Star Trek: Into Darkness…

Star Trek: Into Darkness just-watched thoughts, and yes, definitely SPOILERS:

- I found myself bored by the long action sequences, which was actually true of the new Hobbit too. Had to fight not to fall asleep during them, which I'm guessing wasn't Abrams's intent. Perhaps I'm not his target audience, but still. I like a good explosion as much as the next girl, but if there's no actual tension in your long action sequence, what good is it?

- speaking of lack of tension, when they're shooting from one ship to the other, there's NO doubt that the two of them will make it. Oh, maybe Khan will wander off somewhere for a bit, but basically, they're guaranteed to survive that. So don't make it so damn long, okay?

- as for long, ridiculous things, when Spock was chasing Khan through the city, my FIRST thought was, well, if they can beam Spock down, why can't they beam down thirty security guards too? Heck, beam a few down every second or two, just ahead of Khan, and you could have an AWESOME fight scene, if that's what you're looking for, as he kicks ass until finally brought down. And yes, I say this despite really enjoying Uhura standing there, squeezing off stunner shots, one after another. She could be the last one to come down and finish him off, or better, figure out something clever that makes her need to come down, as opposed to now, when there's NO GOOD REASON for the communications officer to beam down. I mean, why her?

- oh, and speaking of tedium -- I really wanted to love the radiation chamber scene. I did. I mean, here I AM your target audience; I sobbed like a baby at the end of ST II. I memorized those lines, as I watched them over and over, incredulous, not believing they'd actually killed off Spock. And so yes, it was awesome the character flip, from Spock doing what he thought Kirk would have done re: getting Khan to Kirk doing what he thought Spock would have done -- that was note perfect. But the scene itself, bizarrely, dragged. A few lines less, a few minutes shorter, and I would have loved it. Even including Spock's surprisingly well-delivered Khaaaaaan!!! I mean, that was hilarious, but I appreciated it. I just never cared about Kirk's death. And I wasn't surprised that it lasted oh, thirty seconds before it was completely undone. Not that you didn't also see it coming with that whole tribble thing. There's foreshadowing, and then there's hitting you over the head with a dilithium-plated hammer.

- finally (although you know I'll have more thoughts on all this tomorrow), Montalban beats Cumberbatch hands down. Montalban didn't have to weep (and wow, there was a lot of crying in this film) in order to convince you of his barely-checked self-righteous rage, his regal hauteur, his grief. Cumberbatch -- bah. You tell me there was no South Asian actor who could do better than Cumberbatch in that role, and I might just spit in your face.

I might talk more about the stuff I liked tomorrow. Mostly the classic Trek characters, whom they're still doing a decent job with. I enjoyed Scotty running. And the ship; I love the Enterprise all sleek and gorgeous, and I feel like they're punching me (in an effective way) when they blow holes in my baby. There were some funny lines here and there, and the Spock / Uhura relationship fight was both funny and sweet. I'm not sorry I saw it; after all, I'm a Trekkie from way back; I couldn't bear NOT to see it.

But I do wish it hadn't been so boring at points.

Update: Oh, one more thing. I actually like the background story with the villain Admiral -- there's some good stuff there about post-9/11 militarization, etc. A cautionary tale for our time, and Spock arguing for the right to due process, and especially Scotty willing to QUIT over it, was awesome.

But the rest of the execution had no heart to it. We didn't meet Klingons, so we didn't care about whether we were going to start a war with them. Starfleet Academy had a Dreadnought plow into it, but we don't care, because it's not specific at all -- we don't see anyone we know hurt or dying. It's just an explosion and some buildings falling down.

The only bit of heart that touched me a bit was in the first explosion, when the captains and first officers are attacked, and they're standing there with the black dust floating around them; that was beautifully done, very 9/11-reminiscent. But yeah, that was it. It could have been so much more.

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