16 of the Most Irritating Plot Points from Star Trek Into Darkness

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I hate writing movie reviews sometimes. I’m not quite sure why anyone would read them ahead of seeing a movie other than a simple “yes see it” or “no don’t,” because they just give you preconceived notions of what to expect, and warp your perception before the film even starts.

Rather, I think reviews are much more useless after you’ve seen a film so you can really discuss it. In my Star Trek review, I simply had to say “there were some questionable and unclear aspects of the plot,” rather than “the plot sucked because of X, Y and Z scenes.”

Well, I’m doing that today. Into the Darkness is a film I’m liking less and less the more I think about it. Yes, the original Star Trek had its share of issues and plot holes, but Darkness is much, much worse to me, and I don’t understand how it’s racked up such positive reviews.

I sat down and wrote out all the frustrating, confusing or ridiculous moments that bothered me in the film. See if they match up with any of your own.

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1. I understand why that volcano erupting in the opening scene would have wiped out that local tribe of aliens, but can you tell me how exactly it would wipe out an entire planet?

2. Okay, so being spotted by primitive aliens species is against the Prime Directive or whatever, but why? Why is it that a bunch of stone age aliens can’t see a spaceship if it means it will save their lives? It’s better for them to just die instead of tell their kids some sort about some magic flying sky god who saved them?

3. When  Kirk is demoted to first officer because of this incident and Pike is given the Enterprise, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a character death more obviously telegraphed.

4. I had no issue with the rather clever way Harrison blew up the archive/secret lab, but when he attacks Starfleet HQ? You’re telling me with all your superhuman intelligence, you couldn’t have found a ship with one missile that would have blown up every single person in that room in one shot? Or you could have even just crashed through the window yourself and murdered everyone on the spot like you did later when you killed an enormous battalion of Klingon warriors single handedly. Instead, who even died? Pike and… a few random extras?

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5. Then he’s teleporting from Earth…to the Klingon homeworld. Okay, what the f***? I get that they’re researching “advanced warp technology” but that’s just ludicrous, to suddenly have the ability to beam someone across the entire galaxy. Why even have space ships anymore if that technology exists?

6. What the hell was the point of keeping Harrison’s identity a secret? We all thought he was Khan as soon as his character was announced, and guess what? He was Khan. And really, this reveal only is aimed at the Star Trek enthusiast audience, who already guessed that’s who he was in the first place. The rest of the audience, and everyone in the movie for that matter, doesn’t care. When he goes “My name is KHAN!” everyone just sort of shrugs because that means nothing to them.

7. Carol Marcus being disguised as Carol Whoever was more relevant to the actual story, in theory, but I have never met a more thoroughly useless, unnecessary character. I thought she would have some fun interactions with Spock as they sparred over science, which she didn’t, then I thought she’d at least be a love interest for Kirk, which she wasn’t, despite managing to strip to her underwear in a non-sexual way. Rather, the ONLY scene where she MIGHT have been important was when her father showed up to blow up the Enterprise, but he beamed her off straightaway anyway, and she just became a damsel in distress.

8. I guess she helped disarm that torpedo to save Bones, but I take issue with the fact that they claim the transporter couldn’t distinguish between him and the torpedo, so they couldn’t beam him up. Seriously? You beamed up Spock inside a pool of molten lava and exploding rocks like an hour ago!

9. Speaking of these torpedos, what the f*** was up with these torpedos? They were like the entire crux of the plot, yet never once did I understand what the plan was with them. So, Khan smuggled his crew inside the torpedos, but then Starfleet ordered them to be shot at him when he was hiding on the Klingon homeworld? Did they know that there were people in them? Was the plan to fill the Klingon homeworld with 72 superhumans that would wreck havoc and start a war? Did Khan know that the Enterprise would show up with these torpedos that housed his crew? Why would Starfleet have brought Khan’s crew to him inside torpedos which would kill him and them? Just to be a dick? All of this was incredibly goddamn confusing.


10. Similarly weird was Khan’s origin story. Yes, I know it’s the same as the original series, but the way it was explained was incredibly unhelpful. So Khan and his crew were all 300 year old genetic experiments with superhuman strength and knowledge, that are capable of designing weapon systems in the present day somehow. Sure, fine. But 300 years ago when the move takes place in like 2260 would be 1960. In the original show, these genetic-inspired wars took place in the ’90s, which was the future back when the show was made, but here it’s just confusing for anyone who was trying to do the math in their head, like me.

11. The only part of the plot that remotely made sense to me was Admiral Robocop trying to bait a war with the Klingons. But how did he know that Khan would beam himself to that planet? Also, why the hell DID Khan beam himself to that planet? These grand master plans on both sides seem to have mostly been made up on the fly unless I’m missing something.

12. The women in this movie sucked. Like, as characters, not through any fault of the actresses. I’ve already explained how Alice Eve’s Carol was incredibly useless, but I was sad to see Uhura relegated to the same fate. She existed solely to humanize Spock in a few scenes, and then she talked to the Klingons for two seconds until she starts to get choked to death. JJ Abrams has given us Alias and Felicity, why do all the female character do nothing in this movie?

13. Just like the film telegraphed Pike’s death early on, it telegraphed that Kirk would live equally loudly. That was supposed to be an emotional scene as Kirk sacrifices himself for his crew and dies in front of Spock (a mirror of Wrath of Khan), but if you had been paying any attention to the film, you knew it was a bluff. The scene where Bones injects the Tribble with Khan’s blood spelled out in big honking letters “SOMEONE WILL DIE THEN BE RESURRECTED” and we were simply waiting for that to happen the rest of the film. And then it did.

