I think if you sat in a class of six graders and asked them to brainstorm a way to kill of a character like Kirk you would pull ten better ways of doing it.
Perhaps falling off a cliff may have not been so bad had it been done with some level of drama.
I liked generations but when the borg queen was reduced to that little piece of brain and spine Picard snapped it with no level of emotion whatsoever. That moment was completely flat.
I find this flatness seemed to permeate the Burman movies and so with Kirks death you may rationalise that he was saving others but it came across as badly done. With a budget of millions some of that ought to go into getting your defining moments perfect.