I’m seeing a lot about the sexism in Star Trek, Into Darkness. Mostly about the gratuitous scene of Carol Marcus stripping. And I agree, that was annoying and sexist and just plain cheesy and really badly written, to boot.
But what really bothered me was the utter failure of this movie to pass the Bechdel test, either literally or in spirit. This is a vision of the future in which men are in charge and women are present only in token numbers. In the sequence featuring a room full of command Star Fleet staff, I don’t recall seeing one woman; certainly, women weren’t half the people in the room, as they should have been.
There were a couple of nice touches – Uhura participating a bit in an action sequence (which felt a little bit like token participation, actually, but much better than if she hadn’t participated at all), a seemingly genderqueer crew member on the Enterprise bridge. But on the whole, this was just crap thinking and bad art. It doesn’t take much effort to hire some female extras for the Star Fleet commanders scene, for example. They either consciously wanted to show a male-dominated world, or they simply didn’t give a damn about what the world they were creating was like.
It is bad art, and shows a significant failure of imagination, to show a utopian future with a world government in which nearly every character that matters is either a white man, or a white man’s girlfriend.
* As for the rest of the movie; I love Scotty. I love Scotty’s fear that Starfleet’s brief was being changed from exploration to military. I love that Scotty actually has
* Sulu was cool, wish they did more with him. McCoy was funny.
* Some okay action set pieces, although most of the fighting was dull and by rote.
* The actor who plays Spock is really enjoyable to watch. Some nice relationship work between Kirk and Spock.
* Mainly, though, this movie is about the action, which makes it unfortunate that almost none of the action was actually memorable. The best thing was a few moments of Spock running after the villain, which were nicely shot to convey that the two men were running really, really hard. Nothing else sticks in the memory a couple days later.
* Between this movie, the Avengers, and Skyfall, I’m getting tired of “bad guy intentionally gets captured” second acts. Yeah, it’s a convenient way to let the hero and the baddie have some nice face to face talking time, but enough already.
* Lots of jumping from high platforms to lower platforms, just like Iron Man 3. Is this a thing now?
* So many parts of the plot made no sense. Like Spock having to go into the volcano with the bomb to set it off; does the Federation really not have “timer” technology? Or remote controls? Or all those times that it was conveniently impossible to beam the bad guy up, but perfectly easy to beam the good guy down to five feet away from the bad guy so they could have a fight – even if the bad guy is standing on top of a speeding hover car. Or why the heck do you load 72 missiles onto a ship to kill only one man. Also, if we now have a cure for death, that should come up in future films – but I bet it won’t.
* The most interesting parts of the film were the (spoiler alert!) constant comparisons to, and reversals of, Wrath of Khan. But although that’s the best thing about Into Darkness, it’s also unfortunate, because Wrath of Khan is better than Into Darkness in pretty much every way imaginable, so the comparisons just remind me of what a bleak and uninteresting film Into Darkness is. It’s Star Trek with more expensive effects and zero sense of wonder. Who wants that?
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