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14. I’m perplexed as to why with 72 other frozen superhumans on board, Bones needed to tell Spock to take Khan alive so his blood could save Kirk. Would none of the other super blood work? And take him ALIVE? Really? You can’t shoot him in the head and then stick a needle in his arm? I’m pretty sure the blood would work fine either way, short of him being completely vaporized.

15. I get that the movie wanted to remind us of the parallel timeline thing, but as soon as Spock talked to future Spock, the movie simply became Wrath of Khan to an annoying degree. We really don’t need these universes to mirror each other to the point where literally the entire story is fan service.

16. Khan the terrorist has to crash his ship into a bunch of buildings because 9/11.

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  1. I am with you on #15, but for slightly different reasons.

    I really enjoyed the Spock cameo, but this is now the second time old Spock has somehow assisted new Kirk/Spock in a big way. In the first movie, he basically told Kirk what he needed to do to regain control of the Enterprise. In this movie he tells new Spock what a bad guy Khan is, and the major cost it took to defeat him.

    I know old Spock says that he makes it a point to not assist in their lives blah blah blah, but clearly if shit is going to hit the fan he’s willing to mention a few things. It’s a fun little way to get Lenord Nemoy involved with the movie, but at the same time it allows for the easy way out when dealing with a difficult situation.

    Is old Spock going to warn them of the impending Klingon assassination attempt when the two civilizations try to make peace? It’s time for Kirk and Spock to put their big boy pants on and defeat a foe without some convenient parallel time line assistance. Otherwise we should just call the next movie “Star Trek: Ask Spock”.

  2. I usually agree with you, but I really feel like you are nitpicking this movie to death. Not every movie has to be this deep, dark, philosophical trip to try and grab Oscars. I thought the movie was good and some of these points you made just seem like you were trying to find what was wrong with it. Look at how many plot holes Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers had, but they were still fun to watch.

  3. from what i took in, they were only saying, saved the world as a reference, they saved the people, and that to them is their entire world. i just assume that was their only place of life on the planet.

    the general storyline i believe, was poorly implemented as it gave confusion.

    marcus sabotaged the enterprise. leaving it stranded near klingon space. the idea was that kirk and spock and the crew went on a revenge mission and sneaking onto the enterprise, “stole” it to go after him, before it was ready to go, so repairs werent complete, and it got stuck in space, and marcus was to go and destroy enterprise and its crew. and in doing so, would destroy the missiles with people in them. This is why his actions go unnoted through the film, it was supposed to be that stole the enterprise and ran off. He never comes in contact with anyone else through the film other than marcus, so why would his previous discrepancies be brought up?

    they knew the bodies were there, khan even says they caught him in the act.

    I think it was intended kirk would launch all the missiles and destroy the bodies, and marcus was going to show up and either “save” them or destroy them depending what happened.

    most of your other points are completely valid though. however, i still enjoyed the movie. I have always loved star trek, and the visuals and action that abrams has brought into it are very fun to watch. i just have to take off my thinking cap to enjoy it more.

  4. Again, I think you’ve taken to thinking about the movie WAY TOO MUCH Paul, which I’m somewhat surprised by. (though I don’t know if you’re like this huge uber Star Trek nerd and are upset because of those reasons etc.) Regardless, it’s a SCIENCE FICTION movie which means all bets are off as far as things making sense half the time … but with that I’ll see if I can answer back to some of your points (not even knowing if you’ll read my comment or not):

    1. A single volcano could destroy an entire planet in theory … especially if it’s a small planet. Not all planets have to be massive. Take the idea of the sky being blacked out by smoke/soot and debris for years upon years causing an ice age to take place and everything below the “smog” just dying out.

    2. This goes back to a theory with “time travel” that if you change something in the past then you change the course of history. Therefore they are referencing the fact that it was their directive to just survey the planet, not to get involved or show that other life forms exist past their own knowledge. Now that they’ve shown these white faced people that there are flying spaceship things out there … they have forever changed the fate of those people. (which is “morally” wrong in this case I assume)

    3. So what if it was obvious, there are tons of things in movies that are obvious – so why is this such a blatant plot hole? That’s a stretch if you ask me.

    4. I agree – why not just kill everyone in the room by blowing the whole building up or just firing a rocket into it. Though, once again bad guys always tend to make horrible judgement calls in movies and are notorious for being terrible shots – some things have to be done in order to progress the movie/story along. I think you’re still nit picking here.

    5. I think they tried to explain this with what Scotty found … since he is an advanced “super human” he found a way to leave a device on the planet that he could then “beam” himself to with the device he had in the spacecraft that was firing at the meeting room. Since there was some type of transponder to “beam” himself to – it tends to make sense in the Sci-Fi world of things.

    6. I have no idea here. I am not a Star Trek person, so I had no idea that there was a connection to an old Star Trek film till I got home and put 2 and 2 together. I concur with your statement here. (though – maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that the movie is all based on this being an alternate Star Trek universe – made evident from the first film … hell if I know)

    7. I think ultimately the reason she was used was to show just how cruel and unpredictable her father was. That and come on – you didn’t enjoy seeing her in her underwear?!

