Star Trek Into Darkness

by NotDownOrOut

No need for spoiler alerts.

I had papers to grade last night, but I decided to see the late showing of the new Star Trek movie Into Darkness. I really enjoyed it and recommend it if you find yourself in a dark place in your life and want to feel good. I’m not going to say anything else about its plot except that it deals with dark subjects.

Most of the previews that preceded the movie were also about dark subjects: sheriffs with drug-abusing daughters (Longmire), Hollywood “fixers” who cover up deaths and wield baseball bats when trouble is afoot but ache to see their kids drawing closer to crime in the form of a much despised father who is just out of jail (Ray Donovan), and more. There were several apocalypse stories, including the world’s takeover by zombies in World War Z (Think of any Lord of the Rings castle attack with recently dead humans in place of–I’m not sure what you call the hordes in a Lord of the Rings movie) and Elysium (about class conflict in a sci-fi setting, by the maker of the really depressing movie about race conflict, District 9).

Even Superman’s new movie Man of Steel had a trailer filled with dark colors and visuals. The “light” subjects included the story of two out-of-work men (the actors playing them also haven’t made a really “feel good” movie in awhile) who intern at Google where they are hazed by the nerds and even take shots to the gonads (am I the only one who sees enough of that on America’s Funniest Home Videos?). Another “feel good” film was about four seniors doing their version of The Hangover, called Last Vegas. It might be okay for my age group, and I love Robert DeNiro in any movie, but, really? Will there be any new stones to turn over in Las Vegas if the men have more money? Can anyone say scantily clad women, gambling, drinking, and aftermath? Will you pay $7.50 or more to see Morgan Freeman dance?

My point is that I was not the only one experiencing dark days. These movies and TV shows have been in production for a long time before they were shown or previewed. People have been feeling the drift into darkness for a long time. I have felt it since 9/11. Perhaps you have felt it even longer.

Terrorism (domestic and foreign), war, genocide, diaspora, recession, world-wide depression, political instability, violence in the streets, burning or collapsing fashion industry factories, global warming, BP’s pollution of the Gulf of Mexico, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, tornados, hurricanes, collapsing bridges, derailed trains, GMO foods, rising rates of death from cancers, school shootings, movie theater shootings, mosque shootings, bombings, hacking of people’s private information–pick your nightmare. There have been many scourges, and the themes of movies and TV shows reflect that.

I left the theater feeling better anyway. Because fiction sometimes takes us from the dark place. It restores our faith sometimes in our own initiative, our grit and determination, and our caring for (at least some) of our fellow earth denizens.

I cannot claim to have any super powers at all, but in the darkness of a theater, surrounded by the smell of popcorn I can no longer eat, watching the crew of the Starship Enterprise grapple with certain disaster, I get the idea I can handle my own challenges.

I’m not sure I am up to watching The Internship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson (opening June 7), but movies aren’t medicine, not yet anyway.

Star Trek Into Darkness
2013 Film
87%-Rotten Tomatoes
Star Trek Into Darkness is a 2013 American science fiction action film. It is the twelfth installment in the Star Trek franchise and the sequel to 2009’s Star Trek. Wikipedia
Release date: May 17, 2013 (USA)
Director: J.J. Abrams
Prequel: Star Trek
Production company: Bad Robot Productions
Genres: Action film, Science Fiction, Adventure film