By Delta_Ass 0 Comments
The film left me kind of disgusted.
They set out to rape the corpses of past movies in order to bring this one to life, but it all felt empty and hollow. And with a story that featured Khan(!)... it strangely took a left turn into a plotline about a warmongering admiral and Section 31. The story of the Wrath of Khan is simple and effective. This one by comparison was complicated and felt confused about what it was trying to say.
Of course, the most obvious blunders happen early on. John Harrison escapes through a transwarp transport that takes him from Earth all the way to Kronos, the Klingon homeworld. This is horrible. If transports can allow us to travel from one end of the galaxy to the other... why then do we even need starships? The idea of Star Trek is to boldly go where no man has gone before. This involves danger and risk and gallant, dashing captains on sleek starships... not just pressing a button and transporting anywhere you want to. This entire concept of transwarp transport, introduced in JJ Abrams' first Star Trek film, is one I find incredibly distasteful.
How could the Enterprise hang out around in Klingon space without being detected and attacked by Klingon defense ships? Do they have a cloaking device? Actually, it wasn't just Klingon space, they seemed to be orbiting Kronos itself. Kronos, the homeworld of the Klingon empire, is deep in Klingon space and the Enterprise just sits around uncloaked, without any response from the Klingons. They even send a shuttle down, without any worry until the D4 patrol ships attack them when they're skimming right over the harsh landscape. How could this possibly happen? Weren't there any writers in the room to point out how patently insane and illogical this sequence of events was?
Another thing that struck me as weird was how Scotty is somehow jettisoned right off the bat. He won't sign off on the new experimental classified missiles, so he resigns on the spot? That doesn't seem like Scotty to me. Scotty cares about his ship and engines, but he'd know to follow orders concerning a top secret mission. The whole sequence of him being bothered by the missiles and then resigning and leaving the ship seemed incredibly out of character and odd. Of course, we later learn that this was just so the scriptwriters could get him onto the USS Vengeance as an ace in the sleeve.
Then we get to the introduction of Carol Marcus. They couldn't even figure out how her character fit into the story. She boards the Enterprise with the experimental missiles. But we later find out that she wasn't assigned to the Enterprise with the missiles. If she had proper authorization to board, then everything would be fine. But she doesn't have any credentials because Spock stops her. But she's explained to be an experimental weapons technician. So it makes sense that she would be the one assigned to maintain and operate the missiles. But she actually doesn't know anything about the missiles, because she doesn't even really know how to dismantle and open the missile. She and Dr McCoy blunder around on a planet with it. And Admiral Marcus didn't assign her to the Enterprise, because he's completely surprised to see her aboard when he's about to destroy the ship. So what on earth is she doing on the ship?
Khan's blood is somehow now the Genesis effect. In Star Trek III, the Genesis effect revived Spock's dead body. Now, it's the blood of Khan. I don't have to point out that the introduction of Khan's blood as a miraculous serum of Wolverine-like healing factor completely deflated the ending of the movie. But the very existence of it makes no sense. Nowhere in Wrath of Khan are we shown that Khan had any miraculous regrowth properties. The idea of Khan as a Wolverine is simply ridiculous. And yes, I know it's a new timeline. But I don't see how Nero's ship destroying the Kelvin could have possibly altered time to magically cause Khan's blood to act as a super healing factor.
Not to mention that Khan's purpose in the Section 31 plot also makes no sense. They brought him out of cryo-stasis to develop new weapons? The guy's about 200 or 300 years stuck in the past. His intellect is genetically superior, but that hardly makes up for it. In WoK, Spock said that he was intelligent, but not experienced. Well, lacking about 300 years of technological and developmental experience seems like a bad thing. There was no reason Khan should've had knowledge about the USS Vengeance and all her systems and layout.
And about the Vengeance... what was going on with that airlock door? If you've ever seen an airlock, it's usually a small room with two doors. You enter in through one door, close it behind you, and open the other door, which leads out into space. This small room is what locks in the atmosphere of the ship when you open the outer door into vacuum. The USS Vengeance, on the other hand, has an enormous hangar bay with one door that opens directly into vacuum. This is an incredibly unsafe and unwise design feature, because there is basically no airlock to hold in the atmosphere. Scotty had to secure himself with a strap from the wall, while the poor security guard was sucked out into space. Who would design a starship docking port like this?
Spock fucking rings up Old Spock on New Vulcan to find out what's going to happen in the future and who Khan is. Seriously? That just killed all the dramatic tension in the movie and really felt cheap. It also reminded me strongly of that scene in Spaceballs when they play the VHS copy of Spaceballs to figure out what's going to happen next.
I still don't understand what they were thinking with the missiles. Khan's people are in the experimental missiles. He put them there. He designed them and then put them in there. Why did he do this? To protect them? How could you protect your crew by putting them into missiles? Later, Admiral Marcus somehow takes them and tries to get Kirk to shoot them into Kronos to kill Khan. But they're full of Khan's people. Did Marcus not know this? Would the missiles have just crumpled up on the surface of the planet, killing the frozen supermen? Or would they have exploded? They seemed to have no warhead because they were full of frozen supermen. But later, Spock takes the people out and detonates the missiles on the Vengeance, and now they do have warheads. Were the warheads already inside the missiles with the frozen supermen? Is there enough room? Did Marcus not know that there weren't any warheads inside the missiles? If he knew, was this a way of killing Khan's people by shooting them into a planet? If he didn't know, then how did Khan place his people inside the missiles in secret? Was Khan in control of the missiles, or did Marcus have control of the missiles? Marcus took the missiles away from Khan, so how did Khan have a chance to put people inside them? Did he just sneak 72 cryostasis pods into the missile production facility? Were the missiles supposed to land and provide Khan with an army when they were fired into Kronos? And the movie made it look like the Enterprise was orbiting the planet of Kronos. Why didn't they just use normal photon torpedoes? They didn't even need the range of those experimental missiles. The Vengeance also probably had a complement of these experimental missiles. Were Khan's people inside those missiles as well? Did Marcus know that Khan's people were all in the missiles he provided Kirk? If he knew, did he want the Enterprise to just shoot frozen bodies to kill Khan? If he didn't know, then how did Khan know that all 72 missiles for the Enterprise were his crew? How did Marcus single out 72 missiles, precisely the number of Khan's crew, to give to Kirk? Did he have a brain fart? Was he in the know, or did he not know?
The movie has a lot of energy, so it's got that going for it. And I did like how they handled the Prime Directive in the opening sequence. Instead of a long-winded expository dialogue scene explaining the idea of the Prime Directive to new mainstream viewers, we just got a quick shot of this primitive alien civilization drawing the shape of the Enterprise on the sand. This simple scene quickly and effectively gets across the idea of what the Prime Directive is about and why it's a bad thing that Kirk did what he did.
However, the freshness of Abrams' first movie is nowhere to be found here. Instead, we've got the hallowed remains of Meyer's Wrath of Khan draped about, which only served to remind me how great that 1982 movie was, and how sad and pale an imitation this was.