There are times when you just need to know things about a movie before you see it. My enjoyment or even desire to see a franchise film is often based on what they do with the story. I'm a long time Star Wars and Star Trek fan and so certain key aspects of the new Star Trek film have seriously pissed me off, to the point of where I feel it is my responsibility to share.
Having started out with Star Wars before migrating to Star Trek (the movies hooked me before I actually got to enjoy the entire original series, then Deep Space Nine and Voyager lost me) and then back to Star Wars, I've experienced the movies as they came out and have a pretty reasonable view of how good or bad they are. Prior to this reboot, Star Trek Generations was the only one I found unacceptable. I went into this reboot and this sequel with an open mind. The last movie lacked a villain of any character and the story left a lot to be desired, though they did a good job of capturing the original characters, mostly thanks to good casting.
Which brings me to Star Trek Into Darkness. There has been this buildup over who Benedict Cumberbatch's character is. Then they release the name and the hype made no sense. That is until a few people dropped a hint yesterday and then I checked out IMDB and looked up the spoilers for the film, which I had confirmed by someone in Europe has seen it. Cumberbatch is actually Khan Noonian Singh. Yes, that is right. They hired a white English actor to play an Indian. This is at odds for their excellent recasting of the other roles, including Carol Marcus.
So, we have the racist recasting of an Indian with a white guy that isn't revealed until halfway through the movie. From there the movie devolves into lots of action scenes that mimic Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and parts of Star Trek III: The Search For Spock. The did mix it up a bit and reversed Kirk and Spock. Kirk dies and is resurrected while Spock battles their foe and yells, "Khaaaan!" In the end McCoy is able to bring Kirk back to life because of something in Khan's blood. (For more detailed spoilers go here.)
When I found this out last night, I was still willing to give it a shot, but the more I've thought about it the more I've decided I am not going to watch this movie at all. The way my friend in Europe explained it is that if you are a true Star Trek fan, the second half of the movie is terrible. If you aren't, it's a good action flick. It just isn't Star Trek.
I would recommend anyone who likes Star Trek avoid this movie. Wait for it on Netflix, rental, on demand, or something like that where you don't have to pay more than a pittance. This movie may be visually stunning, but J.J. Abrams has again delivered a dud that fails to have a story that makes any sort of sense. Plus the casting of Cumberbatch as Khan is offensive. That really was the tipping point. Ricardo Montalban was at least an ethnicity that could pass for Indian (I know several people from the sub-continent who have been mistaken for Mexican). Cumberbactch isn't even close and they didn't even try.