Let me get this off my chest right from the get-go. The best way to enjoy J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness is to watch it in IMAX 3D, switch your brain off and simply enjoy the ride. The visual spectacle should be able to remove all your concerns about plot holes, character motivations and illogical actions.
And that is exactly what STID is, primarily, a visual spectacle. With many of the plot points existing merely to serve this purpose. It seems obvious that when the screenplay was being written and reviewed, the key question was probably – “would this look good in IMAX 3D?” rather than “would this serve the story”?
Consider the opening sequence – which reminded me very much of Raiders of the Lost Ark for some reason – does it make sense for the Enterprise to be at the bottom of the ocean rather than in orbit (as is usually the case?) or does it look cooler on screen to have Kirk and Bones jump off a cliff and into the seas below and for the starship to emerge from the waters? You decide.
This simple example subsequently becomes a tread running through the entire movie where leaps in logic are made in order to facilitate cool special effects sequences. Not convinced, then think about the number of times characters or starships are falling in this movie – very exciting visually but how realistic is it for people to be surviving these epic falls time and again?
In many ways, Abrams has rebooted Star Trek movies for contemporary times – all form and little substance, where visual appeal is heightened above everything else and where moviegoers with short attention spans are not required to consider weighty issues but only to indulge in the sensory feast before them.