Where do I begin? This is hard to articulate right now. I enjoyed the movie for what it was, a fast paced space action adventure with enough comedy to lighten the mood. It was also a nice story about how some characters got to know each other better through a shared emergency situation. I am having difficulty calling this movie Star Trek. I KNOW it is Star Trek, and parts of it felt that way, but the vast majority of it did NOT "feel" like Star Trek, not to me. Maybe after waiting for so long my expectations were too high? I don't know. I'll try to break it down a bit.
First, what I liked. I liked the dialogue. I liked the new way the film was shot and the "feel" of the gritty universe. I like the the New Enterprise and even the bridge wasn't too bad. The action was good and the sound effects were awesome. The story was okay.
Here is what I didn't like and some of my nit-picks. I didn't like the fact that nearly 99% of everything was changed from the already established Trek universe. I don't see how the new viewscreen, new phaser, new transporter effects, etc... really seperate this new movie from the rest of the Trek movies. I mean, only us fans will really notice the difference. It's NOT like non-fans avoid watching Trek movies because they can't stand the beeps and blips or the way technology os portrayed. So changinf EVERYTHING was unnecassary and only served to remind fans like me that this really ISN'T the same Trek. While the new ship design was cool, the new warp effects bugged the heck out of me. It was TOO much like ships going into hyperspace in Star Wars. The "BOOOOM" going to warp and "BOOOM" coming out of warp. I also found it funny, not in a good way, that they counted down when waiting to exit warp. What? They can't just say "drop out of warp"? It seemed like they programed in a flight path and then were forced to see it through... "we're going to drop out of warp in 5,4,3...."!! Please, that was lame. The new hand phasers reminded me of pea shooters, "pew, pew, pew", they sucked. The ship phasers were kind of cool, but I couldn't tell if any photon torpedos were ever launched, they all looked the same. That is another nit pick of mine, why did they have to change those too? Why must photon torpedos look like artillery rounds, and not the larger ones we are used to? So how many "cores" did the ship have? I didn't see a warp core, not one we would recognize, were those big silver things multiple warp cores? Another aspect to Trek that serves NO purpose to change, other than to alieanate fans. Almost ALL of these kinds of things bugged me. My significant other, who is NOT a fan, even said this movie was NOT Star Trek!!
Okay, okay... I liked the rebelious side of Spock. I enjoyed the scenes he had with his father. I enjoyed most of the character interactions. The characters were written well and felt like the characters I already knew, except for Scotty. While Scotty was funny, and I enjoyed that, he was not anything like the miracle worker from times past.
The whole story did have a contrived feel to it. Everything did NOT make sense, even for a sci-fi movie. You have the flag ship of a massive federation of planets, and all the cadets or recent grads are BETTER than the officers already posted?? okay, Bones got the position because the CMO was killed, but then he kept the position after everything was concluded? The only aspect of the movie I thought was sort of realistic was that Kirk was NOT given an award for his cheating on the Kobiyashi Maru test, he was "grounded". I had to suspend ALL disbelief in order to enjoy this action space sci-fi movie. But that's all it was, sadly.
To secure the peace is to prepare for war. -Metallica