Oh, and there are going to be spoilers… so don’t whine if I reveal something and you have not seen the film. But first, the Spoiler Force Field
We need to talk about Act One for a moment.
What I liked: The excitement, the chase, the edge of your seat danger…
What I did not like: We have been to this trough before. I can think of several TOS episodes right off the bat where Kirk breaks the Prime Directive to influence another culture. I can also think of several TOS episodes where a rogue Star Fleet captain breaks the Prime Directive and influences another culture. I can even think of a few TNG and Voyager episodes, as well. We get it, we get it: you break the Prime Directive and the native culture indigenous to the planet will worship you. And apparently Spock realized this too, because he continued to lecture Kirk on the subject while getting ready to burn up in an active volcano.
This, to me, was the worst mistake of the film, (my opinion). This first act should have been used to set the entire tone of the film, a chance for Kirk and Spock to deepen their friendship… or to at least prove that they even have a friendship. Because, by the end of the film, I did not believe for one second that Kirk and Spock were friends… also, I can barely believe that Uhura and Spock are more than friends. Something is off here. It’s called relationship building. They haven’t done it quite enough.
And this is why things didn’t add up at the end…
So, lo and behold, we get to the end of the film and what do we have here? We have the iconic death scene from The Wrath of Khan… only, it is in reverse and in this new time-line it is Kirk saving the ship and it is Kirk who dies behind the glass. Not for one moment do I believe that the time-shifted Spock would “go off all half-cocked” “hell-bent for revenge” because his “friend” is dead. This Kirk and Spock have not built the requisite relationship (there’s that word, again) for this level of high drama.
If I were writing this film, I would have done something completely different for the first act. Those first few scenes should have been all about bonding. Instead, we have tattle-tale Spock ratting-out Kirk, Kirk being relived of duty, Pike dying (which, if you think about it, was VERY believable from Kirk’s point of view, because the film(s) DID THE WORK with these two, they built the scenes which showed the Pike-Kirk father-son relationship, and Kirk’s grief at Pike’s death was absolutely correct. So bearing that in mind, why didn’t the writers (and director) do the work for Kirk and Spock?
Ok, so I have got it off my chest and told you what got on my nerves, however, do not for a second believe that I didn’t enjoy the film. I loved the film! I’m going to see it again. I am going to buy the DVD. But inside of me, as a TOS lover, I am going to have to set these new films aside. Because even though this is Star Trek… it is not really Star Trek. But that is another debate which I don’t have time to get into at the moment (I’m in the middle of moving). But that is a debate we WILL have.
Oh, and BTW: If I never see Carol Marcus again, I would not cry. There only one reason she is even the film and it was a dumb reason. I hated her character! That is all.