On the 21st, Paramount released the Star Trek: Into Darkness international trailer.
Then, this morning, J.J. Abrams’ production company’s twitter feed linked to an extended version of the trailer. It’s only several seconds longer than the first – the two are nearly identical. The only difference is that the “extended” one has slightly longer establishing shots with labels telling the viewer which city they are seeing. Therefore, I will cover both trailers in one review.
What to expect from the movie itself so far: explosions, awesome futuristic cities (that aerial shot of Starfleet HQ over nighttime San Fran looks amazing), plus a very Star Wars-y moment in which Kirk flies a ship that is the spitting image of the Millennium Falcon through a very narrow rift/air duct in what may be a space station. Abrams seems to have pulled back somewhat on the lens flares – they only seem to crop up in every other shot, as opposed to every…single…one. He did get a lot of flak for his overuse of the technique in the 2009 adaptation, even admitting himself that they were “overdone, in some places.” Ya think, J.J.? Also, I’m getting a noticeable Khan/Gary Mitchell vibe from Benedict Cumberbatch’s character, the so-called “John Harrison.” Namely: “ ‘I am better.’ ‘At what?’ ‘At everything.’ ” Way to toot your own horn there, Kahn/Gary Mitchell/Garth of Izar/whoever the heck John Harrison is.
Allons-y…let’s get into a full-on dissection of this trailer. One of the first views the audience gets is of future London being blown up. Cut to a boardroom in Starfleet HQ where a senior-looking officer – Peter Weller as Admiral Marcus – is announcing that Harrison is, in fact, the perpetrator. Go figure. Then Cumberbatch’s awesome voice from hell comes back on telling us that Starfleet has “committed a crime [he] cannot forgive.” What this crime may be we can only guess at, but the title cards afterwards read: “When our leaders have fallen/A hero will rise,” implying that Starfleet has been crippled and/or taken out of commission in some way by virtue of whatever crime they committed.
We then see the back of Admiral Marcus as he informs Kirk that “Starfleet is not about vendetta.”
This is an interesting choice of words. According to the Oxford US English Dictionary, a vendetta is “a blood feud in which the family of a murdered person seeks vengeance on the murderer or the murderer’s family.” This suggests that Kirk feels a level of personal involvement in Harrison’s killing spree. Now, that could simply be because Kirk decides he himself is wronged when people die. He could also be referring to the moment when a helicopter/gunship starts shooting at the Starfleet HQ boardroom. However, this could also suggest that Harrison did something personal to Kirk – and a possibility to consider is that this personal something has to do with Dr. Carol Marcus. There is a shot in the trailer of Marcus stripping down to very few clothes in front of Kirk. Even if this particular moment is not a romantic one, it suggests a level of intimacy between the two that could make the good doctor (no, not Bones) our amorous captain’s Achilles heel. In a previous trailer, we see a brief close-up of Marcus screaming her head off, which could be because she is about to be murdered/ kidnapped/etc. (And yes, while there are lots of shots of screaming people, it’s still a valid point.) Extrapolating somewhat, it is possible that Kirk and Marcus are romantically involved in some way (as they were in the Original Series), and Harrison hurts Marcus to such a degree that Kirk decides he should pursue a vendetta against the super-soldier. Additional evidence of this is found in the noticeable lack of Carol Marcus elsewhere in the trailer. Whenever we see Kirk doing something heroic, it’s with Spock or Uhura or Bones. Not his supposed flame. I believe I can now say: hypothe-theory, potentially proven!
Here’s that previous trailer:
Moving on from that. I would like to ask a simple question: GOOD GUYS, Y U PUT BAD GUY IN CAGE? He wanted to be there in the first place, and he is obviously going to get out. From The Avengers to Skyfall to The Dark Knight, the entry at the top of every modern movie villain’s Nefarious Schemes List is “get caught.” J.J. Abrams seems to have fallen prey to this overabundant trope, so here’s hoping he does it differently.
Lastly but not leastly, I’d like to address a concern that many people seem to be expressing in reaction to the various Into Darkness trailers, which is that the movie looks like a pure action-adventure thriller with little substance. I have a number of responses to this.
A) A generalization like that is difficult to make from a little over two minutes of footage.
B) Trailers are almost always misleading. The trailer for The Avengers made the movie seem like a whole lot of fighting and no room for anything else, and yet the actual result was a superbly crafted work.
C) It is impossible for a cinematic work to sign on a thespian like Cumberbatch as the villain and still manage to have no substance. Also, he looks like an otter. There is seriously no better choice for this role.
If you haven’t already, at some point check out BBC’s Sherlock, Cumberbatch’s breaking-out role on television. Seriously. It’s a fantastically intelligent show.