I’ll confess: I always wanted to be Kirk. When the neighborhood kids were playing Star Trek—this is back in the 1970’s, mind you, before the advent of Star Trek: The Next Generation (a.k.a. Star Trek: Earl Grey Hot)—I actively stumped for the position of being Kirk. I would emote, and emote well. “Spock!” I’d act-shout, dropping to my knees, my hands outstretched before me, beseechingly. “Sp-ahhhhh-ck!” But no one wanted the weird ethnic kid to be Kirk, the all-American all-man from Iowa (played by a Jew from Canada). So I ended up being McCoy. I was an okay McCoy. “I’m a doctor, not a small business owner from Centralia, Illinois!” But still…
I liked the first iteration of the JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot. It was okay. Not great, but okay. I waited patiently for the next episode.
Imagine, if you will, everything you loved about Star Trek, the real Star Trek. Now imagine it being fed to the Cloverfield monster and shit out all over the screen in a glowing white ball that resembles an Apple Store, where all the low-paid pricks derisively snort at you for being a weird middle-aged ethnic guy wearing the Wrong Clothes. Imagine Khan, the wonderful Corinthian-leather-clad Ricardo Montalban, being transformed into the guy from PBS’s Sherlock. Now imagine Spock shouting out “Khan!” instead of Kirk. Imagine that Federation officers (Peter “RoboCop” Weller, for instance) are all dressed up like the officers from the Imperial Fleet from the original Star Wars movies. Imagine Kirk transforming into a bro. You know: The kind of bro who calls you “bro,” bro. High five! Oh, shit, you’ve imagined a horrible movie! And that movie is named Star Trek Into Darkness.
I stopped wanting to be Kirk many years ago. I grew up, went to college, got a job, moved out of my parents’ basement, lost my job, moved back into my parents’ basement, gained 50 pounds, became a vegan, lost 50 pounds, got another job, moved out of my parents’ basement again, got married, got divorced, moved back into my parents’ basement. You know: Lived. My childhood memories became sweetened by comparison with real adult life. I go to movies like Star Trek to relive those faked-up memories—to enjoy an imagined past that didn’t involve my pants being yanked down to my ankles by bros and all the girls laughing and pointing. We all have our own bullshit that we tell ourselves to keep ourselves sane. We want to be Kirk even after we stop wanting to be Kirk. And then Kirk is transformed into the bro who pulled your pants down around your ankles. High five!
I looked into my bank account, discovered a few dollars lurking there, and wandered off to the movies last summer expecting to be entertained. Instead I got Bro-Kirk (high five!), overly emotive Spock, Rule Britannia Khan, and a “Save the Cat” plot that was so predictable once it got going that I nearly fell asleep. I would have, too, but the movie had more explosions than an Afghan wedding party encircled by a fleet of drones. Not to mention the never-ending number of lens flares. It was like having a strobe light flashing into my retinas. I may still have lens flare ghosts dancing in there. Or maybe I need cataract surgery. I can’t tell anymore.
There will be no link to this film in this report, by the way. You have to pay for it, or steal it online. I won’t condone theft. And there is no way that this movie is worth paying for.
I once stood up during a preview of one of the Transformers movies and shouted, “Fuck you, Michael Bay!” and received a round of applause from the audience. At the end of Star Trek Into Darkness, I delivered the same salute to JJ Abrams, and was shushed. Ah, what the fuck. You goddamned people.
Good luck with fucking up Star Wars, JJ. There’s another childhood memory you can feed to the Cloverfield monster. Hey, Hong Kong Phooey is still available. Did you hear that, JJ? You can fuck that up, too!