With respect to Marcus and the torpedoes I didn't have an issue with it. First, Kirk was closer to Pike than anyone else and watching him die in his arms left him emotionally comprimised. Given the time frame from orders to kill Harrison to execution you're looking at a day at most, maybe two. I don't think it's really that out there to expect a hot head maverick like Kirk to be pissed off still and when handed a big bomb and given orders to kill Harrison to do just that without asking many questions. After all he just accepted Scotty's resignation, on the spot, just to get the torps aboard. Then there's the difficulty of getting the things open. There's a good chance Marcus couldn't get them open or decided it wasn't worth it just to kill someone in suspended animation who'd die anyways once the torp was set off. Finally, yeah I think Marcus is just that big a dick to enjoy the irony of killing Khan with torpedos full of his own people. After all this was the guy who was going to blow away the Federation's flagship and even taunted Kirk about never letting his crew live. The guy was an asshole.
The blood thing? They didn't know if any of the other's blood would do it. Now they could have set that up earlier but they didn't, and given Khan's position as leader of the super men it's not that out there to think he might have had an additional edge. However, snap his neck, he'll still have six pints of blood to use. It's not going to go bad in the two or three minutes it'll take to beam him to sickbay and suck him dry.
You are right but (as has been demonstrated several times) they are too dangerous to keep them alive, look all the damage Khan did by himself, imagine 73 of them.
Which is still not enough to summarily execute them in today's legal system, forget the Fed's. And frankly, I'd rather it never be sufficent cause to summarily execute someone. "Eh, your racial group is likely to cause havoc and crime, so we're going to preemptively execute you." I have a hard time imagining any civilized society having that kind of policy.
Ok, actual thoughts on the movie.
It was... ok. On par with First Contact, but no II or VI.
First off, I like J.J. Abrams, the man restarted Star Trek after B&B tried to kill it with Voyager, Enterprise, and the entire TNG movie franchise. ST:09 was a pretty good flick, reset up the cast, and was fun. Yeah the villian blew but on the whole the movie was enjoyable. So was this one, but we're seeing how long term J.J.'s style isn't going to work with Trek. My biggest issue with this movie is it wouldn't stop moving. Just for a moment. That's all I wanted. Just for a moment fucking STOP. It's one constant flurry of activity after another. There's no real pauses, no real chances to catch your breath just BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM, plot point, action, plot point, action, joke, plot point, plot point, joke, action. It's just unrelenting. The few times the movie did slow for a character moment it didn't dwell on it or the aftermath but catapulted right back into the action. For a "cerebral" franchise I find it grating that no one is slowing down and talking nearly enough.
Ok, first off the Villian. I liked this Khan. As much as Roberto. He does a great job conveying that Khan really is superior to then in every way. I never got the feeling from Roberto's playing of him that he was really any better but just thought he was. Mentally he was ahead of Kirk but it rarely felt like it was because he was brilliant but just because he was smart and ruthless. That said, I just really don't feel the connection with Khan. Yes, they aped his name and backstory but beyond that he's just not TOS Khan at all, so why bother? Cumberpatch's rendition is so far off TOS Khan that the connection is actually distracting. Quinto, Pine, Urban, Peg, all the new cast are their own characters but you can see the TOS chracters in them. Khan? Not so much. I enjoyed him, more so when they were just calling him John Harrison.
I loved main engineering ESPECIALLY the warp core. This kind of thing is far more familiar to someone like me than the surgical suite nature of main engineering in TNG and Voyager. It looks like a working piece of machinery rather than an overgrown centerpiece. I really hope that future iterations of Trek keep using this kind of industrial design for the engineering sections.
Sulu, he got one big moment where he was in the big chair but damn. I gotta agree with Bones, do not piss Sulu off. Please give him a bigger role in the next movie.
Uhura got a bit more screen time it felt like, but it was screen time having relationship drama with Spock. I... liked it? Yeah, I liked it. Lets be honest, she's the switchboard operator for the ship. I also enjoy the dynamic of her and Spock. Him coldly logical and her even more passionate than Kirk. It plays with my love of opposites attracting. She did get a chance to tell Kirk to sit down and chill though which helped out Kirk's story and had her facing down a dozen Klingons unarmed. Really wish Khan had given her more of a chance to talk the Klingons down.
Karl Urban continues to be the perfect Bones. That's not to say that Quinto and Pine aren't nailing their roles, they are, but Urban is McCoy. The problem right now is that the TOS dynamic hasn't been fully established. Spock is cooly logical but Kirk is as passionate and firing from the hip emotional as McCoy ever was. The good news is this movie finally hammered Kirk into the form he would have in TOS which should allow McCoy to be the voice of emotion in the future while Kirk splits the difference between him and Spock with added awesome.
Chekov, thank you for tossing the wunderkid in the deep end and having him struggle. He couldn't just replace Scotty and he's fucking 18. I liked having him be out of his element and unsure. Again, let there be a Chekov/Sulu plotline in the next movie, let them have their day in the limelight after two Kirk/Spock movies.
Simon Peg does very well as Scotty. I think his scene of complaining about the new torps was well done, as was the shock on his face when Kirk accepted it. Again my only complaint is that there wasn't enough of him. That's the problem when you have seven great actors in the leading roles, finding time for all of them.
Zach Quinto again nails Spock. It's not about having no emotions, it's about controling the ones he has. Spock was never an automaton, he just didn't let his emotions get the better of him and his relationship with Uhura as well as his growing friendship with Kirk. In fact his scene with Kirk as he was dying was great... just marred by the distraction of them aping WoK's lines (seriously, write your own, we know what the scene is calling back to, we don't need you xeroxing the script) and... well that scream. It doesn't work with Spock, not even in that scene. Even when he's losing it watching Kirk die he's desperately trying to control it. That kind of outburst doesn't fit. His rage would be far better shown by his beating Khan senseless at the end.
Chris Pine acted his ass off here and this movie turned the Apple chomping Kobyashi Maru cheater into the Kirk we're familiar with, violently grinding off all that over confidence, smug, and recklessness, tempering him. It made up a lot of the ground that 2009 gave up by throwing him in the captain's chair so quick. The downside, with how face paced the movie was he had the Enterprise taken away in one scene and was right back in charge not ten minutes later. So it's not perfect.
I did like that they showed why the Prime Directive exists, even if its a rather hamfisted way of doing it. Why weren't they in orbit?
On the whole it was a descent action movie that finished the character arcs of Spoke and Kirk to mature them. The downside is that its frantic pace showed the limits of JJ's directing style and how it's probably not a bad thing he's moving on.