I just saw Star Trek: Journey Into Darkness today over the Memorial Day holiday with my family, and after some careful consideration, I have to say that it fell short of the first of the re-boot series.
It's hard to talk about it without spoiling the plot, and I'll include some spoilerific comments after the break, so don't click on those if you haven't seen the movie yet.
On the upside: Chris Pine has clearly been watching old Star Trek footage, because he is definitely imitating Shatner more in the movie. Not in a bad way, just in some little mannerisms here and there.
On the downside: Benedict Cumberbatch was awful. I like him a lot in Sherlock but he was pretty woeful in this movie. His dialogue was limited (I think he had one multi-sentence piece the whole time) and he didn't radiate the power he needed to for the character he was (I won't say whom).
Okay, the break:
Now the rest of it....
I get this is largely a homage to Wrath of Khan, but the convoluted plot where somehow there aren't enough bad asses in the Federation that Buckaroo Banzai needs to recruit Khan seems a bit much. They already mentioned Gorns in the movie, and those guys are vicious. They also have Andorians too for that matter. Or hell, humans seems to be proficient enough in killing people.
Two, Cumberbatch beams to the Klingon homeworld via the "transwarp" device from the first movie. If Buckaroo Banzai had a transwarp device, why doesn't he just beam a Star-Trek era nuke to the same location with lots of Federation decals on it, kill Cumberbatch and piss off the Klingons in one fell swoop?
There was a lot of falling in the movie. A lot.
And finally, the whole "blood" plot device was handled so ham-handedly that it was almost embarrassing to see it unfold.