The new Star Trek film underperformed. But all we at Scriptshadow care about is, “How was the writing?”

Genre: Sci-Fi
Premise: Captain Kirk and crew go after a mysterious villain who performed a terrorist attack on the Federation. After chasing him down, they learn that it’s actually someone within their own ranks that they need to worry about.
About: This is likely JJ Abrams’s last foray into Star Trek, as he’s been asked to take over the most glorious awesomest greatest franchise ever (coincidentally both mine and JJ’s favorite franchise): Star Wars. One other thing of note here: Current screenwriting whipping boy Damon Lindelof contributed to “Star Trek: Into Darkness.” That makes TWO huge summer movies he’s written (with the other being the troubled zombie flick “World War Z.”). If you want to read a great article about Lindelof and his insecurities as a writer and how he was terrified to come in and save World War Z, check out the article here.
Writer: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelof
Details: 132 minutes

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Where are all the Star Trek fans? I heard the studio was hoping to make 100 million dollars this weekend and only made 70. Trekkies, wuddup?? We even got to see the Klingons in this episode. And the previously established greatest Trek villain ever!

I don’t know why I’m getting all upset. I was never a Trek fan. I’m just a JJ fan, who was also not a Trek fan (I’m still confused why someone who hated a franchise would choose to direct a movie for that franchise). But I guess all I really care about is, “How was the writing?” and, “Is Trek 2 better than Trek 1?”

Unfortunately, those aren’t easy questions to answer. There was definitely something exciting about getting to see a re-imagined Star Trek the first time around. It was new. It was fresh! That freshness is gone. And some of that Star Trek luster is gone with it.  On the flip side, you don’t have to spend half the screenplay setting up the world, like the first did. You can jump straight into the story. Which is what Into Darkness does. But was it successful??

Into Darkness has our Trek crew doing what it was created to do – explore new worlds. That’s THE PLAN anyway. But when Kirk finds a neophyte civilization about to be wiped out via an active volcano, he and Spock decide to save it. They barely do so, but in the process alert the civilization to their presence (a big no-no) AND almost die. This leads to Kirk being relieved of his command.

Meanwhile, a terrorist blows up a Trek archive building, (MAJOR SPOILER) who we later find out is the infamous Trek villain, Khan! Khan then jets out to the Klingon home planet, where he know he’ll be safe, since the humans and the Klingons are on the brink of war. But Kirk and crew go after him anyway, capture him, and find out the truth: that the President of Star Federation (played by the original Robocop!) is trying to kill this dude.

When Kirk won’t follow orders and kill him himself, then, Robocop comes after him, hellbent on destroying not just Khan, but everyone on Kirk’s ship as well. Kirk will have to decide who’s more dangerous here – Khan or Robocop – and stop them. All while trying to protect the thousands of crew on his ship.

99% of the time, I can get a sense whether a movie or a script is going to work within the first scene. How that scene is constructed tells me a ton. Is there drama involved? Intrigue? Suspense? Is it original? Is the scene meticulously plotted out? Or is it sloppy? If it’s sloppy, for example, that usually sets the tone for the rest of the movie. I mean, if you can’t make your very first scene clean, how can I expect you to make the following 59 scenes clean?

Into Darkness started out… wrong. It wasn’t entirely clear to me what was going on. You had Kirk running from these natives. Then we were cutting to Spock being lowered into some lava pit. For the first 60-90 seconds of the sequence, I thought Spock was on a completely different planet. I wasn’t linking him to the native stuff.

Eventually I figured it out, but if you look at a similar opening sequence, Indy going into the cave in Raiders of the Lost Ark (which clearly influenced JJ in this scene) – that’s a sequence you’re never confused by. I suppose JJ may have been doing this confusing cross-cutting on purpose? Maybe he wanted you to be be curious about how the two related to one another? But I think that’s the wrong move. Like I said – the opening scene sets the tone for the movie. It’s gotta be clear. There are instances where you want things to be confusing to establish intrigue (the layered dream sequence opening of Inception), but this wasn’t one of those times. And for this reason, I was really scared for Into Darkness.

But the script does rebound. The mystery terrorist put the story on a clear path: Find the terrorist, take him down. There were also quite a few of the mystery boxes JJ is known for. Like a) who is this terrorist? And b) what’s in these missiles that everyone seems so up-in-arms about? (Spoiler) – We eventually find out that the missiles are holding humans inside, which was a nice unexpected surprise. Although I thought for sure when the first one was revealed, as it appeared to be holding a bald guy, it was going to be Captain Jean-Luc Piccard (from the Next Generation). I had no idea how they were going to make that make sense, but it got me revved up (alas, it was not to be).

And I think that’s where JJ really excels. He keeps putting those mystery boxes out there so that you always have to find out what’s inside of them. Even when you’re not 100% into the movie, you still want to see what happens next. But I think the real feat here with the writing was how “follow-able” the writers were able to make the plot, despite how much it jumped around.

We talked about plot points a month ago, and how you want to keep changing up your story in order to keep it fresh. But (at least in my opinion) the plot point changes in Into Darkness were pretty severe, to the point where I wasn’t sure where the story was going. Or really what the main plot was. I mean first “Darkness” is about Kirk getting canned. Then he’s reinstated as a second-in-command on another ship. Then the terrorist attack happens. Then the terrorist runs away. They have to go chase the terrorist, with some foreshadowing of a potential Klingon war.  But there is no Klingon war.  Then the Federation President comes after them, as he’s revealed to be the bad guy. Then Khan kills the bad guy, and becomes the reinstated bad guy.

The writers do a good job keeping all of this clear, but it’s a huge gamble, as at a certain point, your reader/audience may throw up their arms and scream, “Dude! What the f*&k? is this movie about?!” When you write a script, you can write it two ways. You can establish the goal right away and spend the rest of the script showing your main character trying to obtain it. Or you can constantly keep changing the storyline and the goal, with new twists and turns dictating the narrative.

So with Raiders Of The Lost Ark, for example, we know the goal from the outset – find and bring back the Ark. Into Darkness, we’re not sure. We’re not really ever sure. And that’s what’s so dangerous about writing these types of scripts. They’re a bag of mysteries. And it takes a tremendous amount of skill to keep a story interesting that doesn’t have that constant. Whenever I see amateurs try to pull this off, it’s a guaranteed fail. They’ll keep throwing in new surprises and twists every ten pages or so, but it feels like it’s being made up as they go along. They only know how to change the variables. They don’t have an overall game plan.

