts to look suspicious.

Star Trek Into Darkness is, like 2009's Star Trek, worthless.  It's an interesting premise utterly squandered, with nothing to say about present day issues, a half-baked 'homage' to a movie that was already done as well as could be done wrapped with enough pyrotechnics and lazy action scenes to hopefully bamboozle the viewer into thinking something meaningful is going on.  This movie is bad, not in the way a Michael Bay or Friedberg/Seltzer movie is bad, but in the way it absolutely squanders all of its admittedly-considerable promise in favour of lazily 're-imagining' existing stories and characters while not only adding nothing, but actually subtracting a great deal.  Yet again, the new Star Trek team has given us a film, and a villain, that requires considerable supplemental material to actually connect with.  This is beyond lazy.

I think I'm done with Star Trek films.  I gave it two chances, and it failed me in each case.  And that's okay, because the book series is fantastic.  Maybe when the studio gets tired of wallowing in nostalgia and decides to try a new sreies I'll take a look in, but for now?  Screw it, I have better things to do with my time than watch Abrams and crew completely fumble every pass they're thrown.

And I hope you do, too.

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