    8. The reason that the “beam” machine couldn’t make out between Bones and the pod was that the machine knew that there was another body in there and couldn’t know which one to “beam” … I mean you didn’t know there was a body in there till Bones was already safe. I thought that was actually well done.

    9. Kahn actually explains all this but not in a very good way. Yes the Admiral/General whatever he was knew that the rest of Kahn’s crew were in the pods, and he wanted them along with Kahn destroyed now that he got his uber ship. He didn’t want them to be around to be able to develop any more “super weapons” of their own or to take out the rest of the human race because they weren’t superior enough. So he was going to have Enterprise fire all the pods at the Klingon planet in order to kill 2 birds with one stone. (hell 3 if you count the Klingon’s he’d be killing) …

    10. I actually could’ve cared less about his origin story and I guess didn’t get too confused by it once again not knowing anything about the old Star Trek. So this I’ll not debate with you on.

    11. Kahn was on the planet because it was the one place he thought he wouldn’t be followed due to the “war” between the Klingons and Earth. They found out that he went there because of Scotty being able to use the “beam” machine to locate where it sent him. Then the Admiral/General dude knew that because Kirk and Spock told him so.

    12. The females have nothing to do with the idea that the “plot” sucked. Though I think Uhura’s character was used well and at least a lot better than the first film. It showed how she has an ability to pull the “human” out of Spock and also I think was used to foreshadow what might come in the third film with the Klingons. I’ll give you Alice Eve though – just good looking eye candy.

    13. I don’t think that this is anything that ruined the movie. I think the moment that Kirk dies and you see Spock’s emotional turmoil happening – it’s effective in a big way. I mean come on – it’s a SCI-FI MOVIE … to have an emotional scene in it that affects the general audience as it did was impressive to say the least. Who cares if you knew he wouldn’t die. You should damn well know they aren’t going to kill Kirk anyways regardless of the blood thing. Hell if people weren’t paying attention then they might not have even caught that at the beginning anyways. Still nit picking in my opinion.

    14. Yeah – I don’t know there either. Do blood cells in a SuperHuman die rapidly if they die … does the blood immediately become “un-useable” for some odd reason? I’m no doctor but that didn’t make sense to me either. But that still doesn’t hurt the integrity of the movie does it?

    15. Once again, I don’t know the Star Trek universe … so this did not bug me one bit. Why not get help from the future Spock if you can? Also shows the human side of Spock again caring about the well being of his captain and crew.

    16. I don’t get what you’re trying to say here – but I figured since he thought that he had “lost his crew” that it sent him into a blind rage and what better thing to do if you’ve lost your people than to go after the “other people” and take out as many as you can? If the ship is going down anyways, why not really make it go down?

    Either way – I love your insights and thoughts as always Paul … just found it odd that you really went after this film rather than the handful of other AWFUL Sci-Fi ones out there…

    1. Well I certainly everyone taking the time to try and prove me wrong. I’m not sure I agree with all the counterpoints, but I respect them being made.

      I don’t know why this film really rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it’s because I loved the first one so much, and was blinded to the annoyance of THOSE plot holes by how new and shiny it was. Now with the sequel, we know the cast, so there was more time to really examine the plot which I found lacking. And I thought it was a shame that they got Cumberbatch to be the perfect villain, but they put him in a lackluster story.

      To be fair, Prometheus makes this movie look like Empire.

  5. This sounds fun. I really liked the movie and so many of your points seem… odd to me.

    1.- I could just mean it would make it unable to sustain life for a long time, like a meteorite crash. Ever heard of megavolcanoes and what they’d do to Earth? We don’t know the size of that planet.

    2.- Not better and not worse. The right thing to do for an advanced civilization in the larger scheme of things, to learn without interfering. You’re supposed to question this, as evidenced when Kirk discusses it with Pike. A legitimate plot point from the original series, not a hole.

    3.- So? Anyone who’s watched a lot of movies can read most of the twists and turns. Pike’s death wasn’t supposed to blow your mind. It was just a device to develop Kirk’s character. Death of the mentor is a very common theme (Highlander, Star Wars and a long etc.).

    4.- It wasn’t crucial to his plan to kill every soul. Only stir shit up. Which he did. And those “extras” were all important folks, since the scene makes it clear that it’s a very VIP meeting.

    5.- I’m no Trekkie, but yeah, that’s how warping works. If you buy that they can teleport, distance doesn’t matter. Space ships exist because not every part of the galaxy has been explored and it makes perfect sense to do so in a properly equipped and armed vessel.

    6.- A matter of taste. Of course it didn’t work as a Gasp! moment. But I think it prevented people form focusing on comparisons with “Wrath of Kahn” prior to the release. I don’t think it hurt the film in any way.

    7.- Agreed, a misused character. Also, the “I’m your daughter and I’m siding with the underdogs, you mean Captain Dad” theme is a tired cliché at this point.

    8.- Spock wasn’t entangled with another object at the time. The risk of accidentally teleporting the about-to-explode torpedo along with the character was too big. This is well within the suspension of disbelief.

    9.- Literally everything you ask is said or heavily implied in the movie. Confusing? Maybe a bit. But it’s clear without particularly careful watching that Kahn hid his crew inside the torpedos, and then Starfleet did order them to be shot at him, they did know there were people inside, and no, they wouldn’t fill the Klingon homeworld with superhumans because torpedoes can still explode. Khan didn’t know that the Enterprise would show up with these torpedoes, and acts surprised when they tell him they have 72 of those, since he immediately knows his pals are in there, and changes his plan accordingly. I didn’t particularly like this part of the story, but it’s not confusing.

