By Matt Fleming and Jarrod Jones. This is the ANTI-MONITOR podcast, where every ship should go down with her captain. This week, the boys strap in for J.J. Abrams’ “I’d rather be doing ‘Star Wars'” sequel misfire, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’. But before they get too deep into the final frontier, Jarrod & Birdy discuss the summer movie season thus far: our feelings, our reviews, the box office… y’know. All that.

As always, be wary for spoilers throughout, and please enjoy.

'Star Trek Into Darkness' (2013)

ANTI-MONITOR: MATT — Here’s a simple fact: the world of tv and film are well served keeping Star Trek around, but only when the carefully constructed universe is honored properly. JJ Abrams’ first foray into the final frontier was a respectable reboot, even if it was a bit heavy on the action and confusing as hell. By the time his second entry came around, it became clear that he has very little reverence for his predecessors. Star Trek Into Darkness takes what didn’t work the first time around and amplifies it, delivering a cosmic bungle.

Another convoluted plot, misdirected fan-service, and an overabundance of murder all manage to keep casual fans and diehard Trekkies from enjoying this stumble of a sequel. Benedict Cumberbatch tries to act some sense into his senseless revival of the iconic Khan, only to suffer from the pointlessness of his character. It seems like Abrams had another galaxy on his mind during this production, because Into Darkness is a distracted mess.

ANTI-MONITOR: JARROD — Holy smokes, did I actively dislike Into Darkness when it was released. Insofar as objectivity goes, I have a really hard time not letting my geek come out when it comes to Star Trek, and J.J. Abrams’ reboot series had my stomach doing backflips in my lower abdomen. And while there were bits of the 2009 Star Trek that I enjoyed (in spite of myself), Into Darkness was my worst fears of a contemporized take of Gene Roddenberry’s series given form.

And it appears I wasn’t the only one. No one looks to be having any fun here, not least of which Chris Pine, who visibly looks uncomfortable sitting in the captain’s chair as he does letting us know his James Tiberius Kirk also doesn’t enjoy it very much. (That’s what you want to see in a Star Trek movie, reticence.) Benedict Cumberbatch could act his way through a cheesesteak hoagie if he had to, but the movie hamstrings him with nearly thirty years’ worth of baggage by attaching him to what is widely considered to be the greatest Star Trek film of all time, The Wrath of Khan. Not only did Into Darkness confirm that Abrams never really cared for Star Trek — he let Roberto Orci sneak some 9/11 Truther bullshit in here, no lie — he was just spinning his wheels until Lucasfilm finally was in a place to make Episode VII. Glad that worked out for everybody.


CONSENSUS:  Star Trek Into Darkness had two jobs: be entertaining and be a Star Trek movie. It fails miserably at both these things. — 3 out of 10

Before: “Is ‘BATMAN FOREVER’ Worthy Of Love? We’re Of Two Minds On The Subject”, here.

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