Probably voicing an unpopular opinion here but I didn't overall like it that much. Was it an awful film? No. It had great actors, great sets and great special effects. My problems are purely with the writing. Not all the writing, don't get me wrong. There were moments I loved. I was so pleased to see Pike back and I felt it was absolutely right to have Spock tell the truth and Kirk get in trouble over it. I wasn't that conflicted about Kirk getting his command taken away from him. Of course I knew that wouldn't last. I just hoped Pike wouldn't have to kick the bucket for that to be the case.
Partly my issues with the film are about female representation. Apparently even in the future there's pretty much just a load of bro's in charge of Starfleet (1 woman in the board room, who isn't there in the aftermath and probably died like Pike), then you add in Dr Carol Marcus who had far too few good scenes even though I liked the actress - it felt like they used her as an unnecessary plot device regarding the true nature of the torpedoes (not to mention why the hell did she get the confidential info on those from her dad if he otherwise wanted to keep her away from the shonky business he was doing, made little sense to me unless she'd used her own influence to gain access a little illicitly). We had a nice scene with her and Bones, but mostly she got used as gratuitous reassertion of Kirk's heterosexualness with the underwear scene etc and as a flailing damsel in distress getting abducted to her father's ship. I was hoping she was gonna turn out to have some kickass moment, that maybe she was the one sabotaging her father's ship or would stand up to her father is a more effective way but alas, no, they kept her around to sustain injury and scream a bit. Also, Uhura. We got some kickass Uhura but I felt like that whole thing with her being pissed at Spock's 'coldness' was too much exposition and didn't fit for her - maybe I expect too much but I figured she's a smart multicultural lady and that she'd be able to figure out Spock's reasoning etc just fine with her knowledge of Vulcans, even if she might like to hear it from him. So I wasn't a fan of the Spock/Uhura fighting in this film as it just didn't feel like it fit them in the way they presented it. The fact Uhura got to beam down for the final showdown I liked but then she didn't get to take down Khan alongside Spock like I was hoping for.
Other issues I have were with Khan. For one I was hoping they'd treat him a bit better than they did, he's sort of grey villian for the most part until prime!Spock comes and says don't trust him. Was that right? Who knows. As others have expressed I'm not sure this Khan is the same Khan as encountered in prime, could simply be a title, and I would've liked it if there'd been some ambiguity there rather than the big showdown of 'oh no he's actually evil let's get him'. This film, more than anything, left me wanting to understand the Eugenics Wars and Khan because we got teasers about it but very little explanation. Also, regarding Khan's attack on Starfleet HQ and the honcho's, any one else think for a super smart guy he could've done better? After all he missed Marcus and only succeeded in killing Pike and others, and making an enemy of Kirk who conveniently is a match for him despite not being enhanced. I just expected better, feels like a humongous plot hole that he chose such an ineffective attack for the one that really mattered to him. Could be he wanted to do it himself, for satisfaction's sake but still, it sucked.
And because it bugs me, the scenario at the start of the film is fun and all but a) how did they get the ship into the ocean without being seen if coming up is such a big issue? (I can only imagine they did it at night, but even so, still rick being seen) + b) what were Bones and Kirk doing down on the surface that ended up with them running away? I get that they had to run away to stop being discovered/exposed but how did they end up putting themselves in that position as it seemed completely irrelevant to Spock's volcano mission.
There also wasn't enough of Bones for my liking. I think fandom has ruined me a little because I may be rather fond of Kirk/Bones in this ST reincarnation and I was sort of expecting Kirk not to be alone at the bar after getting busted down in rank.
Things I did like, because actually there are a fair few:
- so pretty a film.
- Uhura not being afraid to face the Klingons
- Sulu owning being acting Captain
- Scotty, any and all. I loved his "I'm sorry" to the henchmen (but boy that henchman was dumb)
- Spock & Pike interaction
- Pike in general
- Dr Marcus when she got to do something, briefly
- them showing the utter devastation the attacks caused on the ship (though we don't get much indication of how the crew copes with this but I guess after the Vulcan genocide everyone's already lost people so it's nothing new)
- the mirroring of the sacrifice scene with the role reversal
I'm sure I will buy the bluray when it comes out and give it a good rewatch, but I think the first film is gonna remain my favourite of the reboot. I'm wondering if the next film is gonna live up to expectations too. I want another, but what I want out of it - character related stuff and alien cultures - doesn't seem to fit with the action film premise they're turning this new ST franchise into. It does make me sort of yearn for this being a TV show instead but I guess I'll have to satisfy that desire with fanfic.