I never did understand how this film was so much more successful and popular than the first. Quite clearly the film has gone for a slightly more silly plot losing allot of the straight laced sci-fi from the first. I suppose you could say they lost the aspiring '2001' type sequences and went back to the more well known cardboard effects of Star Trek, shame.
Now I realise the slow building straight faced Star Trek we got in the first film was frowned upon but its hard to see what the fans actually wanted in a big screen version. There were complaints that the original was just an outstretched TV episode with fancy visuals, yet this sequel (in my opinion) was even more of an outstretched TV episode with lousy visuals.
I gotta give it to the creative teams behind the film, it was damn brave going ahead with this plot that's for sure. If you look at the facts here...the plot follows on from an episode which was in the old original TV series back in the mid 60's. So already you are possibly excluding most of your target audience as I'm sure many had not seen this episode and possibly not allot of the original series (of course many would have). So technically unless you had seen that episode you would be wondering what on earth happened before hand and feeling somewhat in the dark.
A bold move on the plot methinks, could of gone all wrong there. That aside I think the film looked pretty poor also, the effects looked allot rougher (which is saying something) and in general the grandiose feeling you got in the first film seemed to have been sucked away. What you had left was a quite cheap looking and very generic film, the only thing that looked spruced up were the character uniforms.
For me the franchise went backwards with this outing, it was kinda cool how they explored and expanded an old TV episode but the whole thing is so basic. I liked the slow strategic 'galleon' type starship battle between 'Kirk' and 'Khan' in the nebulae but apart from that there was nothing really that stuck out as a big moment.
Of course a sneering seething Ricardo Montalbán really helped the film with his portrayal of the dastardly 'Khan' but he doesn't do much does he. A curious one this, I know its a fan favourite and it saved the Star Trek franchise at the time of release but I just don't see why or how. I guess it was all about less fancy eye candy and a more 'down to earth' gritty Trek adventure.