Saw the movie yesterday, and good lord, I spent an obscene amount of time trying to catch up with the thread afterwards, and even though I skipped about 100+ pages that were mostly pre-release speculation, I still didn't manage to read everything...so forgive me if I touch upon something that somebody else has already said.
I'm somebody who was on the fence about the previous film (I refuse to continue a numbering system that was only actually used for the original TOS films, which ended 22 years ago). For every nifty touch that I genuinely enjoyed, there was something absolutely brain-dead that had nothing to do with violating Trek canon. And I refuse to take any connections to said canon very seriously, even though they perpetuate the concept in this film. This is a reimagining paying lip service to its predecessor. (But those who do insist on trying to rationalize how B literally diverged from A might want to take into consideration how often the prior version of this crew traveled back in time. If their adventures have been replaced with a new reality, this could potentially have had much further-reaching effects on the timeline....)
Anyroad, I found this installment to be much more solidly crafted and generally enjoyable. The new versions of these characters are fun and I mostly found them well-utilized and entertaining. Loved all the little easter egg nods. The villain featured in the trailers was exactly who I figured he'd be...and any doubts that I might have had evaporated in the scene where Kirk beats himself up trying to pound on "Harrison". Who else could it have been? But they used him in a different way that kept me guessing. You-know-who's cameo was kind of corny and unnecessary to the plot, but nonetheless an unexpected treat as I'd been completely unspoiled going in.
I had a feeling early on that they'd recreate Spock's sacrifice in some way, and hoped they wouldn't be so unoriginal as to literally redo it with Quinto's Spock. What they did was...clever...entertaining...but I'm not sure it elicited from me the reaction that the filmmakers intended. I saw the blood cure coming as soon as Kirk headed for the reaction chamber...it had been set up so obviously earlier in the film, and was just dangling there conspicuously, waiting to come into play. So far from taking Kirk's sacrifice seriously, I repressed myself from giggling out loud, lest I might disturb other movie-goers who were taking it at face value as a solemn moment.... As for Quinto's yell...it was another shoe that had been waiting to drop for most of the film...at least they used it in a clever and dramatically appropriate way. (I have no problem with this version of Spock being a bit less restrained than Nimoy's in extreme circumstances...that much was set up in the previous film, so it's consistent for this version.) And then they topped it off with a Spock/Khan match-up...something that should have been done in TOS.
Did anyone else have a feeling of deja vu when super-healing blood was used as a plot device in a series that co-stars Zachary Quinto? I know the show fell out of favor, but am I really the first person to think of giving a shout-out to Claire...?
My prediction for the next film: time travel. I'm picturing a greatest hits mash-up of "City on the Edge of Forever" and The Voyage Home
. Could they actually dust off that old "Spock kills Kennedy" idea? Fandom would explode--Try protesting that it's not Trek when it's Roddenberry's idea....