I think I prefer Star Trek if it's being a bit sillier (though perhaps Abrams approach is too much). This one takes itself a smidgeon too seriously, as actors throw themselves around a set in a way that can only amuse me.
The strength are those actors in these classic roles. It was great to see an older cast slipping into these comfy slippers and being given some worthy material. The villain is another fun highlight. His wrath on Kirk being upstaged consistently, despite being blessed with a huge intellect. I didn't really buy that but it was fun admittedly.
It might be stating the obvious to say that this film makes no sense, but it really does go some to ignore any kind of logic whatsoever. Early on a bus driver, while looking at his phone for apparently a significant amount of time, manages to take a wrong turn and drive into an unsecure croc pen. None of the nubile snacks on board notices. The film is brainless throughout, with many moments of poor continuity and stupid behaviour.
Yancy Butler is quite good fun though. Her performance is pretty amusing and would be better served in a non-SyFy production.
One of the best found-footage films, maybe even THE best. Its secrets are fairly simple. Make it scary and move it along at a brisk pace. This film is never allowed to drag and we are invited to join the dots like the characters up to the genuinely chilling finale. Watching it with headphones on last night was a pant-soilingly good experience.
Overall as a complete package, this isn't Carpenter's best film. However the great moments are better than most filmmakers will get close to in their career.
Roddy Piper, having had his eyes opened, tries to wake his friend Keith David from his slumber but he's stubborn. So he literally has to beat him into submission in a bout that seems like it will never end. David is unwilling to accept that the world he lives in is more totalitarian (right word?) than he could imagine. Not until he has to.
I do this to friends who watch X-Factor.