I got to see this at a double feature where they showed the first movie as well. Because I haven't seen the first movie since...well, probably since the year it came out(though, I watched it a lot of times when it came out), watching it for the first time since then kind of brought back that excitement I had when I did see it for the first time. It was an exciting action movie while also being a good Star Trek movie. You could point out that it didn't really like to follow the logic of its own universe and that it was spoon feeding the audience information with archetypal characters and a really basic plot, but taking that approach was probably the best thing they could do for rebooting a franchise. It was about setting up all of the pieces together for how all of the characters ended up together. Now, with all of the pieces assembled, they can take the series in new and interesting directions.
Maybe that'll happen in a couple of more movies, but, until then, Star Trek: (Insert generic title here to badly try to hide the fact that they couldn't call it the Wrath of Khan again) is a really good action movie and is even better than its predecessor.
After seeing the first movie in theater, during our break, I over heard guys having a conversation about Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan 2.4 the Re-Make and it kind of went something like this.
Guy 1: Well, that was pretty good, it was better than 1st one.
Guy 2: Yeah, it felt more like a Star Trek movie.
Guy 1: Yeah, it used more of the standard tropes.
Guy 2: Yep....
Guy 1: Mhmm
And that's as far as the conversation went. I kind of felt like these guys wanted to say more about it but they kind of couldn't because there really wasn't much else to talk about. It's good, it feels a bit more like Star Trek, and it's an incredibly fun action movie.
The best thing this movie has going for, though, is Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan. Some of you might know him as Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock but he's also been in other movies, with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy coming to mind, but, now, we finally get to see him in a really big role where he gets to display his talent to the general audience. He is absolutely great and entertaining to watch as he actually gives us a memorable bad guy as opposed to that one guy from the first movie(quick, tell me the bad guy's name without looking it up).
If it's another thing that I really like about this movie is how it doesn't try to "raise the stakes" from the last film. The first movie involved a giant space ship that could destroy planets and it had scary looking tentacles that also involved galaxies getting destroyed. In the sequel, however, the entire movie is made up of two space ships at battle with each other and that's pretty much it. And it's great too as they manage to do so much with just a simple concept. There are still a lot of different ways where they keep on raising the stakes but the keep the movie a little more character focused when it comes to these stakes. Instead of just involving the destruction of planets or galaxies, they opt for keeping the whole battle contained and keeping it involved with characters we actually know.
Okay, there's actually a lot I would like to talk about when it comes to these actions scenes, but it's one of those things where you're just going to see for yourselves. Though, what I will say is that the action scenes are extremely well directed and it's pacing is really good as well. All of the intense battles and life threatening situations are well shot and they make sure that you actually see everything you need to.
With all of the good this movie has going for it, it does feel incredibly held back with not all that good screenplay. This is where things get frustrating as it has all of the pieces for an incredibly great movie, but once they can actually get good writers on board, we've yet to come across anything special. The problem lies in the fact that the story is told in one of the laziest ways possible. The first movie had this problem as well, but, like I said, it might have been necessary since it was all about putting everything together. Now, though, it's kind of disheartening to see how hard these guys seem to be actually trying.
I guess it shouldn't be too surprising as the guys behind the screenplay are also behind Transformers, but the things that happen are quite baffling when you think about it. The dialogue in the movie is serviceable and it can get pretty funny when it tries humor(they do sarcasm pretty well), but when it comes to the plotting it gets pretty dumb. The problem is the over reliance on Chekhov's Gun, that all important plot device where a scene screams "THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER ON IN THE FILM" and everything in the movie gets resolved this way. Seriously! It makes me wonder if these guys can do anything else besides playing on coincidences and the unlikely. I think they try to bring in destiny to explain this but that's even worse as that really is an excuse for lazy screen writing.
When you get right down to it, though, this is still a really fun movie to watch. Although I'm convinced that they really need to get better writers on board before they can start really going anywhere with this franchise, it's still a great action movie.