I liked it. Haven't really had time lately to talk about it, but I liked it.
It did not meet all my expectations. However it did do a lot of what I anticipated.
Originally Posted by kevin
I tend to feel that Abrams and Co by the terms of the ending, actually tried to give 'new' viewers a sort of two movie 'Foundation Course' in the iconic parts of Trek (Who are the crew? What is the ship? Who are Klingons, Romulans, the Prime Directive etc) to sort of contextualize 'their' iteration of Star Trek before sending the crew out on the Five Year Mission.
This has been my outlook on it as well. Even though it ends in a place where I kind of assumed the characters already were by the end of the last film.
I particularly liked the Prime Directive stuff because (I think) this is the first time since TOS that it's been presented in a simple matter-of-fact "Yes we have it, it's there, we never leave home without it, but at the same time this story isn't really about it" manner. And then the discussion of what Starfleet is... they found a way to make it topical so that general audiences would identify with it.
I think it succeeds in being the thematic Star Trek 101 movie I was expecting. But unlike most successful sequels (The Empire Strikes Back
, X-Men 2
, Spider-Man 2
, Terminator 2
, Godfather 2
), it does not escalate the themes of the original to the next level. Nor is it slow enough or thoughtful enough to build upon its predecessor emotionally.
The only thing I really didn't like was Spock's "Khan!" cry. It didn't seem in character at all, and for me it never will.
There were also signs that the Abrams aesthetic is wearing out its welcome. When the resurrected ship was about to resurface above the clouds, I found myself thinking "Oh god, not that theme again. Oh you're going to do it, aren't you? Oh damn you, you're totally going to do it. Come on, this isn't the first movie anymore!" And then the title sequence at the end seemed like an unpleasant reminder that not enough had changed with this movie.
On the other hand Nimoy's cameo, while fairly inconsequential (I'm still waiting to hear why he agreed to it), was handled much better than I was led to believe.
I see no reason why this film couldn't be just as good as the last one, however I think the familiarity of it this time makes it less. It's the same reason VOY can never be TNG, no matter how accomplished some of its episodes might seem in and of themselves.
So I liked it, but it's not enough. They need to do more, push further. This isn't the gutsy movie that temporally detonated a canon, swallowed a planet and took Winona Ryder with it.
We already know Abrams most likely won't direct next time. It's pointless to speculate what that means, however the STID script at least acknowledges these people are supposed to be explorers. What chance the next film could be the one that gets back to exploring? The score's now 2 out of 12 by my count for 'exploration' themed ST movies (and STV isn't one of the two).