    10.- I agree.

    11.- You are missing something, and it’s spelled out right in the dialogue.

    12.- They often did even less in the original series. This is purely subjective.

    13.- So it didn’t play its cards too close to the chest. Hardly movie-ruining, especially for a summer blockbuster. It was still very emotional, and served the purpose of showing how deep is the connection between Kirk and Spock, and give Spock some well deserved screen badassery time. It was very, very clear through Dark Knight Rises that Catwoman would betray Batman and that he would sacrifice his life to save the city, but not really die. It didn’t ruin that movie.

    14.- Maybe it was a stretch that they needed him alive, but they definitely weren’t sure that the blood of any other frozen guy would work, and it was Kirk’s life on the line. They needed to act quick, not defrost and then see.

    15.- That’s your opinion, and you’re generalizing quite a bit. I don’t think it became Wrath of Khan to an annoying degree. In any case, since it’s a reboot, it has to work under the premise that most people never saw Wrath of Khan. So it has to establish the villain for a future sequel, and if it crosses a bit into “remake” ground, I don’t see the problem at all, since Wrath of Khan is such an old film; and it’s more of a homage, really. What’s wrong with fan service?

    16.- ? No comment because I’m not an American and I could easily offend somebody. But I’ll say that it made total sense for the plot that Kahn would crash into Earth in order to feature a cool chasing scene. I fail to see any connection with anything.

    Now, I’ve seen lists twice as long as this one made about the Nolan “Batman” films, more often than not pointing legitimate, gaping plot holes. Let’s not even talk about the original Star Wars films. I still like those movies. Even if most of your points were in did story faults, I don’t see why they would ruin a perfectly fun ACTION movie.

  6. Good list, but it’s missing one. Primarily: the amazing lack of home fleets. Nero’s attack on Earth was, what, 2 or 3 years before this? And Earth is STILL undefended? Even though war with the Klingon’s is inevitable and imminent? Why was Q’on’OS so similarly ridiculously undefended? We keep hearing how the Klingons might find the Crippledprise, but are never shown a search party, nor the Klingon home fleet. Just ridiculous.

  7. I almost always agree with your views on movies, and I usually listen as to how good/bad you think a movie is. I however, completely DISAGREE with you on Star Trek, here. I absolutely loved it. I’ve seen it twice. I agree on points 6 and 12. Uhura was definitely demoted in importance in this movie. It seems odd to me that most of the plot just seemed to go over you? Almost every plot point you pointed out, I had no problems following in the theatre, or no problem ignoring. I don’t understand why this movie, of many others, seems to be getting this beating from you. It won’t damper me, I loved it.

  8. I’m surprised that you’re nitpicking this movie to this degree. Much of this sounds like you weren’t paying attention during the movie. Lucas explained most of your points pretty good.

  9. I haven’t seen the film yet, but… after seeing the first one, I came home and wrote down everything that was wrong with it. The list was some fifty billion pages long. I then deleted it, and now I choose to live in a parallel universe in which JJ doesn’t exist.

  10. So… I saw your original review, and didn’t exactly agree with it. I loved the movie and would probably give it a 4.5/5 myself. That being said, I completely agree with every point you made in this article. The movie was full of all kinds of incongruities, but I thought the movie was so dang entertaining that I found it difficult to care 🙂

  11. I could take or leave some of the complaints (As in, I think some are valid, some are nitpicky to the point that almost no summer blockbuster movie would hold up under that level of scrutiny), but the one that I didn’t get was why you were citing issues with the Prime Directive as a flaw with this movie?

    The Prime Directive as described in this movie is the same as all the TV series that referenced it. This movie did not have a unique spin on the Prime Directive.

    While I find the Prime Directive a pretty tedious plot point for how often it’s used throughout TNG especially, it is a pretty classic Star Trek story mechanic and this movie played it straight.

  12. Just got back from watching this one and I’ve got to ask, man: do you even Trek? It wasn’t perfection, but #4 and #14 are the only really relevant flaws. The rest of the list is either nitpicking or personal (not knowing the damage a volcano can do to a planet). Complaining that you knew Khan was Khan has more to do with you poring over every detail of the film prior to release than it does the film itself.

    I was already sold on the film so I skipped all of the press details other than the trailers and I was not expecting any of it. I was genuinely pleased to see Wrath of Khan remade. In fact, it was kind of my fondest wish since seeing the Trek reboot. Maybe since I’m an old-school fan the fanservice and awesome casting got to me, but I loved it. I demand Borg next!

  13. 2. It’s important to note that as the Enterprise leaves and the tribe gathers round the primitive drawing of the ship, they literally and metaphorically throw away the religious artefact they were chasing Kirk for in the first place in favour of the Enterprise, that’s why the Prime Directive exists in that universe- that culture would evolve entirely differently if it kept worshipping to scroll/bar/thing.

  14. stop trying to be a hipster and just like the movie already. JEEZ! Read through your list, and if you understood anything logical it all made sense. It was a film that actually required further thought than just accepting what was in front of you.

