I didn't want to put Into Darkness vs Wrath of Khan as the title of this thread, for fear of spoiling anything for anyone who hasn't seen STID yet.
I have to get this off my chest. I'm sick and tired of hearing that this movie was a Wrath of Khan ripoff from some fans. These 2 films couldn't be further apart from each other.
yes, ONE damn scene was lifted from TWOK, and yes Khan is used here. But there, the similarities end.
TWOK was about a Kirk who was facing the realism of aging, growing old in his life. Khan was out for revenge against Kirk for leaving him stranded on dead planet. Spock discovers the sacrifices one must make.
STID is about a young upstart Kirk, who through the course of the film, learns what you must truly do to earn to sit in the Captain's chair. This Spock is still going through the pain of losing his planet, of learning what it means to stay alive, and builds his friendship with Kirk through the film.
the film also deals with the effects from the 09 trek, with starfleet beefing itself up, and using Khan for its own means to an end. In the end, that blows up in its face. This Khan was pushed even further over the edge, than i think Prime Khan was.
So, really, these two films stand apart. They told completely different stories.
No one is saying they're identical plots (well, some people might be, but most aren't). If they were identical, then STID might have actually made some sense.
It's a ripoff in that the writers were (IMHO) banking on nostalgia and gimmicks to transfer the perceived quality of WoK over to STID. Apart from the genetic engineering, Harrison was a very different character from Khan. Making him turn out to be Khan was jarring for me as a viewer, and in some ways an admission that the character as written didn't hold up on it's own. I mean they even have to call Leonard Nimoy later in the film so that he can tell the audience how dangerous Khan is, I'm assuming because the script prior to that point hadn't done a particularly good job of establishing the fact. Similarly, the stolen scene pretty much took me completely out of the film because I knew why it was in there. And maybe that could have worked in a universe without WoK, but then you have Spock do the scream, and it's just so awkward and forced in that even if this were the first ST film I'd ever seen, it still would have felt wrong.
So the problem isn't that STID is WoK. The problem is that STID tried to take the best known elements of WoK, mixed them in with some stuff from TUC and one too many fight scenes and yes, some stuff that was legitimately new and interesting, and ultimately failed to do anything particularly well. You want to reboot Trek? Then don't revisit stuff we've all seen before. It probably won't be as good, and it'll distract from the the stuff you're doing that's actually fresh.