I suddenly realized that I had a few more random things to mention about Star Trek Into Darkness, believe it or not, that I forgot to include the last time around, as long-winded as that was.
Still, with spoilers, by the way.
One of the possibly negative comments that I’ve heard about Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which is more or less the “pre-boot” version of the most recent film, is that the two main enemies, Kirk and Khan, never meet face to face. I’d heard there was some plan for a physical confrontation as part of the movie’s climax, but that it was cut out prior to filming because for time / budget / story reasons. I’ve never thought of this as a negative at all. In fact, I’d never even noticed it until years later when I read about this topic, perhaps in William Shatner’s Star Trek Movie Memories. The conflict that the two leaders experience remotely, through communicators and view screens, has always more than sufficed.
But nonetheless, the issue is addressed in Star Trek Into Darkness in an amusing way, when Kirk starts pounding Khan upon first meeting with all the vigor he can muster. This gets him nowhere, of course, thanks to Khan’s genetically-engineered stamina, and the movie sensibly puts Spock against Khan for the climactic physical battle. Intentional or not I thought it was a good answer to the criticism of the earlier film: overall, it’s probably better for Kirk and for the good guys in general that he and Khan never got within arm’s reach.
The other thing I wanted to mention was just my favorite piece of dialog of the film, like I usually do with my Star Trek: The Next Generation commentaries. It comes in the first act of the film, as Kirk and Spock receive their dressing down from Pike. Pike asks Spock if he is giving him attitude. Spock replies…
I am expressing multiple attitudes simultaneously. To which are you referring?
A great line, and a great moment for Zachary Quinto’s Spock.