  15. 5. They explain pretty explicitly that Section 31 had snagged Scotty’s trans-warp transportation equations for themselves. They don’t say one way or the other, but it’s possible that the device in question wasn’t even an official S31 device, but one hacked together by Khan. And if a few hours with tech manuals was enough for Prime-Khan to take over and run the Enterprise, I figure it’s reasonable that, given a year or more, JJ-Khan would be able to learn and improve upon the tech of the day.

    12. It’s not a defense, as such, but let’s face it. Pretty but largely useless women is one of the ways this movie is most true to the original series. The fact that Carol didn’t trip and fall into Kirk’s bed actually puts her a step above most female TOS characters.

    14. Maybe it’s just my reading of the situation, but it was pretty obvious at the end that Spock wasn’t being terribly rational, and Bones didn’t want him playing judge, jury, and executioner any more than they wanted Kirk doing it earlier in the movie. Telling him that they needed Khan to save Kirk was a way to actually get through to him.

    16. Khan has to crash his ship into a bunch of buildings because Starfleet HQ is in San Francisco and not the middle of a desert.

    The things that did actually bug me that I don’t think anybody’s mentioned yet are that it would have taken all of three extra words in the script to mention that S31 game Khan a new face along with the new name, effectively handwaving away how a guy named Khan Noonien Singh is a pasty white guy, and Kirk’s absolute credulity in accepting Khan’s word that he is who he says he is without so much as a google search.

  16. I find it funny that a while back you wrote a “negative” review of Star Wars ANH that nitpicked it to death, to show how easy it is to be negative on something on how that’s not really the best way to criticize something. It’s too easy.

    I’m not a big Star Trek fan by any means, but little to none of these things bothered me in any way. The only thing I didn’t get was why Khan wanted to kill Robocop and vice versa. He had Khan create weapons and…? What exactly? I must have missed that.

    And #16? Really? Come on.

  17. so here are a few ideas as answers, see if you like them

    the prime directive is in place to not invluence primitive cultures, cause when a more advanced culture thinks its doing good this turns out to not be the case, now that rule applys to all situations the world might have died but in the same way our one did when all the dinasours got wiped out.

    Khan is an advanced person i guess hes much smarter than us givin sometime he would learn everything he missed and then be able to design new weapons, now follow this through he makes long range rockets then beams himself to a plant he knows they can`t land on hoping they would take them with them that would also explaine why he doesnt kill everyone in the room cause he needs someone to come after him…doesnt eplaine how he knew they wouldnt just fire the rocket but hey

    as for why they needed his blood i was stuck too, but them my wife pointed out that maybe its cause he had been unfrozen for a while and they didnt kill him cause they had no idea how much blood they would need(bones actually says it took a full transfution)
    so i know i can`t spell and mu grammer is poor at best but there you go, a couple of possible answers

  18. 1) A volcano large enough could create a lot of secondary effects that cause a planet to come apart. We don’t know what materials the planet is made out of, so this falls within the realm of believability. It’s that or perhaps they mean “destroy the planet” in a figurative sense, meaning it’d wipe out all lifeforms on the planet.

    2) Being spotted by primitive species is definitely going to create cascade effects that change the way the culture would have developed naturally. For reference, I suggest you study what they thought about “white man” when first seen by the American Natives. For those who don’t bother to look that piece of Earth history up, they were seen as gods, basically. And if you had paid attention, as the ship is leaving the planet after having saved them from certain doom, these native primitives are drawing a sketching of their ‘new god’ being the shape of the Enterprise. That’s what the Prime Directive has been accepted to help prevent, given that Starfleet and the Federation are supposed to be a primarily exploratory and scientific foundation of planets.

    3) I actually wasn’t expecting Pike to get killed, but him being set up as a barrier for Kirk to regain his ship was possible. So is some later injury similar to the original Pike’s crippling accident where he sacrificed himself to save the crew entirely possible.

    4) I had no issue with the way Starfleet HQ was attacked. Could it be possible that he wanted to operate in as quiet of a manner as possible so that he could carry out this attack? An attempt to get a torpedo or missile would surely notify people that highly explosive weapons lockers were taken and leads them to be able to find him easier.

    Not to mention, this character is a savage and brutal person. Think on it this way, his crew was being held captive, his family, everyone he loves and cares about has, in his eyes, been killed as far as he knew at this point in the film. He wanted to SEE THEM DIE. How often have you heard someone describe their desire for vengeful satisfaction? Need I remind you of the original portrayal of Harrison’s character? Pay close attention to the lines he used, mannerisms, and how he spoke in the original timeline. As far as it being “a few random extras” you’re talking about fleet captains and admirals, sort of like attacking a Scenario Room at the White House after you just precipitated an event to make them gather there.

    5) It’s entirely possible that they perverted Scotty’s tech in a one-time shot. Hell, you heard Scotty’s reaction to his own calculations being twisted in such a manner. If you have a hard time beliving this, what about some of the TV series episodes where they do something similar?

    6) Having only seen the initial reveal article about what was going on (because I hate walking into a movie having read all of the hype and speculation leading up to it, that stuff takes away a lot of surprise and my ability to suspend my disbelief) I thought it could’ve been a number of previous powerful nemeses of Kirk. Gary Mitchell was definitely one of them, especially with Alice Eve looking so much like Elizabeth Dehner.