I think that’s the difference when a professional takes on one of these scripts and when an amateur does. The professional outlines and makes sure it all makes sense, that there is something underneath that’ll support all these twists. Whereas the new writer will simply make up twists on the fly and believe that’s enough. At least, that’s what it feels like to me.

In the end, Into Darkness was sort of a strange, daring film, in that it did have a weird, constantly changing plot. But it found a way to make it work. The natural conflict between Kirk and Spock always kept things interesting. The “flying through debris” action sequence was really well executed. Khan was an interesting (if not exceptional) villain, who had a lot more meat to him than Eric Bana’s villain from the first film. And after a bit of a slow section following the opening scene, the script never lets up, pounding us with immediacy – an ingredient essential for any good summer popcorn film. I liked it. I mean, it wasn’t amazing, but it was solid.

Script rating:

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[x] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

Movie rating:

[ ] what the hell did I just watch?
[ ] not fit for a Klingon
[x] worth the price of admission for anywhere but the ridiculously expensive Arclight
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: If you’re a new writer, I’d suggest mastering the “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” model before you move on to the “Star Trek: Into Darkness” model. Establish a goal for your protagonist right away, then have them go after it, repeatedly running into obstacles during their pursuit. If you keep changing your character’s goal and keep rearranging the plot’s purpose the way “Into Darkness” does, you’re going to find your plot a lot harder to wrangle in. It can be done, but you need a lot of practice before you’re ready for it.

What I learned 2: I don’t know why this particular movie made me think of this, but I think IMDB should start including a section for “Contributing Writers” on each project. We know, of course, that they can’t get an official title card for the movie. But there should be a place where these writers are recognized so an internet search can bring their names up. IMDB seems like the perfect place to put this information. They’re not obligated to only include the “official” writers, and as long as it’s properly noted, I don’t see how this could do anything but help the non-top-tier writers in the business.

  • Nate

    I’ll be honest and say that I hated Star Trek before I saw the 09 movie but it didn’t turn me into a Trekkie and neither has Into Darkness. I love the new movies but I’m probably never gonna watch anything to do with the franchise expect Abrams movies.

    ”Although I thought for sure when the first one was revealed, as it appeared to be holding a bald guy, it was going to be Captain Jean-Luc Piccard (from the Next Generation). I had no idea how they were going tomake that make sense, but it got me revved up (alas, it was not to be).”

    Perhaps I’m the only one but I think it would be awesome if Tom Hardy made an appearance as Picard in the next movie. I don’t know how they would make it work but it would pretty cool to see. And that’s pretty much the extent of my Star Trek knowledge.

    • Sagan Shahmehri

      Some of the other stuff is totally worth watching, even if it’s a lot (and I mean a LOT) slower and less action packed than the reboot. DS9’s writing, acting, and directing were all impeccable, especially after Commander Sisko grew a beard.

  • http://twitter.com/carlosybarra2 carlos ybarra

    ‘Where are all the Star Trek fans?’

    They knew Damon Lindelof was the writer of this piece of crap and chose to stay at home.

    Nuff said.

    • JakeMLB

      Not exactly.

      Seems the lack of box office bucks is because the <25 generation isn't seeing the film. Iron Man 3, Hangover 3, and F&F 6 is probably to blame:

      http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/star-trek-darkness-box-office-needs-younger-audience-fast-furious-hangover-III-92796

    • RO

      Lindelof has this reputation of being a great writer but I don’t see it. He can come up with an awesome conscept but if you can’t pay it off, doesn’t that make you a bad writer? Look at his IMDB credits for writer. What he works on has neat concepts but fails to live up to those concepts.

      • Drew Douglas

        How many more times are you going to say concept?

    • bluedenham

      Yep. And the ads made it pretty clear this movie was a revenge/chase/blow things up type of movie with none of the finesse of the first one. I give Abrams props for that one, but read A.O. Scott’s comments in the NY TImes about Abrams and this one. Pretty wicked.

      • tom8883

        What I liked about Star Trek tv was that it was mature,
        intelligent—it explored interesting ideas. So yeah, apparently (I haven’t seen Into Darkness) JJ turned Kirk into a child. This may be why Trekkies didn’t flock.

  • RO

    I felt that some of the plot points in this movie were more forced than natural. Khan states that Admiral Marcus wants a militarized star fleet and to start a war with the Klingons, so it’s incredibly lucky and kind of Khan to go to the Klingon homeworld and help Marcus out like that. Especially since previously Khan tried to kill Marcus. And how often does a guy who wants to kill his enemy help out his enemy?
    While I did enjoy a lot of the relationship conflict within the crew, I was very dissapointed with the lazy writing around certain scenes. Some of which are taken right out of the previous flick and then a whole scene taken right out of Star Trek The Wrath of Khan. It wasn’t original, bold or very creative. Well performed, but I was under the impression that JJ wanted to show us something new? Yet we were getting quite a bit of the same.
    What I will give props to is that this movie actually played with a bit more of a moral challenge than the previous one, but it was eventually buried under the setpieces that were driven more so by it’s action sequence than anything really emotional.
    I was also annoyed that Kirk looses his command then becomes first officer so fast that he really doesn’t have time to expereince those consequences, and neither does the audience. It felt more like way to round out the film to a 2 hour flick than a solid story.

    • lisap

      I actually thought that the motivation of Admiral Marcus was one of the problems of this movie….among many. I agree, not very original…not very creative…and some of the shots were direct lifts from the previous movie. The scene for example with the Enterprise rising out of the clouds. There were so many scenes like this, it kept me from actually getting into the movie. Actually…the movie this reminded me most of….Galaxy Quest….but that was supposed to be referential!

  • TruckDweller

    There was a solid amount of wit and playfulness throughout that kept me going. I’m also not a huge fan of the Trek-verse and I think the comedy and personal plots that come with the Abrams reinterpretation keeps me interested in the films.

    I’m not sure the twists were all that hard to see coming either. Felt a bit like a buddy cop movie in plotting: By the book partner reports wild card genius rookie who loses his badge. Badness goes down that re-ups the rookie who is forced to catch the criminal. Turns out there is a bigger caper to solve that implies why they wanted to keep rookie down in the first place. Rookie learns why rules are important. By the book learns why sometimes rules need to be broken. Bleh. Thankfully, there’s some great acting, action, clever wit, and star-wars audition material to keep everything interesting.

  • Writer451

    I’m a Trekkie/Trekker and cringe at the idea of a Star Wars guy (Abrams) putting his greasy paws all over Star Trek. Abrams is an action and explosions kinda guy, so Star Wars is a much better fit for him. Star Trek is more intellectual and nuanced, perhaps better suited for the Nolan brothers.

