*. More of the same. As with J. J. Abrams’s original re-set Star Trek we see more people hanging from ledges and falling through the air. They even duplicate the effect of falling into sudden silence for the scene where Kirk and Khan “dive” into the other ship. There’s also a repeat of the Enterprise rising out of the clouds (of one of Saturn’s moons in Star Trek, on Earth here). As soon as I saw those clouds I knew what the next shot was going to be.
*. It’s also more of the same in being a remake, or revisiting, of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. They even drag Leonard Nimoy back again for his last screen appearance to explain what’s going on.
*. The opening business with Kirk and McCoy being chased through the jungle by natives because Kirk stole a religious artifact (why?) recalls Raiders of the Lost Ark. This made me reflect on how I’m now watching the work of a generation of filmmakers who grew up on Spielberg and Lucas. Shit.
*. I like the fact that Carol (Alice Eve) has sexy underwear on under her short-skirt uniform. I’m just not sure what Carol is doing on the Enterprise in the first place. Is it ever explained? And what is Admiral Marcus’s game? So he took a gamble on wakening a secret weapon and it didn’t pan out. Now he has to go full heel and start killing everyone?
*. Benedict Cumberbatch may be the most improbable leading man of the twenty-first century thus far. He’s a talented actor but the part is a shadow of the original and he never gets to light things up. Basically he’s just a comic-book villain with super strength and intelligence. I also thought it weird how he is undone with a very simple trick at the end.
*. I really didn’t need Spock to have that big “Khaaaaaaaan!” shout out. Not every in-joke is worth it.
*. I take it Khan is meant to be a terrorist with a base in enemy territory. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Klingon. The original plan is to take him out with a Cruise missile but that doesn’t work. At least Kirk ends on a hopeful note about not giving in to the need for vengeance. Though I’m not sure that matters.
*. I think the only reason I’m writing these notes is because I actually sat through the whole thing so I felt I should post something. It’s another videogame dressed up as a movie. The cast works well but in neither of these movies have they had any story to tell. Just more of the same noise. Audiences loved it.