I came across Wil Wheaton‘s review of Star Trek Into Darkness, and in light of my hectic schedule right now (and plus: I’m lazy) I’m just going to say: what he said.
I loved the pacing of the film. I loved how it looked and sounded, I loved the reveal of Khan, I loved the development of Kirk and Spock’s relationship. I loved the various nods to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and the original series. When Kirk and Spock traded places with their counterparts in The Wrath of Khan, it blew me away, and if the movie hadn’t worked so well up to that point, if they hadn’t developed Kirk and Spock’s relationship the way that they did, it would have been laughable. It speaks volumes about the writing and the film as a whole that they could take that risk and have it pay off.
Benedict Cumberbatch is one of my very favorite — excuse me, favourite — actors today, and he brought his brilliant mixture of confidence and strength to Khan in a way that, with all due respect, Montalban never did. Never once does Cumberbatch make the obvious choice, his performance is always subtle, always controlled, and when he finally goes full-Khan, scary as hell. Peter Weller’s Admiral Marcus reminded me of Nicholson in A Few Good Men, without the screaming and chewing of scenery, and his desire to provoke a war by any means necessary in contravention of his Starfleet oath was a fundamental part of what I viewed as the main message of the movie.
The entire film is about doing whatever it takes to protect and care for your family and those you love, and finding a balance between providing that protection in a way that cares for them without becoming the very thing you’re trying to protect them from. It’s a warning about the dangers inherent in letting vengeance eclipse justice, and reflexively choosing the military option at all times.