    A lot of people felt that the PROMETHEUS script was a lot better before Lindelof did a re-write. I wonder if that’s the same case here.

    • http://twitter.com/kinnygraham Graham

      I think you’ve got to give props to Abrams for the way he re-booted this, and for – dare I say it – expanding the audience for a ‘Trek’ movie.

      But I do also like your suggestion of turning this over to someone else now. It ends with them heading out on their ‘five year mission’. So they can tell any kind of story they want to from here on in and another director or writer could really add a different slant now.

    • garrett_h

      I agree 100%, Abrams wasn’t the best choice for this. At the time, it looked like Star Wars wasn’t coming back. And if it did, it would have been Lucas’ thing. So it’s almost like Abrams said, “Welp, I can’t do Star Wars. Might as well do Star Trek!” And it resulted in him bastardizing it.

      I think the Nolan’s would have been good, if at times they go a little TOO dark.

      My choice would have been Neil Blomkamp. District 9 was one of the best sci-fi films of recent years. It was smart, and included some social commentary, just like the original Star Trek. IMO he would have been a perfect fit.

      • http://twitter.com/kinnygraham Graham

        Not saying you are wrong re Blomkamp, but you could also say that ‘District 9′ – while including social commentary – also had quite a noticeable video game style vibe. That doesn’t fit so well for ‘Trek’ imo.

        Maybe ‘true’ Trek is best served in a TV format and left there…..

        • garrett_h

          True, District 9 was a bit “gamey” but there were some grounded moments that I think would have worked well with the tone of Trek. We will never know though. I’m sure they’ll pass off the next round of Trek films to one of Abrams’ cronies.

          With Trek’s rocky history in film, you may be right. It’s probably best on TV.

  • http://twitter.com/kinnygraham Graham

    FURTHER SPOILERS

    DON’T BITCH ABOUT HOW YOU WEREN’T WARNED

    Carson – was just wondering what you thought about the decision to not only ‘resurrect’ Khan, but to attempt to replicate one of the most moving scenes from the original ‘Wrath of Khan’ movie – the scene where Spock sacrifices himself and dies in a radioactive chamber just inches away – through protective glass – from Kirk?

    Now I don’t consider myself a Star Trek fan. I’m more of a general sci-fi fan who takes a passing interest in the franchise, but who is not an obsessive about it. Like, not love, in other words. But I will tell you this, that scene in the original movie made – and can continue to make – this grown man cry. It’s one of the classic male friendship/bromance moments. And I’m not just talking about in science-fiction. I’m talking about in anything, war movies, dramas you name it. When Spock says something like ‘I have been, and always will be, your friend’…..and they ‘touch’ through the glass. Oh man……I’m off again……

    *pulls it together*

    Anyway, I thought it was a slight misjudgement for ‘Into Darkness’ to try to replicate that. They change it up – reversing the characters’ positions so that it’s Kirk who’s dying, and I can see what they were aiming for. A homage/tribute to the original scene (with echoes of E.T. to boot). But I don’t think it quite works. It’s a decent effort and the writing iirc is ok, though not quite as good, but the main reason is the new pairing don’t have the same ‘history’ to the viewer as the originals did – three TV seasons worth and a prior feature together. In ‘Wrath of Khan’ they are ‘mature’ versions of the characters too. They have been through a hell of a lot together in other words and the emotion of that parting moment is earned. And unfortunately makes the version in this a little/lot weaker for the comparison…..

    Overall it’s a minor criticism as I think the movie worked for the most part – and I have confidence that Mr Abrams can work some magic on the Star Wars universe too. I just hope he goes for completely original ‘moments’ instead of trying to ‘recreate’ the magical moments of the originals.

    • Jim

      Ha! You must have been writing yours the same time as I was writing mine – same thoughts about the reversal of character “destinies” from the original.

  • Jim

    JJ tried to warp speed through too many plot holes.

    For starters, why couldn’t Spock be beamed to and fro the volcano? Maybe I missed something. Anyway, spoilers ahoy.

    Prime Directive makes no sense. So, we’re thrown into an encounter with a species we’re suppose to feel some sort of empathy and want to see survive vs. the survival of characters we’re suppose to care about, too. Didn’t happen and was a missed opportunity for real drama with having to make a choice between two things one either wants, or doesn’t. And why would you leave one of your own behind for this, anyway? It just feels like such a forced, false story point.

    Moving right along…

    Robocop wanting to blow away Kirk’s ship and entire crew makes no sense, either. If there’s a prime directive on encounters with a primitive civilization, then one would think that the advanced civilization would act a little more… civilized to one of their own. How did the admiral earn his position with such a broken moral compass? Or perhaps it was just another forced plot point.

    In Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, Spock dies and it felt like a genuine moment. Here, the story reverses the role with Kirk, but did anyone NOT on the Enterprise really think Kirk was dead? Again, forced story point that plays more toward the audience’s recollection of years of Star Trek shows and movies as we’ve only seen Spock and Kirk batter in not even two full movies of this iteration. In essence, the series hasn’t earned this moment.

    And what was the whole bit of the Khan revelation good for other than winking at the audience? It meant absolutely nothing to the characters because there was no real history to them.

    Then there’s the whole issue with chasing Khan because of his special healing abilities – doesn’t the rest of his crew already on board the ship have similar capabilities? Oh wait… it wouldn’t be dramatic as they’re essentially popsicles.

    I didn’t hate the movie per se, but for what is suppose to be the epitome of intelligent sci-fi, this had me believing “beam me up, Scottie” is just another euphemism for taking a hit from a bong.

  • JakeBarnes12

    SPOILERS!!

    The movie had strong CHARACTER throughlines for both Kirk and Spock. In other words they both had clear FLAWS they needed to overcome. Or, to say it yet one more way, there were two clear THEMES being developed all the way to the end.

    It’s established early that Kirk needs to learn to put aside his cockiness and understand that the job requires sacrifice. When he’s outgunned by Weller’s ship Kirk learns that he must be ready to sacrifice himself to save his crew. Near the end, he acts on that realization by giving his life to restart the engines.

    It’s also established that Spock is controlling his emotions not out of logic but emotional trauma — he was hurt so badly by the loss of his mother and the destruction of Vulcan that he has shut himself off emotionally. He needs to learn that his is no way to live a full life, and he does so when confronted by Kirk dying; he allows himself to feel pain at Kirk’s death and anger towards Kahn. Through this, he becomes a more complete person.

    It’s these character flaw/thematic spines that take us through Abrams’ “mystery boxes,” though even here I’d suggest the plot is hardly serpentine. Yes, a second bad guy is introduced (Weller), but he is responsible for Kahn’s return and motivates Kahn’s desire for revenge. These are plot twists, not pointless distractions. It’s a far cry from a messy plot like “Spider-Man 3.”

