WHAT FOLLOWS BELOWS INVOLVES SPOILERS BECAUSE I HAVE NO DESIRE OR PROBABLY CAPACITY TO NOT RUIN EVERYTHING I TOUCH WITH SPOILERS
#1. Uh… give me a second
Got to cycle up the old memory. *whirrrllllllllll*
I liked some things about the characterization of the new Khan, who I will henceforth call “Khanberbatch” to not get confused. Khanberbatch’s story is really the story of Captain America in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Khanberbatch was a warrior from another era, frozen in time, then awoken and basically exploited for his abilities for strangers. This all by itself, as Winter Soldier proves, can make for a great story. In fact, had Khanberbatch not actually been meant to be Khan Noonien Singh, I would like him a lot more. Benedict Cumberbatch is a pretty solid actor and the situation they set him up with is pretty sympathetic. The only real problem is that Khanberbatch is actually kind of the hero of the movie.
No, seriously. He’s trying to save his family, and get out from under the thumb of Evil Admiral Robocop. Kirk is trying to avenge his surrogate dad. Spock is trying to balance out a love triangle between himself, Kirk, and Uhura. Khanberbatch is really the only guy that I think is really sympathetic. Dad Vengeance is supposed to be pretty sympathetic but man I just can’t stand Kirk (henceforth called Kirkstopher Pine).
Karl Urban killed it in Star Trek and he still kills in it Star Trek into Darkness. I think part of this is that McCoy, unlike say Kirk or Spock in the original series, is probably the easiest character to nail down. By that I mean that McCoy was always kind of an extremist, and that extremism makes him much easier to figure out how to write him. For McCoy was always angry, irritable, possibly alcoholic, and deeply compassionate, and horrifically racist (against Vulcans). He’s a man of many flaws as originally conceived and I think that’s something that makes him easy to understand and portray. So I suspect of the Big Three, he’s probably the best written, and Karl Urban is just such a great actor (see: Dredd).
#4. Spock vs Khanberbatch
There’s a lot of things I don’t like about Star Trek into Darkness, but there was a moment pointed out to me in the fight between Spock vs Khan that I think was really interesting. In an earlier conversation Khanberbatch, Khanberbatch commented that Spock lacked the savagery that Khanberbatch possesses. In the fight later in the movie Spock mind melds with Khanberbatch (an invasive act that’s really kind of unsettling the more I think about it) and in that moment TAKES KHANBERBATCH’S SAVAGERY INTO HIMSELF. At least that’s one interpretation and I think it’s a cool one, and really this exercise is about finding things I liked about this movie.