hopefulnebula: Kirk and Spock in ST IV (the whale movie), caption: 'cetacean needed.' (Cetacean Needed)
[personal profile] hopefulnebula
My non-spoilery review, in the form of a text message conversation between me and my sister. (Footnotes added after the fact, and I've cleaned up some of my chronic laziness at proper capitalization within texts.)

Me: So it turns out that the new Trek movie is actually worth seeing. I'm a bit shocked my ownself1. Not one of my top three, but close2.
Me: I spent the first 20 minutes rolling my eyes, but I'm glad I stuck around.

Sister: Best. Review. Ever.

Me: Also there's Benedict Cumberbatch and Zach Quinto. I felt my Kinsey score dropping by the minute.

Sister: I don't know who Benedict Cumberbatch is but that is the best name ever

Me: BBC Sherlock. I'm madly in love with his hair.

Sister: Almost Matt Smith pompadour?

Me: I prefer his hair in Sherlock but that's how it looks in this one, yes.

Sister: Niiice

1 I'd watched like six hours of Firefly that morning, shut up.
2 More like five, really. Which is still passing.


More spoilery thoughts, mostly in bulleted list form, behind the cut.


Things I loved:
-Benedict Cumberbatch. (But not Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan. I'll be expounding on this below, but you can probably see where I'm going with this.)

-Zach Quinto.

-John Cho.

(I was serious about the dark-haired guys. Hello, heterosexual impulses. I almost didn't recognize you.)

- Sulu in the chair. "Remind me never to piss you off." (Also, Sulu is my favorite non-Abramsverse captain, so there's that.)

- The reversal of the irradiated chamber scene. They could easily have shat the bed with it but they ended up making it work. (Also I miiiiiight have that scene from TWOK almost memorized.) Also the fact that there isn't, like, a half-inch gap in the barrier this time around. ("It's perfectly safe. Radiation is big, right?")

- The lineup of model ships in Admiral Marcus' first scene. There's a space shuttle! And the Phoenix! And the NX-01! I was kinda making a wild "look-look-look" gesture to Tianna at that point.

- Spock's smartassery, just in general.

- Uhura being kickass. "You brought me here to speak Klingon, so let me speak Klingon."

- Carol Marcus, inexplicable accent and all. (I prefer inexplicable accents to awful attempts at them, really.)

- "You were barely dead, don't be so melodramatic about it."

- Scotty, standing his ground, everywhere he goes. Ain't nothin' comes on his ship that he doesn't know what it is.

- The artificial gravity and the inertial dampeners and the real gravity all fighting against each other.

- Cumberbatch-who-totally-isn't-Khan playing everyone.

Things I hated:
- Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan. There isn't much I can say that doesn't duplicate other people's existing rants about casting a white guy as a Sikh character who was originally played by a Mexican man. Because, seriously, this is the year two thousand and thirteen. And there are some more arguments to the effect that "yeah, it sucks but at least entertainment doesn't really need any more 'nondescriptly brown' terrorists." Right now you can't swing a cat online without finding one of these rants, and I agree with them (for the most part; I obviously haven't read them all.). So I'll focus on a different perspective. Cumberbatch is excellent as the villain, butit makes no sense for him to be playing Khan. A large part of the point of TWOK is that it's a battle between mortal enemies, and Khan's had years and years to stew/plot/hate/grieve. In TWOK, Kirk vs. Khan is intensely personal, and I think Abrams made a huge mistake by trying to reverse the dynamic here. I see what he tried to do, but he fell seriously flat.

- I've managed to reconcile/doublethink an in-universe solution. He's not Khan Noonien Singh. He's really one of Khan's people -- perhaps his name really is John Harrison -- and he's pretending to be Khan for the name recognition/to advance the cause/what-have-you. I realized this and was able to watch the rest of the movie without facepalming.

- The first twenty minutes or so (up until Kirk gets reamed out for lying on his report). For so many reasons. I get what they were trying to establish, but between the spearchuckers and the underwater ship and the fact that nobody on Enterprise seems to realize that fixing the volcano is perhaps a bigger Prime Directive violation than letting them see the ship, I spent that entire scene alternately facepalming, rolling my eyes, and going "oh lord." Also I'm pretty sure the end of that scene was veiled commentary on trekkies "worshipping" the show or something. Of course I was already feeling plenty insulted before then, so.

- Bechdel fail. I do not approve.

- STARDATES DO NOT WORK THAT WAY. GOOD NIGHT.

Thing I'm mixedy about:

- Tribble ex machina. (Or "Chekov's tribble," as someone in chat called it.) They can't save resurrecting Kirk for the next movie; that was the kind of thing that could only work once. But it just felt vaguely cheap, idk. Really I'm fine with just leaving it as it is and accepting that it's not the stupidest thing I've seen in Trek.

And a question:
- Why did it have to be Khan's blood, specifically? Couldn't they have used blood from any of the 72 others? (All right, so maybe McCoy didn't have time to test to make sure, or something, but they could have added a line to that effect, dammit.)
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