    I can only imagine that the interlude on the Klingon planet, as well as Weller’s dire warnings about an upcoming war, is setting up a huge confrontation with the Klingons in the third movie.

    Bring it on!

    • Michael

      From a screenwriting point of view the dual character arcs are the best part of the film, especially how the flaws are the inverse of each other. One is undisciplined and the other is a slave to discipline.

      Unfortunately, the writer’s derived the core of the story from mashing Wrath of Khan with The Undiscovered Country, which made it all too familiar and unoriginal. By the end of the movie it felt like they were beating us over the head with their arcs. And as Graham pointed out, the younger versions of these characters haven’t earned the audience’s sympathy that the older versions get in Wrath of Khan.

      I still liked the movie and would recommend it for a fun distraction.

  • DD

    Total agree with Carson on this one. I LIKED it. But constantly felt like I was on a moving platform of storm and couldn’t get my footing. That whole middle section with (SPOILER) starfleet commander going to destroy the enterprise and then having to use Khan to track him down and then Khan becoming the bad guy again was SUPER disorienting. It was so much action and story to keep up with while at a breakneck pace. That said, the character work was great, the dialouge was memorable, and the film was definitely made by professionals. I think JJ will do a fantastic job with Star Wars based on this franchise.

    • DD

      by storm I mean STORY.

  • http://www.facebook.com/devinmckay Devin McKay

    First, I want to say I’m generally not a hater. People see movies for a variety of reasons and the screenplay is just one of them. I paid full freight for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” just to see the giant robo-worm chew that skyscraper into two. And I felt like my money was well spent. Michael Bay is an innovator of visual bombast. But Abrams’ Into Darkness was so painful to watch. Rather than beauty or wonder, you get lens flare and Michael Bay cutting speed without Michael Bay imagery. Nothing really looked new. Everything felt like a rehash, not only of the Star Trek universe, but of every recent sci-fi actioner as well.

    Worse, I could taste the screenwriting gears turning. And screenwriting gears don’t taste good. Every “setup & payoff”. Every “conflict for drama’s sake”. Every “coincidence but only if it makes things harder on the hero”. It’s all these things Carson advises but taken to the nth degree so that you see all the stitching and none of the tapestry. The worst part, though, was when Kirk becomes an “active character” by giving the warp core a Sopranos style “brogan adjustment”. Really… you’re going to kickstart an engine in 2200? Cringe.

    Earlier in the day, I just happen to be chopping out pieces from “No Country For Old Men” as part of studying particularly effictive scenes and I found myself forgetting what I was doing and watching the whole movie through, TWICE! It’s that good. I had an active internet connection and a fridge full of free food and completely forgot what I was doing and just watched. Most of the same tricks are there, but they are wielded with such care you hardly notice them. And that’s the goal, right?

    • carsonreeves1

      I didn’t quite feel that the way you did – but I like the phrase “could taste the screenwriting gears turning. And screenwriting gears don’t taste good.” I see that a ton!

      • blue439

        Yes, it’s as if there were a screenwriting checklist of things that had to happen. All the required boxes were check, but the result is the WHOLE did not feel organic in the slightest. Same villain, same motivation, even literally the same scene (with characters reversed) played much better in Wrath of Khan. This could have been titled Wrath of Kirk but it just doesn’t feel satisfying at the end even if logically it makes sense. The screenwriter must have been a Vulcan.

        P.S. Isn’t it too early in the reboot series to be so creatively bereft that the writers resort to lifting scenes whole cloth from earlier Star Trek movies? It works with Wrath of Khan because the theme of that movie (stated repeatedly) is “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of a few.” So it makes sense that Spock sacrifices himself to save the entire crew. Spock says it in Darkness, too, but it’s Kirk who sacrifices himself. WTF? I just get the feeling that the story was retrofitted to have all these reference moments included just because JJ Abrams wanted them in, not because they were organic to the story, resulting in a jumbled, stop and go rhythm to the movie. The most egregious example of this to me outside of the scene lift is the running jokes, mostly about Spock’s lack of emotion. In the original series/movies it felt like humor that evolved from real character tension. Here, they felt like JOKES — as in, let’s make fun of Spock, Bones, Kirk, etc.

        • blue439

          Anybody else feel that Benedict Cumberbatch, while a very fine actor, was miscast? Khan as described and previously portrayed is a wildman FIRST and intelligent and cunning SECOND. Here, it’s reversed. Khan here looks like he gets manicures every day he’s so well groomed. But possibly because of the “he’s one of ours” gone bad terrorist angle they had to cast a white guy, albeit a Brit. The cart before the horse again. Again, bad guy as terrorist is not a terribly fresh idea. A shame Benicio Del Toro didn’t end up doing the role.

    • filmklassik

      I suspect filmmakers from Hollywood’s “golden age” would have been unsatisfied by NO COUNTRY’s determination to subvert audience expectations. The confrontation between pursuer and pursued never materialized even though the plot led inexorably in that direction.

      But post-modern audiences (many of them) seemed to LOVE this deconstructive approach to narrative.

      Many of my smarter, more sophisticated friends loved it.

      My wife loved it.

      My brother loved it.

      Plenty of people loved it.

      But I didn’t love it. In fact I was furious by the big, upraised middle finger McCarthy and the Coen Bros. seemed to delight in giving to their audience — and still am.

      Narrative imperatives exist and HAVE EXISTED for thousands of years for a reason. Yes, you can ignore them… but it’s like leaving the sugar out of the Pecan Pie. Granted we weren’t expecting it, but it still tastes like shit.

      • tom8883

        Unless it makes you see things in a way you didn’t before and this gives you satisfaction.

    • Somersby

      What IS it with J.J. Abrams and lens flare? I haven’t seen Star Trek, but lens flare was an intentional and constant distraction in Super 8. (That said, it was probably the best thing about that film.)

      …I’m not sure what Abrams intention is by using it. The playwright Bertolt Brecht used signs and posters during the action of his plays to keep his audience distanced. He wanted to remind them over and over that they were watching a play. If he didn’t, he feared they might experience an emotional catharsis, thus robbing them of the will to take political action when the play was finished.

      But Super 8 and Star Trek are hardly the kind of film that provoke political action.

      So why the incessant lens flare? Is it simply to put his personal signature on the project?

      If so, somebody needs to tell him to stop.

  • garrett_h

    I wasn’t blown away by Star Trek. And I actually had the opposite reaction to the plot that Carson did. I felt it jumped around way too much. It became convoluted and hard to follow.

