Man, Star Trek Into Darkness has to be the one movie genre fans love to rip apart. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the “Honest Trailer” and “Everything Wrong With” video series on J.J. Abrams’ sequel to Star Trek. While most of the videos point to Star Trek Into Darkness‘ stupid references, illogical story, and pandering character moments, the “How It Should Have Ended” edition of the Star Trek sequel provides a “what if” scenario instead.
It all started months before Star Trek Into Darkness was released. Abrams’ love for misdirection and mystery caught up with him when he refused to reveal Benedict Cumberbatch’s true identity in Into Darkness. It seemed like everything pointed to Cumberbatch playing the classic Trek villain Khan, but Abrams persisted with the ruse. Abrams eventually claimed Cumberbatch was playing a new character named John Harrison. But when the film was released, Cumberbatch’s role as Khan was indeed revealed, but by that point no one seemed to care.
Since then, every minute detail about Star Trek Into Darkness has been examined with a fine-toothed comb, including dumb plot devices such as the portable transwarp-beaming device and Khan’s magical super blood. Once Scotty found a portable transwarp-beaming device on board of Khan’s short-distance ship at the beginning of Into Darkness, you could tell the writers of the film were struggling to keep as many dramatic elements up in the air. If this universe has a portable transwarp-beaming device, why do they need starships? It was a dumb plot device to get Khan from Earth to Kronos without a ship of his own.
My biggest criticism of the entire movie comes at the end. After Kirk and Spock re-enact Spock’s death scene from The Wrath of Khan, only in reverse, Spock goes on the warpath to avenge his friend (Khaaaaann!!!). Ten minutes later, a once-dead Captain James T. Kirk is magically revived with the help of Khan’s super blood. Any emotional payoff from Kirk’s death scene is completely undercut, only minutes after the fact, with another dumb plot device. For many, this was Star Trek Into Darkness’ most glaring sin, which ultimately cannot be forgiven.
Star Trek Into Darkness is clumsy, over-plotted, and at times really, really dumb. Overall, the film is exciting with plenty of action and pretty dazzling eye candy. Maybe if it weren’t a Star Trek movie and just another dumb summer action movie, fans won’t be so critical of the film. After all, we tear the movie apart so much because we love Star Trek.
Congratulations, Star Trek Into Darkness, you hit the triple crown of Internet video memes with an Honest Trailer, an “Everything Wrong With” video, and now a “How It Should Have Ended.”