By Sanjeev Selvarajah
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Even though the original series’ 5 year mission hasn’t even begun yet, this second entry of the “rebooted” Star Trek packs a wallop of a punch when you’re not even looking. That fist—coming right at you—intends on making an impression in your face.
Nearly half a century’s history plotted down in two hours isn’t entirely director J.J. Abrams’ fault. The screenplay is shoddy and too cute. The funny thing is that all the lip service applied to Old-Trek’s keesters isn’t going to make an iota of difference to the new generation who were already content with the first installment’s love ballad for 80’s action movies. You have the youth vote, so why change horses midstream and try to placate the minority, the die-hard fans with hips as broken as Shatner’s and Nimoy’s?
Sure, Abrams’ first movie had a few plot holes, but film professors could use that lesson plan as a powerful example of a cinematic cover song that reinterprets and pays homage to the source material simultaneously. Now, with so much good going for it, this second film bequeaths lazy storytelling and a poisonous case of too many chefs ruining a soup with dessert-sugar.
To whoever follows J.J Abrams’ direction of Paramount’s lovely mare: here’s the homework assignment: just attempt a movie as good as 2009’s Star Trek. Then you won’t face the embarrassment when faced with that nerdy but cute high school girl you always dug at your high school reunion.
You have a chance to explore Kirk’s twist at the end of the film. You have a chance to fix the original series mistake made with Son of Kirk. This summer juggernaut tries too hard to be The Wrath of Khan. But Hollywood should give up trying to reinvent the wheel and instead strive to carry mythos by strangling the snake in the cradle. Pray for more successful on-screen presences like Alice Eve and Benedict Cumberbatch. Hold on to the Enterprise’s current crew.
Star Trek Into Darkness, which is an interesting case-in-point, is playing at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square. See it for yourself.