I love Star Trek. Please do not take this the wrong way, but this movie could have been made a lot better. The story line is good– although there are times I was left scratching my head and saying “WTH?” to myself.
There are two villains in here. First you have Benedict Cumberbatch who does an EXCELLENT job of portraying Khan. It is hard to imagine him as Khan if you grew up watching the original series and saw “The Wrath of Khan“…However, he does make that part his own in a sense. One thing the viewer may come away with is a strange sense of empathy for his reasoning because it does have some logic.
This character is not just simply a “madman” hell-bent on getting even with Kirk, as portrayed in earlier versions. Cumberbatch actually gives Khan a high degree of intelligence, cunning and an ice-cold demeanor, whereas in earlier versions Khan was much more emotional. A viewer really cannot predict Khan in this one either. Other characters are used for that purpose and that is also a good thing! However what led to the feud with Kirk from the original story line is totally absent. They wrote in a new reason for it. If you go to this, you’ll see what I mean. It could have something to do with the timeline being messed with in the 2009 version.
Then you have Peter Weller. I have seen a lot of Peter Weller’s work and he is usually top-notch, but I felt that as Marcus, he was over the top in some of those scenes. This is the character that should have been the “greater villain”/”God Character” but this is role where he came off as “not believable” for lack of a better description. That character was also written to be too predictable. I like being surprised and I was not surprised with that character’s actions. I think the fault for this lies with J.J. Abrams. Anytime that happens, it’s usually direction that is the cause of it.
As usual, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and the actors portraying those we all grew up watching did a great job in this film. They are the main reasons I’ll get the DVD. I was really impressed with how Scotty (Simon Pegg) actually ends up being what I call the “God Character” here. His character knows what is best and finds out what is really going on at times–so some of this story line is revealed through him. Writing-wise it is a good strategy to use him for that since the writing with the Marcus character left much to be desired.
The other issue I had with the film is that there is some mirroring of Wrath of Khan with a bit of role reversal. One will know what I mean when they see the film so this is not a spoiler. I felt that the writers should have had a little more restraint with that tactic and more originality. Something needed to be fresh and different from what we know of as viewers in that sense, but I feel that this was a set up for a later film.
I do not understand why in the world there is a scene in this movie where Alice strips down to her underwear while Kirk is in the room. She makes him turn around, but the funny thing is, she really didn’t change clothing. The dress she put on may have been a different color. It’s not like she put on any special gear.
The acting was great! Don’t get me wrong there, but it is obvious that the writers borrowed way too much from “The Wrath of Khan“. I do like how they made Khan more cunning and cold–less emotional. For that reason, Benedict Cumberbatch deserves some kudos. For those who have not seen the “Wrath of Khan” you’ll probably love the whole thing! For those who have and grew up watching Star Trek, you’ll find that there is too much borrowing from the 1980 movie script with no sign as to what originally led to the feud between Kirk and Khan. For a movie that takes place in the early days of the Enterprise crew, that was disappointing. And then there are those who love action–period…They will love it too.
While there is non-stop action and a good story going on here, I feel it could have been told without all the references to the other film. I do like how the Klingons were portrayed. They rocked! Get ready for the next sequel. Let us hope that it follows the 2009 version in terms of originality. This film does not ruin the franchise by any stretch because it is good, it is just that it could have been so much better. Maybe next time…