    Also, one MAJOR problem for me was having Khan tied up for half the movie. He’s this big bad dangerous villain yet they caught him right away and instead of him doing evil villain things he’s captive on the Enterprise. Then they bring in another villain who we’re supposed to hate and be afraid of. But they already spent their script real estate setting up Khan, and didn’t have time to sufficiently build up this new threat. So for me, it didn’t work.

    Overall, it was a fun movie. But as a Trek fan I was greatly disappointed. And from a screenwriting standpoint, I thought Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof could have done much, much better.

    • blue439

      Yes, Khan being captured early reminded me of Javier Bardem bein captured early in Skyfall so he could get access to Mi6. Here, Khan (somehow) knows Marcus is going to bring his crew to him in the torpedos.

      • garrett_h

        Yeah, it made sense in Skyfall. He had to get access to M and also the MI6 system. Here it was random. Almost like they made up plot points as they went along and hoped they would “fit” or that we wouldn’t notice they made no sense at all.

  • UrbaneGhoul

    I say most Trek fans did go, it’s everyone else who didn’t. I thought Abrams could’ve just revealed he was Khan from the beginning. I thought Cumberbatch sounded like Patrick Stewart in the movie and was him from the future coming back to get revenge on Kirk. “You ruined the timeline.!”

  • jridge32

    So, “Iron Man 3″ underwhelmed, and “Star Trek” just barely didn’t. Can’t say I’m looking forward to any of the summer releases.

    Can someone please make “Dogs of Babel” already?

  • http://twitter.com/KennyNOL Will Vega

    “Kirk will have to decide who’s more dangerous here – Sherlock Holmes or Robocop – and stop them”

    Fix’d. And for the record, I’d be more concerned about Sherlock Holmes as my adversary.

  • carsonreeves1

    Yeah, I’m not sure it was all that important to the story as much as he wanted it to be a surprise to Trek fans.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dave.sarnecki Dave Sarnecki

      Seems it backfired.

  • carsonreeves1

    Exactly. It’s like they give a credit to the assistant’s assistant and not to the guy who figured out how to get the 2nd act back on track so the movie was actually enjoyable.

  • TruckDweller
  • WhizViz

    If there’s anything more unpredictable, it’s Carson’s reviews. You ripped Iron Man but give Star Trek a free pass?

    While I felt the first Trek took smart risks, such as creating an alternate universe, this one played it safe and was just a re-hash of old Trek movies. Why would JJ and the team limit themselves to re-telling old story lines when they have any other possibility? You’ve got an entire universe of characters and situations to use. Use them!

    –Old Spock to Young Spock scene — how lazy of writing is that? You didn’t see Marty McFly give himself pointers.

    –They should have taken a cue from Star Wars, let Kahn get away. Would have been much more interesting then the nice little wrap up they did with this one. I felt Spock chasing after Kahn was more of a let down/decline in challenge than destroying that other ship and saving the falling Enterprise. Visually wasn’t interesting to watch Spock/Kahn, nor was it satisfying.

    –I couldn’t enjoy the whole Kirk/Spock scene because you could tell from a mile away that they’d bring him back with Kahn’s blood. I haven’t even seen any of the original Star Trek movies either, it was just so blatant, much like Pepper Potts’ survival in IM3.

    –Then there’s the Klingons. They keep mentioning them while the Enterprise is floating outside their planet — and they don’t ever visit. Not a satellite, a drone, nothing. They look like idiots. They could have easily upped the suspense by having some sort of small ship investigate them. ANYTHING.

    I actually saw Lindelof this last week at a filmmakers panel. Seems like a nice guy, but his stuff over promises and under delivers. Always disappointed. This movie had so much potential, but I feel most of it is forgettable.

  • SinclareRose

    I love Star Trek. Big fan. Mostly of The Next Generation. But I think Abrams and the writing team do a good job of setting up their alternate timeline of the Star Trek world. It was fun. We had some laughs. It had moments. It would have made more sense if the writers and director were Star Trek fans, but what can you do.
    I’d love to know the thoughts of the Roddenberry’s on these films. I’ll have to see if Jr.’s written anything about the newest one. In his documentary, he had a chance to interview Abrams and he said he loved the first film. It’s sad that Gene and Majel passed away and are unable to have their hands on these somehow.
    There were two things in the movie that I can’t get over. Kirk is arguing with Kahn in sick bay then all of a sudden, it’s almost like he breaks character, he turns to Bones and asks what he’s doing with the tribble. It was very out of nowhere, a bad and obvious set-up, and I couldn’t imagine anyone would think Kirk was going to stay dead after hearing this. The other thing was when the blonde doctor (forgive me, I can’t think of her name at the moment) decides she needs to change in front of Kirk. Why was that needed in the story at all? How did it progress the story? Both of those two-second interactions felt cheap to me. I haven’t seen Wrath of Kahn in ages, so I don’t remember if either if these were in the original, but if they were they could have done something better this time around.

  • carsonreeves1

    Yeah, I figured I may have got that wrong. I just wanted to convey he was in charge.

    What was the third act stealing from?

    • http://www.facebook.com/justin.olson.3388 Justin Olson

      Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan — Spock’s death scene primarily, including direct lifts of dialogue. Also, the character of Carol Marcus who was invented for that film (and not by Gene Roddenberry). Story by Harve Bennett and Jack B. Sowards, Screenplay by Jack B. Sowards and Nicholas Meyer (uncredited).

      • JakeBarnes12

        It’s called an homage. :)

  • sweetvita

    Grendl! Just got home and checked my email – no script ;( Then I realized that I flopped my email addy… not only am I precious, but I can be a bit of a ditz, too – lol. Please try to send me your script again at the addy below.

    sunsetandhollywood at reachone dot com.

  • tom8883

    Regarding the drastic and constant plot changes without a clear overarching goal:
    The only way to make this work is to make sure everything (motivated character-driven plot) connects through theme. Action blockbusters are usually not very good because even with goals they are ultimately an episodic string of explosions.

  • Kirkusm

    Anyone have the script for INTO DARKNESS?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.sarnecki Dave Sarnecki

    Spock clearly states that the Admiral and Kirk are forgetting that there’s no law that says a man can die without a trial. The only thing more important than orders to spock is Starfleet regulation. He doesn’t disobey either, he just states his logical opinion to Kirk and allows him to choose.

  • maxi1981

    Lindelof lost my vote after fucking up Prometheus with his ‘script doctoring’…*cough*…I will wait until this comes out on DVD.. I’m still amazed at how bad Prometheus was considering Ridley Scott was behind it.

