skywaterblue: (Kira's awesome s7 hair)
skywaterblue ([personal profile] skywaterblue) wrote2013-05-17 10:39 pm

Spoilers: I loved the fuck out of it.

So it turns out that I did get spoiled for most of the major beats of this film...

...but then again, so was everyone who had seen the original "Wrath of Khan". And if you've ever seen a Star Trek film before, you know there are only two types of admirals: the evil, and the incompetent. (And the dead ones who were evil or incompetent.) All but outright stating that he's a member of Section 31 in the first half hour is a dead give-away to anyone who's actually seen DS9. That said, here are some things I particularly liked about this film.

- the way it is actually just like a remix fanfiction of "Wrath of Khan". A lot of the same beats but in a total 'what if THIS happened' flavor.
-- in that vein, the choice to have Kirk be the one to give his life in the reactor o'doom is a nice one. I don't think it ever reaches the emotional highs of Spock's death in "Wrath" for a lot of reasons but there's very little that can do that.
-- I also enjoyed that Spock is learning how to lie.

- a thing I wasn't spoiled for was a cameo by old!Spock. As totally lolarious as it is. ("I have vowed to never tell you a thing, but seriously, fuck Khan, lemmie tell you.")
-- gosh that makes the fanvid I made for the first one even better, shallowly, I note.

--- oh, that Section 31 obsession with Augments started EARLY, didn't it? Aren't they the most precious obsessive compulsive ultrablack ops organization in the known universe?

- my favorite background alien girl, the green one with the tribal cuttings on her face and the silver eyes, she got a line.
-- as did the chubby black helmswoman! She has shaved her fro!
--- yes, I have favorite background aliens in the Star Trek reboot!verse. You should deal with that.
---- also, Keenser. Because fuck haters, Starfleet is IDIC.

- Noel Clarke is in this film for literally five seconds.

- Spock and Uhura end this film more married than if they actually got married.
-- I mean, shuttlecraft confessional time: am I wrong in thinking Spock was just this side of proposing he and Uhura start a family?

- Uhura gets some fun stuff to do, including saving her man and negotiating with Klingons. If this 'save my man' thing is a new tradition of summer franchise blockbusters, I am all about it.

- This film comes down pretty harshly on drone warfare and ends with Kirk eschewing Starfleet-as-Military and calling for Starfleet to re-embrace peaceful exploration and science. It doesn't exactly stress these things and the message gets lost for about 2/3rds of the film for S31 and Khan shenanigans, but. All the same, it stakes some turf out for the franchise's message and I had been told that it was just a blow-em-up.

- Sulu gets to take the helm a lot, and surprises McCoy with his instant familiarity with the fear-of-God speech because someday he'll be Captain Sulu fuck yeah.

- I also enjoyed all the times McCoy had to do surgery on a torpedo.

- Basically, there are no levels of callbacks that I won't enjoy.

Here are some things I am mixed about:

- You're a Captain! Now you're a Cadet! Now you're a First Officer!
-- Look, demoting Kirk on a whim is also a fine tradition of the film series, but breaking him down to Cadet is just as ridiculous as his rotating Admiral's bars. Doing it for about exactly a scene just rubs in how bullshit it is as a plot point these days.

- So when Pike dies, it's totally meant to be a fakeout that Spock is scooping up his katra.
-- but it's a permadeath.
--- Pike has some great scenes to go out on, though.
---- And is also like, a major moment in shuttlecraft confessionals.
- but seriously, Pike's katra should have been a thing. I am sure people ([profile] taraljc are working on it RIGHT NOW.

- Gaila is probably for realsies dead but I will continue to believe because there was no body.

- Starfleet tech takes a major powerup in this one. Which is nice because the tech futurism has to keep up with the times as well, but sometimes jarring when it breaks the internal rules that the shows and films have established.
-- Like being able to make cell phone calls from across the galaxy.
--- or the brig having glass windows that can become permeable instead of force fields, but which is a really fun visual and actually makes more sense than dropping the fields to feed 'em as happened before many many times on the show.

- New Klingon makeup is meh. More alien. Keeps the best of the previous designs and culture, but adds the boring/slightly racist implication that Klingons are really into ritual piercings. Which. I guess.

- Oh, and the Klingon Bird-of-Prey wings cantilever now. That's really cool, even if they look like the Klingons just welded shit together. Embarrassing, since the Bird-of-Prey silhouette is maybe the top three of iconic ships from Star Trek and I actually think the painted wings say a lot about the Klingons as a culture. (Enterprise, Borg Cube, Bird-of-Prey. I reckon any American can see them and instantly know 'em.)

Things that flat out sucked:

- Honestly, a lot of the twists and turns were really obvious if you're a fan of the original franchise. From the admiral being S31. I actually think they were just predictable, since I called that they would use the blood to resurrect Kirk before the end of the window scene.
-- blood screenings, lol.

- the Augments as a race of humanity get major, major powerups here. Julian was holding the fuck back, eh? Before, they were simply superhuman strong and smart. Now they're basically fucking Wolverine. (If Julian's blood could bring back the dead, I think he would have used it more often.)

- Holy crap, having two ships fire at each other while in warp really, really breaks the established fictional physics of Trek. It is not a good change.
-- A lot of crew members die.
--- A LOT of San Franciscans die too. Dropping a giant spaceship down Earth's gravity well onto a major metro city is going to have a casualty count in the hundreds of thousands. Which makes it hard to believe they just bottle Khan up for a second film in the end. Where was the trial and conviction?

- I imagine Heinlein is pretty pissed about the Starship Troopers sequence. In his grave.

- Holy crap, transwarp beaming is already moving so fast that S31 can make a portable device that can get you to Kronos and back? Um, guys. What need for a starship will there be by Picard's time if true?

- Was that Praxis already exploded over Kronos?

sarken: spock, kirk, and mccoy on a striped background ([star trek] kick it old school)

[personal profile] sarken 2013-05-18 08:28 am (UTC)(link)

I said to my mother in the car, "I can't believe they went with Section 31. That's kind of deep in the Star Trek mythos to just toss at people, isn't it? I mean, I read the books, but it's right on the edge of my knowledge." I love that they did, though. If I hadn't seen a tweet -- yours? -- the other day that started, "If this really is a Section 31 movie..." I think I would've gasped out loud when it came up.

I can't remember if you've seen Firefly and Serenity, but I thought the new Klingons were super Reaver-y, but in a bad knock-off way, not in a way that was effective and made them scary.

Using the blood to resurrect Kirk was the worst, most predictable thing ever. I can usually pick out the twists in movies before they hit -- thanks to a Star Trek novel teaching me a handy trick -- but I was so confident this was coming that I leaned over to my mother before Kirk was even half dead and said, "They're going to save him with Khan's blood," and I am never that confident. I mean, come on, when your characters have a "What are you doing?" "Injecting the super-human's blood into this dead tribble to see what it does" conversation, it's just a smidge obvious where things are going to go. Maybe better writing could've saved it? I don't know. I do know that I will, for the rest of my life, think of "deus ex machina" as "deus ex tribble."