    7) In this alternated and twisted timeline, she was there to spy on her father’s doings, tracking these terrible torpedos, because they disappeared from under her. She’s a weapons specialist and scientist, and apparently one with a peaceful conviction that terrible weapons such as these should be kept track of. If you paid attention, in this timeline, Kirk apparently had a relationship with Christine Chapel, who’s now a nurse far away from him. Perhaps this jaded this Carol against starting a relationship with Kirk as of right now, but by the end of the movie, she’s on the ship as part of the crew, and part of the ‘family’ This could only be the start of their relationship, setting up the inevitability of David being born.

    8) Heavily shielded things have frequently wreaked havoc with the transporters working, again… this is something that is plausible as all heck. It wasn’t able to distinguish between McCoy and the torpedo due to some mix of the heavy shielding that was mentioned as the weapons were being delivered and the frozen body within’s biomatter (as we come to find out in this scene).

    9) These torpedos, Harrison smuggled his crew into them, probably hoping to be able to run off with them or launch them long-range into a different system, after disarming the warheads, but by his own admission, he was caught during this process of tampering with the torpedos. Marcus found out about this, and was trying to ‘clean up his mistake’ so he had Kirk fly out into Klingon space after Harrison, ordering him to launch the torpedos at a ‘uninhabited section’ of the Klingon’s home planet. He was trying to provoke a war he ‘knew was coming’ with the Klingons, sort of like the preemptive attacks carried out throughout history, including recent history.

    10) Perhaps they were rounding up? 1990 – 1960 = 30, which would make them 270 years old at that point, meaning “300-ish” And knowing this, you at least have seen and remembered the original series.

    11) Perhaps that was the only spot where they had managed to secretly construct a pad that could accept Harrison’s transporter beam? The whole long-distance transporter thing is a stretch, but not totally unreasonable that this could be a limitation in using a device with such a limited power source (you saw the size of the device used in the scene after HQ was attacked)

    12) The women in this movie didn’t play a gigantically huge part of the movie, but I was pleased with their portrayals for the most part. Honestly, what use is a communications officer outside of talking to the Klingons? Carol wasn’t entirely useless, she was there on a mission of her own and got caught, she had an emotional moment with her father where she stands up to him and gets beamed off the ship “uselessly becoming a damsel in distress” you might think, but in all reality, Kirk’s overriding priority at that moment is to save his -entire crew- Uhura’s moments were mostly dealing with her relationship with Spock due to the incident earlier with the volcano, playing on Spock’s human half, but she carried through in the end, and was pivotal in stopping Spock from going too far, and even managed to rescue him. If that’s not a strong and pivotal role for a female lead in this kind of movie given the storyline and plot, then I don’t know what is, outside of her being the captain, or a Majel Barret-style First Officer.

    13) Yes, I caught that scene about using the blood in the tribble also, but hey… they brought Spock back to life also, and this is just part of the mirroring of the two universes. Spock died and came back to life, and this time it’s Kirk’s resurrection instead.

    14) The time it would take to unthaw one of the bodies so the blood could be extracted wasn’t going to be enough time to save Kirk since they -knew- the properties of Harrison’s blood and -knew- the effects it would create. That’s something they did not know about the other crewmembers of Harrison’s and did not have the time to properly investigate it, given that Spock was already down there trying to get revenge for Kirk by this point. Not to mention, if you really want to be nitpicky, that this was already foreshadowed at the very outset of the movie, with the little girl in the hospital who was saved by his blood also.

    15) This movie was only slightly similar to Star Trek 2 in a few areas, in this one, there’s no overriding past history between these two characters and a desire for revenge against Kirk. This time, it’s Marcus he’s after and Kirk is just in the way.

    16) He crashes them into Starfleet HQ which is in San Francisco… Come on, 9-11 comparisons? Seriously? I guess any movie could be extrapolated into that these days. But going that route was bad form, imo.

    You have to think about what type of person Harrison is, he’s a brutal, ruthless, savage killer with very little care about those who are inferior to him. He’s just been wounded, he believes his entire crew to be dead again given the events that lead up to the ship being disabled, and decides that “If I am to die, then so shall you” Remember how he was in the original universe? Remember his death scene? What were his exact words? That’s right, he quoted Moby Dick as he lay there dying, fighting to the end to destroy Kirk, his nemesis, his hated enemy. This is definitely something this character would do, and not including it would do the entire storyline a disservice, really. “To the last, I will grapple with thee… from Hell’s heart, I stab at thee! For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee!”

  19. I agree on many points. I asked a friend yesterday who was playing who. Or how much was planned or considered. And why did they need Khan instead of using one of his crew members??? Parts of the Prime Directive makes no sense seeing that some people believe that aliens have come to Earth and did things; crop circles are one of them.

  20. You forgot 3 points in my opinion.

    1) What was the point of the Enterprise being on the bottom of the ocean except to look really cool rising out of the ocean and be seen by the natives, forcing Kirk to get in trouble for it? For that matter, how did it get in the ocean without being seen or heard?

    2) The Klingons detect within seconds when Kirk’s landing party arrives by shuttle but can’t see two large Federation ships in their own system?d

    3) Both Enterprise and Vengeance are near the moon when they essentially both lose power and fall… to Earth? In less than five minutes? It took Apollo days to make that trip! (And before anyone says anything about the advanced technology in the future, I’ll remind you they were underpowered.) Crashing into the moon would make sense given the timeframe. Crashing into Earth makes none.

  21. The film should have been called ‘Star Trek” Run like hell’

    Seriously, is there a single scene where someone isn’t sprinting for something?