    Plus agree with what others said that this one was always going to be a hard act to follow at the box office knowing that movies like Iron Man 3, Great Gatsby, Spring breakers, Place Beyond the Pines and Hangover 3 and all currently showing.

    • bluedenham

      I re-watched Prometheus the other day while I was editing some work, and it came off even worse than the first time. Since I’d already seen the stunning visuals, the poor plot choices, contradictions, and massive holes became even more glaring. Underneath all the glitz is a stupendously stupid movie.

      I’m curious as to why (WHY???) they would bring Lindelof onto Star Trek. Oh, that’s right – he’s Abram’s man. It makes me fear for Star Wars.

      • http://twitter.com/carlosybarra2 carlos ybarra

        Lindelof is a mediocre writer who has been smart enough to tie his wake to the comet JarJar Abrams. The problem is that the comet is about to crash. Wait till you see the crime against cinema that will be Star Wars VII…

  • http://twitter.com/kinnygraham Graham

    Agree – more Peter Weller ! When/if Americans tire of making their bad guys upper class Englishmen I think Mr Robocop has great prospects for a career revival. Wonderful ‘character’ features/face on the man….

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1588896122 Rich Drees

      Hey! He’s not Mr. Robocop, he’s Dr. Buckaroo Banzai!

  • Radu Huciu

    I’m not a Trekkie and I haven’t seen Trek 2 yet. I’m just here to throw in my two cents about JJ and Lindelof and the only phrase I can attribute to both of them is “hook ‘em”. That’s not to say they’re bad at what they do, they just seem to focus excessively on “how can we hook them now? Wait, I know, a polar bear!” (ahem, Lost reference) I love their enthusiasm and some of their choices are great, but all their cinematic endeavors seem to be about hooking / teasing the audience. And while hooking / teasing is fine, the problem comes with the payoff. It’s easy to hook / tease, most writers can do it, it’s just a hell of a lot harder to pay that tease off. And that’s where I think they fail. Too focused on the tease, not enough attention to the payoff. That’s me anyway.

  • Xarkoprime

    Honestly I feel like this movie is getting so much undeserved hate.

    This is not a REMAKE of the originals. JJ and Lindelof did not make it as such. It takes place in an alternate timezone/universe. What happened in Wrath of Khan doesn’t have to happen in Into Darkness. As for ripping off the franchise, well, you’re in the VAST minority of people who say that. This movie was well received and it made a decent amount of money too.

    Carson, I felt the opening scene set up quite a bit. 1) an action scene to start allows for more exposition to fire up a story in the scenes following it. 2) Kirk and Spock’s flaws were established quite clearly. And 3) I’m not sure how you were confused about what was going on… The scene was a matter of 9-10 minutes and it made sense. Mini-mystery box maybe? Why is Spock in the active volcano? Well, it’s all explained and I thought it was pretty straight forward.

    This was one of my fav movies, I can’t believe some of the hate its getting.

  • JAW

    This is obviously a screenwriting forum, but there’s never really enough talk about what happens outside of the script that really makes a film. And, this is obviously first and foremost, the TRAILER. I view the marketing and trailer as the step to get people in the seats and if the script itself is worth its weight in brads, then I believe that can create the “legs” everyone loves to talk about.
    Silver Linings Playbook versus Identity Thief is a good example. Playbook has the better writing, but Thief has better marketing. Both made more than $130M, but Playbook needed more than 16 weeks, Oscar noms and wins, while Thief needed 6 weeks (that’s it). I’m not sure why there’s never talk here about THE IDEA, and how that idea is going to give marketing the ability to create an “original” trailer, but I think it’s important.
    I believe Trek didn’t fill more seats because the trailer didn’t give the audience an original storyline, didn’t give them imagery they haven’t already seen, and there wasn’t a hook. What question do we want answered by watching this film? Is the bad guy or good guy going to win? Sorry, not a good question because we already know the answer going in. It’s really about what happens in between and what happened in this film wasn’t good at all.

    The characterization in this film was so overtly opposite for Kirk & Spock that it wasn’t even close to natural and while most audiences don’t really give a shite about this, it does speak to the connection made with the audience and if these are characters resonate with them in a way that makes them root for them. And, this is where the Hollywood structure fails itself. Because someone is sitting there saying, “make them opposite, so they can have arcs that compliment each other.” Great idea, but not uncommon, highly formulaic and definitely not natural in the way it was portrayed. This is what I was talking about C, when I sent you that email stating you should really write an article about how the Hollywood structure with things like this is failing itself. Basically, that’s what every comment is stating here…

    • Malibo Jackk

      Identity Thief has a TITLE that everyone understands.
      It has a CONCEPT that’s new and everyone understands.
      It has two people who we want to see in CONFLICT.

      Silver Linings Playbook — what does that mean?
      Remind me again — what’s the concept??

      • Malibo Jackk

        Was only meaning to suggest that
        — that’s the difference in marketing.

        • JAW

          It is without a doubt ONE of the differences, but if you can tell the story in the trailer and as you stated “everyone understands” then you can actually make up for the name… and there are countless examples. As stated in the post — I felt, as I do often, that the trailer could have been better. Unfortunately, or fortunately, whichever way you look at it, while we love to talk about great writing here, there is so much more that goes into the success of a film.

  • Ken

    The movie looked great, was fast-paced and had great FX. It was superb eye candy and much more fun to watch than Prometheus – but there were lots of plot holes/bad story decisions!

    Here are some:

    (Spoilers)
    They CAN’T beam Spock out of a volcano but Khan can beam himself ACROSS THE GALAXY to a Klingon planet.

    Now that it’s been established that you can beam yourself from one planet to another… why would you need starships like the Enterprise?

    Bones uses Khan’s blood to create a serum that can BRING DEAD PEOPLE BACK TO LIFE. So, I guess we don’t need to fear for the lives of characters in any future Star Trek films. Bye, bye tension.

    Spock doesn’t actually need to keep Khan alive so that Bones can get a sample of his super-blood: there were OVER 70 other superhumans in cryo-storage in the ship!

    The life-giving power of Khan’s blood is illustrated at the start, when it cures the sick girl – so why did the writers think they needed to have Bones seeing a Tribble come back to life to realize this? I think it would’ve been better to have used some clue/revelation about the cured girl as the eureka moment for Bones.

    Why did Khan have to blackmail that Starfleet guy at the beginning anyway? Did he really have to coerce the grieving father into taking the bomb-ring into the Starfleet building? We see Khan wiping out 30 Klingons and 3 of their craft with ease later on – so surely Khan could’ve easily assaulted that Starfleet building in London on his own?

