A lot of the film seems to be there on that justification. Which is odd because Abrams has been insistent he doesn't care about Trek fans and wanted to remake Star Wars
, er I mean, "make films for everyone." And thus I could see value in remaking Wrath of Khan to be more accessible and with a modern budget, although not this soon
but this is in many ways almost the opposite. All that included fan service is basically irrelevant and shoehorned in with no thought to it. So, like the first film with its needless ties to the original continuity (which introduces at least half the plot holes) you again wind up with a film that's both insufferable in its plot construction
and utterly baffling in design.Consider you don't know about Khan, then why is the reveal that Harrison is Khan any kind of shocking reveal? Isn't mystery terrorist John Harrison just as frighting? Notice that they bring back Old Spock not just for the fan service but to emphasize that Khan is bad because they never explain WHO Khan is and why he's got some SEKRET EVAL PLAN. (Which involves him magically teleporting to the Klingon homeworld to help start a war even though he wants to stop Marcus because...) You know despite Starfleet probably having a buttload of records about the Eugenics Wars and all.
Plus Kirk even looks up something in the film, he didn't think to pull up Wikipedia again?Spock's gambit with the torpedoes is maybe the best part in the film. And really the only aspect that comes close to TWOK since that film is all about trying to OUTSMART Khan, not OUTPUNCH him.
Oh, and Kirk telling Scotty to immediately stun Khan. Actually that entire section of the film (from Robocop telling Kirk he would have killed his entire crew anyway to when Spock detonates the torpedoes) is probably the best part of the Abramsverse so far except for the Old Spock shit. Spock should have just logic'd it out and prepped a contingency ala VI.
That section is close to Bane's heist in TDKR as the "yesssss, we're so close here dopes why are you going to screw it up?" moment where I start to disbelieve and think they might accident themselves into a good [whatever the IP is] film and good film together.
This wasn't as bad as I expected, but also in someways even worse. (My spoilers are pretty spoiler but do explain why I hope if you've seen it.) Final Score: I'll say...three stars out of five. Or 9.5/10 on my upcoming video game review site scale. (9, 9.25, 9.5, 9.75, 10)
One weird part is that it comes in just a little over two hours, but unlike many other modern films that feels like they'll never end I wouldn't have minded another 15-20 minutes of this. Another weird part? TWOK is less than two hours long. (VI and First Contact are even shorter!) But it doesn't feel that way. Something something good scripting something something understanding pace.
If you aren't a Trek fan, and/or thought the first Abrams Trek was a four or five star (or think similar things for stuff like The Dark Knight), this is a four star at least. (And boy do I have a five star film for you with the same characters
And I should go back to bump my old stupid thread about film franchises to update the rankings.
Looking forward to Man of Steel
in a couple weeks. I'm interested in how that plays out because Superman is such a difficult character to make emotionally relevant and after mainlining his pre-Flashpoint post-Infinite Crisis canon a couple months back I'm still sorta wondering how you can truly pull off such a thing especially without the context New Krypton lived on. Donner seemed to have some understanding of it, and despite the hate Returns gets now, I thought it had some useful components. The one thing is I don't think this needs to be the "Nolan" reboot, it should be the "Burton" reboot. Once you figure out the core character then everyone else can rip it off or toy with it.
I have some dumb ideas that I think would be pretty hot follow ups to this first one taken from a couple of the comic storylines. (I wouldn't resolve it at the end of the third part personally, but you could call Bale back up and rip off parts of The Dark Knight Returns along with other stories to tie the two together and send the Nolanverse off with a fifty billion dollar gross film. Then Warner could finally put their shit together for a Justice League one in a new universe ala Marvel's.)