This has been on my Netflix cue for a while because I like the first one a lot and thought I had never seen this one, only to realize upon watching that I definitely had seen it before. So, probably not the most memorable movie in the world.
This one begins with Captain Kirk getting his own ship. Everything’s great but there’s also terrorism in the world and that happens. They are doing some recon mission on another planet to stop a volcano from erupting and wiping out all life, but then things go wrong (as things usually do) and Captain Kirk compromises the mission to save Spock. He lies on his reports but Spock is predictably logical and fills out his reports honestly.
They get called in, Kirk loses his ship and his crew is re-assigned. Except then, uh-oh, stuff happens! Some rogue ex-Starfleet member Kahn (Benedict Cumberbatch) gets a Starfleet member (but more importantly, father) to blow up an “archive”/top secret armory because Kahn gives the man’s sick daughter a blood transfusion that cures her terminal illness. His blood is regenerative and crazy good (see: “genetically engineered super soldier” below). Upon discussing what recourse to take, there is a lot of discussion about the ‘mission’ of Starfleet, how it used to be solely exploratory but in recent years has become more militaristic. It felt very “we’re really talking about the US and Iraq in 2003.”
Kahn is actually not just your average run-of-the-mill terrorist, but a genetically engineered super soldier who has been cryogenically frozen for 300 years along with the rest of his family/crew/race/fleet (it was unclear) who was thawed to help with current political strategy but the motives were questionable also he turns out to be bloodthirsty and ungovernable. Then Kahn tries to kill all the heads of Starfleet, and in doing so kills Captain Kirk’s space dad, Captain Pike.
The murder of a father figure is not something a loose cannon rebel commander takes very lightly, so Kirk reliably goes apeshit and agrees to find & murder Kahn, who is hiding on an abandoned section of a Klingon planet. They go to get him, but everyone is basically opposed to the ethics of this blind-kill mission so a lot of passionate speeches are made.
Kirk agrees to capture Kahn and bring him back to Earth for a fair trial. But upon capture he drops some truth bombs on them, namely that the bombs they have on deck aren’t really bombs, they’re the frozen bodies of his people and that the main Starfleet dude who sent them there to kill him is really George Bush Sr. in 1990.
Kirk doesn’t know who to believe so he picks the one who murdered his space dad. They infiltrate George Bush Sr.’s ship to disarm it/citizen’s arrest the captain and take him to get a fair trial on Earth. (If only we could do the same for the police who kill black citizens!) Meanwhile Spock is facetiming with himself in the future to see what the deal is with Kahn. The version of himself that is old tells him that Kahn is the worst enemy they’ve ever faced but they defeat him “at great personal cost.” Spock is like “Ok Dad me, thanks for the heads up” then goes to tell Kirk but Kahn has already betrayed them, killed George Bush, broken George Bush’s daughter’s leg (a hot PhD weapons specialist named Carol) and is threatening to kill everyone if Spock doesn’t send his race of frozen people over. Spock does it, then Kahn beams them back to the Enterprise and tries to blow it up anyway.
The crew of the Enterprise does some science and saves the ship/members but in the process Kirk had to re-align the ship’s core (classic) and exposed himself to what the kids would call “a shit ton” of radiation. He dies in the decontamination cell but not before he and Spock have a H2H about feelings and stuff. They do a touching hands-through-the-glass gesture, Kirk dies.
Aside: People were very flouncy about their own lives in this movie, to the point where it was weird. Like, they’d get pissed that someone else would be willing to sacrifice themselves for the mission then turn right around and do the exact same thing. In the beginning of the movie during the volcano mission Spock told them to leave him and Uhura and Kirk are pissed at him for it. Then two scenes later they’re like, “Hey do you need me to die for this? Cause I’ll die” mainly Kirk, but pretty much everyone was down for Suicide By Honor. I feel like even a Samurai, had there been one on the ship, would have been like “you guys need to calm down.”
Spock is hella mad and goes to kill Kahn. He beams down and they have this chase/fight scene that is very long and “intense,” the brunt of which takes place on top of a moving ship. In general I prefer duels/battles to be on solid ground because the fight choreography is better when it doesn’t rely on a lot of changing camera angles and people constantly having to pull themselves up on something. This was no different.
Back on the ship, Bones, the doctor, has a realization that Kahn’s blood can save Kirk because it’s regenerative and stuff, so they need him alive. Spock is too busy in his fight to the death on top of a spaceship to pick up his transponder and hear this info, so Uhura beams down and shoots Kahn/delivers this info.
Kirk lives and everybody is happy about it. They freeze Kahn again, Spock returns to logical impartiality, Uhura’s eye makeup remains perfect.
Aside from the fact that Chris Pine looks like he’s shooting a Bowflex commerical half the time, it was good, suspenseful. Basically, the whole movie was just people getting themselves into unescapable situations and escaping. They did a good job with the solutions it was always believable/plausible/clever, but after a while it was pretty one note. A good note, but one note.
6/10 would not masturbate again