    Showing the Klingons as easily-beatable foes hardly backs-up Weller’s view that they are a big menace.

    Why does Kirk kick Scotty off the ship for refusing to take the torpedoes onboard? When Kirk arrives at the Klingon planet he decides not to use the torpedoes himself anyway.

    I could go on. But, beyond the plot holes, I think that the main problem is the convoluted plot: it really stops making sense the more you think about it:

    Weller finds Khan and unfreezes him and threatens him with the death of the other superhumans if he doesn’t help build death-machines to fight an upcoming war with the Klingons.
    Khan helps build the giant spaceship, etc, but escapes. He attacks Weller, obviously trying to kill him, but Kirk cripples his ‘copter, so Khan beams himself to the Klingon planet.
    Weller asks Kirk to go after Khan – but says he has to use those special stealthy torpedoes so that he doesn’t start a war with the Klingons.
    Kirk chooses not to fire torpedoes and goes down to the planet to get Khan. Khan wipes out some Klingons and allows himself to be taken to the Enterprise. He tells Kirk to check out the torpedoes: his people are inside them! So – did Khan know they weren’t going to be fired? Or did he want the torpedoes to be fired at him and knew they wouldn’t explode? But they do explode later in the story.
    If Khan had killed Weller during his ‘copter attack how would he have gotten his people back? Surely a much neater, cleaner plan would have been for Weller to fire all the superhumans at the Klingon homeworld and let the pissed-off super-killers wipe out the Klingons for him.

    I must stop now before my brain explodes.

    Oh, one more thing: how was Kirk able to use his rinky-dink communicator to phone Scotty in the bar all the way back on Earth?

    Aaargh!

  • Ken

    I really don’t like Damon Lindelof.

  • Scott Strybos

    I had a few issues with the writing. Specifically, staying on point with the theme of the film.

    Kirk’s fatal flaw, which is also the film’s theme, I felt, was explicitly stated at the beginning of the film by Pike: Kirk didn’t ever think about the consequences of his actions. (Peter Weller’s character was facing the consequences of his actions as well–which was manifested physically in Khan.)That is what the first scene was about. Kirk not thinking about the consequences of his actions.

    Which is where I thought the writers were headed with relieving him of his command. This was going to be his personal hell, which taught him his lesson. But then they immediately gave his command back to him.

    And at the end of the film, Kirk’s death was him facing the consequences of these/his
    actions. But Kirk was always willing to sacrifice himself for his ship and crew, so this didn’t really feel like a big change on his part.

    Spock learned the lesson of considering the consequences very early in the film, with the report he filled which led to Kirk being relieved of his command. Through the rest of the
    film, I don’t really know what his character was doing. Yes, at the end he evolved and took on some of Kirk’s characteristics, but it felt incongruous to the rest of the film. Superficial.

    It would have been interesting if Kirk and Spock traded some characteristics, meaning Kirk became more like Spock as Spock became more like Kirk. But this felt more on sided.

    • blue439

      Yeah, that first scene is a paperweight intellectual setup for a nonexistent flaw. It sets up nothing except the joke of the primitive civilization tracing the outline of the Enterprise. Short term thinking. If the writers really wanted to put their writing where their mouths were, they would have had crewmembers dying directly as a result of Kirk’s rash actions, but of course you can’t do that.

  • Jonathan Soens

    I just watched “Regarding Henry” again recently, which Abrams wrote in his early days.

    It’s funny sometimes when you compare a writer’s early work to their later work. I’m not sure at what point Abrams started depending on mysteries, but he wasn’t doing it in “Regarding Henry.” There were little bits to intrigue you, but it wasn’t relying on any mysteriousness of the story. The story was quite straightforward without lots of details being hidden from the audience in a cutesy manner just to dangle a carrot in front of us.

    I love Aaron Sorkin, but his latest material makes me roll my eyes sometimes when he delves into romantic storylines. Because it feels like, at a certain point, he realized audiences were obsessing over the relationships of certain characters in some of his TV shows. And it felt like he interpreted that feedback as being a sign that he is a Golden God of writing romantic relationships, and that he should now dive in head-first with romantic storylines in everything. In actuality, though, one thing that made his first movie “A Few Good Men” so good was that he didn’t get bogged down in a nonsense Caffee-Joanna romance storyline (a mistake 99.9% of people in the business would have made, because of course it’s a no-brainer that you always have to add a love interest storyline). One of the things that allowed “The West Wing” to thrive was that they pretty quickly realized their early attempts to shoehorn love-interest stories (the hooker or Mandy) into the show’s first season were really way less interesting than everything else.

    So, I don’t know what it was in J.J. Abrams’ history that caused people to start giving him tons of great feedback on his ability to pepper his stories with mysteries, but it feels like he’s taken that feedback as an excuse to go crazy with his pepper-shaker. A little seasoning is great for most meals. Too much seasoning can hurt any dish.

  • http://twitter.com/kinnygraham Graham

    Ok – you can kinda do this with all sorts of movies, sci-fi especially. But it’s fun nonetheless :)

    http://io9.com/star-trek-into-darkness-the-spoiler-faq-508927844?utm_source=recirculation&utm_medium=recirculation&utm_campaign=afternoon

    • Michael

      Thanks Graham that was hysterically funny.

      I was going to post about all the inconsistencies but there are too many to bother. I’m glad someone else did.

      The transporter never working when they need it work (like getting Spock out of the volcano), yet the villain can transport halfway across the galaxy to escape; or can only transport someone in one direction to place the action in the right set piece? I lost track of how many times they played that card. It was really lazy writing choices for getting in and out of situations.

      And why is the rest of Starfleet never around? In the first reboot they made up some ridiculous excuse to send a crew of cadets? That would be like having America attacked and turning to West Point to save us. Now they have this epic battle just outside earth’s atmosphere and no one is around to detect the battle or give assistance?

      These guys didn’t even keep the new timeline straight. When they show an establishing shot of the Klingon home world, the moon Plaxis has already exploded. Even in this new timeline that doesn’t happen for another 20 or 30 years. If you are going to ripoff (don’t even think of using homage) everything that was good about the old Star Trek, at least get it right. And if your going to have tribbles, you better close the show with Kirk sitting in the captain’s chair and sitting on one.

    • bluedenham

      This is great.

      It looks like Lindelof et al did the same redic thing with the spaceship he did in Prometheus, except worse. Spaceships don’t land on planets with gravity – much less go underwater! I can’t believe these guys…..

  • garrett_h

    It almost makes me fear the worst for Star Wars.

