After a pretty successful first outing, the whole team came back. So, my hopes were riding high for another exciting Star Trek film.
But early on I saw a danger sign. They were basically doing a Man of Steel. It was clear that they were going to use Khan. The film makers denied this aggressively, especially after Benicio Del Toro left and was replaced by Benedict Cumberbatch.
When the film begins, it starts out okay, I guess…I mean, they still have not started their five year mission yet, and I have no idea why this could not have been set within that…but Kirk and crew save a primitive civilization from extinction and this gets Kirk demoted. But when a terrorist named John Harrison attacks Star Fleet headquarters killing Captain Pike, the Enterprise crew is sent to kill Harrison on the command of Admiral Marcus.
When they find Harrison, Kirk gives into his conscience and takes Harrison Prisoner. As they speak with him, they discover is is actually leader of a genetic super community. His advanced intellect is being used by dark areas of the Federation called Section 31…this knowledge puts the Enterprise in danger and they must work with Khan.
Clearly, Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman thought using Khan would excite fans, after all, we all loved Wrath of Khan, right?
Except, Khan and his vengeance had tremendous weight because Kirk and Khan had a history dating back to the original series. This creates a tension that this film cannot recreate, quite simply because they do not know who Khan is. In fact, they have to reach out to Old Spock to have him give the rundown, because Khan is not even famous historically here.
They also try and flip the Wrath of Khan’s ending by having Kirk Sacrifice himself and send Spock to capture Khan. Except, when Spock gave his life in the Wrath of Khan, it hit the viewer. We were losing a friend for the good of the many. And here? Kirk is barely dead two minutes and we find out they can resurrect him…and they do…we never get to feel worry or loss for Kirk…he was never in danger.
This film is just lacking the emotional resonance that it is attempting to duplicate. It is an empty and uninspired adventure.