  22. Paul, I just want to say I totally agree with you on most of the points that you made. It was a fun movie but just dumb in some ways. There was a lot more potential for plot and character development here that they just wasted with a shallow backstory and a few lines of pat dialogue. Cumberbatch was totally underused and I much preferred Ricardo Montalban’s Khan. Sure he was kinda cheesy but it was a well-defined role with well-defined motives and it was a lot of fun to watch him in action.

  23. Well, they couldn’t contact Starfleet, but managed to contact the Vulcan high council and somehow managed to forget to mention to them that they should contact Starfleet to tell them to send reinforcements. That was the thing that bothered me the most!

  24. I wonder how they could beam 72 torpedoes to the other ship without khan noticing whats going on.

    being shielded = unable to scan what is inside = no beaming possible without knowing what you actually beam
    so either the torpedoes were shielded, but then they couldnt have been beamed, or they weren’t shielded (so they could be beamed) but then Khan would have noticed that they came without his crew..

    about the attacks on the HQ: if khan can produce an explosive covering in a ring (dropping into the water glass = huge badda boom) I wonder why he wasnt able to blow up the HQ itself.. he wouldnt even have needed a huge, noticable torpedo..

    besides, dropping down on earth with absolutely noone around was totally nonsense.. earth’s orbit would be bristling with activity, so its totally nonsense that no space station wouldnt have been able to rescue beam them..

  25. I saw this movie 3 times and loved it each time. I found the emotional connections between characters very real and even though you could see Pyke’s death coming a mile away and you knew Kirk wasn’t really going to die, it still got to me because the characters didn’t know. The plot never bored me and the visuals were stunning. However, I found this website when I did the math in my head and realised Khan and his people were supposed to have been created in 1960 and have a star ship at that time able to last for 300 years? Hm? This aspect bothered me the most.

    The plot is pretty well laid out, your arguments for inconsistencies don’t really work. Most of the “master plans” were made up on the fly but Marcus’s plan was always to kill Khan and his crew. Khan knew that and was trying to find a way to escape and he was trying to smuggle the crew out in the torpedoes. Marcus found out and Khan ran away on his own and assuming that Marcus had killed his crew sought revenge. When Khan went to Cronos Marcus made a very neat little plan to send out Kirk to fire the torpedoes on Khan, killing all 73 of them and then when the enterprise tried to leave they wouldn’t be able to because of the damage to their core. The Klingons would find them and know it was star fleet and the war would begin.

    Kahn being able to warp to Cronos from Earth does contradict the world and his plan to kill Marcus was stupid and contrived to keep the plot going. It would have made sense if he had simply planted another person with a bomb in the building and everyone died. Then it would have been a good plan. Why Khan went to Cronos I’m not sure, he knew Marcus would go after him, but his plan changed when he was threatened with the torpedoes and he realised his crew could still be alive, especially when he heard the number 72.

    I get the societal bullshit to treat every life sacred here but there is no reason to keep the crew alive. They should never be woken up and their death would only make sure stupid people like Marcus never did that. They were sentenced to death for a reason and it was a pretty good reason.

    Your last point made me laugh because I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of that. I suspect plot motivations more than anything else. The only argument against it I can see is they weren’t sure if Khan was somehow special but that’s pretty weak. They just wanted a reason to keep Khan alive so he (hopefully) can show up in the next movie as a side villain of sorts.

    An action movie is only as good as it’s villain and Benedict Cumberbatch does perform brilliantly as a villain. What I would much prefer to see would be a prequel of Khan and his crew from the start and how that all played out. (Hopefully set in a more realistic year than 1960).

  26. A ‘supervolcano’ can definitely wipe out an entire planet. If enough ash is throw into the atmosphere, it can block out the sun for an extended period of time. This will create a situation similar to the theoretical ‘nuclear winter’. This could cause a small ice age and could possibly cause the extinction of many species.

    It would not be quite as quick as it occurred in the film.

  27. The “nitpicking” others are accusing you off is entirely justified. This is the Star Trek franchise. The details matter. Plot consistency matters. This “alternate universe” scenario isn’t a worthy excuse for bad story telling. I understand that this is a new approach at Star Trek, but JJ should remain loyal to the quality and detail put into this franchise from the beginning. Frankly, he doesn’t, and the plot holes you mention, while not ALL of which are necessarily sensible, are proof that this Trek doesn’t live up to the expectations of the fans (old or new). There are many more plot holes than you mentioned, even.

    This is a fun and entertaining film, but it is not Star Trek. I think the ratings are mostly due to new fans of the franchise (or perhaps old ones who never really got into the details much).

    My 2 cents! Cheers.

  28. I agree with all of this. To expand on #7 though, the ONE time carol could be usefull and its her big speech time to her dad, BIG GIANT LENS FLARE COVERING HER FACE THE ENTIRE TIME!

  29. Star Trek was a great movie, and had a very consistent story line. Sure it was weak in some areas, but I left with NO questions. Comparing it to Superman and Ironman 3, it was amazing. Superman jumped around WAY to much, and Ironman 3 kinda left it’s reality, spreading the story thin.

    We can tear apart ANY good movie and turn it into a bad one. Out of the 16 points listed, I saw maybe 3 that were valid. The last one was embarrassing, and quite rude. I see NO correlation to 9/11. Khan saw his ship dying/crashing so he decided to take everyone he possibly could out with him. The rest require minor thought, which shows Paul either lacks a normal thought process or is just lazy. I’m not going to go through the entire list as many others have already destroyed most of your logic (like Salkaman). The First 3 are no brainers.