    The press so far seems like they’re going in a “sequel” direction and continuing the story. But what if they end up doing a “reboot” and we end up with somebody like Taylor Lautner as Luke Skywalker and a “redesigned” Vader? And they rehash major franchise moments like Darth Vader revealing he’s Luke’s father right there in the first film, as they did with the Spock/Kirk death scene from Wrath of Khan this time around.

    I’m starting to think the new Star Wars isn’t in the best hands…

  • Arbos Group

    My thoughts:

    – The beginning was a rip/take/homage to Indiana Jones
    – The commanders scene was straight out of The Godfather 3.
    – Way too many ticking time bombs. They relied on that device way too much. It definitely killed the urgency towards the end. You can only take so many of them.
    – Lazy writing on the Kirk thing towards the end. Really. That’s how they chose to sideline him and bring him back?
    – Pointless scene in the beginning just to set up the cop out in the ending. Seemed like it was tacked on after writing themselves into a corner. Yet another sign of lazy writing.
    – A few plot holes. But I won’t get into those.

    It was like they tried way too hard in some places, and didn’t try hard enough in others.

    Surprised Carson liked this one.

    • http://twitter.com/kinnygraham Graham

      Thanks for the reminder re ‘Godfather 3′. I thought of that as the scene was unfolding in Into Darkness and then forgot about it later.

      Actually I think that scene is one of the reasons why ‘Godfather 3′ remains a poor relation. It’s like something out of Die Hard or mid-eighties Bond (Walken machine-gunning his employees). Totally wrong fit compared to the ‘realistic’ and simpler violence of the other two movies.

  • carsonreeves1

    Lindelof is way more talented than Night. Lol “the butler of Will Smith and his son.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1588896122 Rich Drees

    I have to say that I found the reprise of the death scene from WRATH OF KHAN to be the laziest thing in an already lazy and sloppy script. I don’t think that the film earned the emotions it wanted to evoke and it felt like they were hoping that fans’ feelings about the original would carry over to this one. Total backfire.

  • Christopher Pendergraft

    Okay… so a lot of people here paid no attention to the smaller parts of the movie. Did your eyes gloss over when there wasn’t much action? Most of the “plot holes” were explained either very quickly, or required a knowledge of Trek (which I’ll forgive those who didn’t know). Taking this from a list of “plot holes” below:

    I. Now that it’s been established that you can beam yourself from one planet to another… why would you need starships like the Enterprise?

    In “Star Trek” (2009) Old Spock brought the transwarp formula from the future and gave it to Young Scotty so he could beam himself and Kirk to the Enterprise while it was at warp. In “Star Trek Into Darkness,” Scotty tells Kirk that Starfleet confiscated his transwarp formula (realizing the danger to the Federation), and accuses them of giving it to John Harrison. This occurred in Scotty’s resignation scene.

    II. Bones uses Khan’s blood to create a serum that can BRING DEAD PEOPLE BACK TO LIFE. So, I guess we don’t need to fear for the lives of characters in any future Star Trek films. Bye, bye tension.

    It can only bring them back if there’s any brain function. That’s why Bones had to put Kirk in the cryotube, leading to the next “plot hole” …

    III. Spock doesn’t actually need to keep Khan alive so that Bones can get a sample of his super-blood: there were OVER 70 other superhumans in cryo-storage in the ship!

    Earlier in the movie, Kirk asks Bones if he can revive any of the augments in the cryotubes. Bones replies that he could, but it might take some time because “using the wrong sequence” to awaken them could possibly kill them.

    IV. The life-giving power of Khan’s blood is illustrated at the start, when it cures the sick girl – so why did the writers think they needed to have Bones seeing a Tribble come back to life to realize this? I think it would’ve been better to have used some clue/revelation about the cured girl as the eureka moment for Bones.

    We knew Khan’s blood had regenerative powers, but who knew it could restore necrotic tissue? My issue with the whole tribble thing was the fact that they’re still using animal testing far in the future. But, fair point.

    etc. etc.

    I’m a huge Trekker and I’m not exactly happy with the way Abrams is handling Trek, but let’s point out REAL plot holes, not our failings to watch the movie closely. Failings like:

    I. Kirk’s first encounter with the Tribbles took place during their five-year-mission, which occurs AFTER STID. The tribbles shouldn’t be there.

    II. Distances are WAY off in the movie. It takes weeks to reach Qo’noS (which they spelled as Kronos), not minutes.

    III. Starships can’t fire phasers at warp. It’s not scientifically possible. Phasers are also sustained beams of light, not “blasts.” It makes no sense — ever put your hand under a hot lamp? Notice how it took a good 30 seconds for your hand to get hot? But, speaking of warp…

    IV. Hitting a ship at warp means it falls to pieces.

    And more. People think we’re being nitpicky, but warp speed / phasers / etc. are all based off REAL theoretical physics. Google how warp speed in Star Trek works — modern physicists believe that ftl travel is attainable using the same method.

    But blahdy blah. I’m done. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Sarnecki/514088205 David Sarnecki

    File the report to whom? Their orders are from the head of the Fleet, he can’t go any higher.

  • Ken

    Can you remember who put the superhumans into the torpedoes and why?

    • http://twitter.com/jonathonburns Jonathon Burns

      Harrison/Khan put them there to try to save them. Why?

      • http://twitter.com/jonathonburns Jonathon Burns

        “There are men and women in all those torpedoes. I put them there.” – John Harris

        • Ken

          How would doing this save them?

          • http://twitter.com/jonathonburns Jonathon Burns

            He put them in instead of fuel cells in hopes of smuggling them out. But he was discovered and had to run. He never intended them to be used.

          • Ken

            I think this just shows how muddled the plotting was for the movie: it’s just luck that brings Khan back into possession of the torpedoes. Kirk could’ve decided to fire them, or Scotty could’ve persuaded Kirk not to put them onboard in the first place. And why would Weller’s character want to give them to Kirk: wasn’t he better off just destroying the torpedoes?
            A far better plot would’ve been Weller wanting to use the super-humans as WMDs that he fires at the Klingon homeworld via the torpedoes.

  • Writer451

    This was the most convoluted plot I’ve seen since the first X-FILES movie when they decide to hide the infected bodies — not by burning them out in the desert in fashion that’s cheap and easy and will never make headlines — but by putting them in the federal building in Dallas and then blowing it up.

    Seriously, why would you put all of Kahn’s super dangerous genetically enhanced cohorts into torpedoes and then give them the opportunity to escape by putting them on a rogue/reckless captain’s ship and then sending him across the universe? That would be like stuffing Khaled Sheik Mohammed to a missile and sending him back to Pakistan.