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5 reasons the newest Star Trek flick doesn't measure up to 'Wrath of Khan'



Star Trek: Into Darkness owes a lot of its greatness to the '80s and specifically Stark Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. But is it superior? Hardly.

I can't believe I waited nearly a month to see it in theaters AND still managed not to discover any of the plot line. So on Saturday, I sat in a nearly empty theater to see it on an IMAX screen and in 3D. Twenty minutes into it, I was fighting to stay awake. Why? Read on, but before that if you haven't seen the movie yet, there are spoilers below.


1. NO ATTITUDE: The new Khan - Benedict Cumberbatch - is an exceptional actor. As TV's Sherlock Holmes, Cumberbatch knows no equal. But the character of Khan, as we grew to love him in the original series and the 1982 movie, had a degree of haughtiness that either J.J. Abrams decided to ignore or Cumberbatch decided to abandon.

2. THOSE STUPID CAPS: Never before in Star Fleet history has anyone wore a military cap. And yet, during Into Darkness, those stupid caps are trotted out a dozen times. I know this sounds like a ludicrous quibble, but I can't burn the image of Spock's pointy ears nearly lifting his headgear out of place.

3. EVERYONE DIES: You know, when a character like James T. Kirk says, "I haven't lost a single crewmate!" ... well, you know he just jinxed it. The body count in Into Darkness probably would require a calculator. And sure, I shed a few tears when Pike was killed. But hell, hadn't they seen the scene from Godfather III when Joey Zasa takes out the whole syndicate THE EXACT SAME WAY?

4. PAGING WILLIAM SHATNER: God knows I love seeing Leonard Nimoy getting screen time again. But I know if Bill Shatner could make just one appearance, he'd tell Chris Pine two things: Don't be afraid to overact ... and please comb your hair.

5. THE NEEDS OF THE MANY ...: Oh, I got chills seeing the whole Spock-Kirk death scene reversed. Somehow, though, I actually laughed out loud (I never write "LOL'd") when Spock got the chance to cry out "Khan!" It was brave and reverent of Abrams to keep the dialogue here nearly identical to the original. That's what had eyes bursting forth like Niagra Falls. And yet, long before that Tribble began coming to life again, I knew how this one was going to end. Because in Hollywood, the needs of the few -- the studios -- outweigh the needs of the many -- the fans.

[Last modified: Monday, June 10, 2013 8:52am]


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