    ALSO, to other readers of this review. The points of these reviews are to create more traffic for this website, so whether we think the effort put into this review is poor (which it deffinately was) it still promotes controversy with other Fans of the movie. The goal of this article was not to share Paul’s opinion, it was to INCREASE WEB TRAFFIC and exposure.

  30. barf trek into the barfness, was just about money – pyromaniacs who sucker-punched us into watching their barf on the wall…kirk into banging two chicks at a time? and why was carol teasing jim in her undies in the shuttle? it wasn’t connected with anything…neither was any other scene…way to wreck an inspiring franchise abrams – you suck!!!

  31. If the torpedoes were missing their fuel tanks to major space for the bodies how could they work to deliver the payload? They would be fired and simply drift in space with no fuel. Also admiral knows this and his plan to start a war would be pointless.
    I agree star trek deserves more attention to plot consistency than this movie delivers

  32. Personally I think you’re nitpicking like a little kid. I do have one thing to say. When you said that it was a waste of time to conceal Khan’s identity since everyone watching the movie already knew who he was going to be, the fact he ahd an alias had to do with the plot. You cna’t just hire some super genius named Khan, people will get suspicious so they ahd to give him a name. So they chose John Harrison, a nice name! As for the rest of these things about 2%I agree with you while the other 98% of it I think you’re just whining.

  33. I can explain it all…. But it’s just a movie and I’m tired of dorks like you dissecting everything and trying to find holes in every movie you watch. How do you even live a normal life? You must be pumped full of Xanax and Paxil just to make it through the day. Deal with it. It’s just a movie and it wasn’t made just for you. Don’t like what I’m saying? Then get a new hobby. The very first thing you said was stupid. You do realize that if Yellowstone ever woke up and erupted it would kill most of the life on earth right? Doubt you did. And you don’t know the depth of the volcano or the size of the planet. As for the rest you figure it out. I’m not gonna hold your hand and explain a movie that for some reason you “reviewed” and don’t even understand.

    1. You lost me at Yellowstone can kill every life on the planet. You watch too many Syfy movies. WHAT next a tornado full of sharks will destroy america lolol

  34. One episode of Voyager is better than this entire movie. The director has created the new Star Trek movies to appeal to the masses removing the heart and soul of Star Trek in the process.

    You’re not going to win a new generation of fans by getting away from the core of what Star Trek is.

    The should have continued to build on the future after Voyager series. Instead they went backwards with “Enterprise” and now with this movie. It’s such a joke. The reason it’s made money is because you are coasting off the original fan base.

    Why can’t they get it right? Idiots. You need to talk to the people who made TNG and Voyager.

    Not even the script was concurrent with the franchise. Capt Pike did not die. He was in a wheelchair. They had a hearing to determine his disposition.

    But that’s besides the point. These movies suck. These are NOT Star Trek movies. Another major disappointment. This director should be booed for sacrilege

    I can only hope a new series is created which is futuristic. Something modeled after voyager. Hopefully these movies are not any indication because they are a huge disappointment.

    1. So the moral to that rant is that youre a voyager fan and disappointed that the new star trek movies werent star trek voyager. Simple solution: go watch voyager.

      1. I already have. Yes I am a huge Voayger. Voyager embodies everything Star Trek is about. The future, space exploration, Sci-Fi etc.

        These new movies have nothing to with those things. They are special effects action packed thrillers which appeal to the appetites of the dumbed down masses.

        These two movies are not Star Trek films. They are even worse than the “Enterprise” TV series after Voyager.

        Star Trek, Star Trek the Next Generation, and Star Trek Voyager all had it. These films do not. They are all really lousy. J.J. Abrams and Rupert Wyatt know nothing about Star Trek. That much is obvious.

        Star Trek The Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager were the highest grossing Star Trek Series ever.

        Someone needs to reorganize the people who created Star Trek The Next Generation, and Voyager to push those themes into the future with new and interesting characters to continue the legacy.

  35. I’m glad I’m not the only one who was confused about the torpedoes. It’s been over two years since the movie came out, and I still haven’t found an explanation.

  36. ”Trying to find holes in every movie you watch”? Seriously? Many of these plotholes and mistakes were readily apparent. If you didn’t see a single problem with anything in the movie when it comes to the writing, I think it’s safe to say that either your mind is incredibly dulled, or you’re just somebody who can’t accept the fact that one of your oh-so-awesome movies contains plotholes. But then, maybe it’s a bit of both.

    And no, Yellowstone would not kill most of the life on earth, that’s ridiculous. Just a quick Google search can tell you all you need to know about that.

    ”I’m not gonna hold your hand and explain a movie that for some reason you “reviewed” and don’t even understand.”

    He does understand the movie, what makes you think he doesn’t? You haven’t presented any refutal of what he has said, and I’m pretty sure all his points are valid. All he’s simply done is point out flaws – bad writing. If you think that means he didn’t ”understand”, then try to make him understand. But no, all you do is stomp your feet… it’s almost like the guy said the movie’s writing isn’t great, and then you shouted ”is too!” like some kind of child. This is what reviewers and columnists do, they criticize and critique, and that requires knowing what the movie is about, which he does. Guess you just learned something new.

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