Originally Posted by JBElliott
The movie was billed as showing how the crew came to be on the Enterprise and that it did. It was also supposed to show how Kirk and Spock (and McCoy too) became friends.
Did it really show that? If so how?
kevin's description sums it up nicely, in his post above.
For me, it works like this:
They start off as vaguely antagonistic toward one another, because of their differences.
After the calamity at Vulcan, Spock's in command but struggling with his emotions and his complete lack of any idea of how to proceed.
Kirk then provokes Spock into unleashing and admitting all those pent-up emotions. Kirk takes command, Spock takes stock and accepts what he's feeling. Freed from that stifling constraint by Kirk's intervention, Spock's logic takes hold, and he and Kirk combines forces and ideas to come up with a plan. Their differences in thought and feeling complement one another, becoming a basis for unity rather than disunity. They then fight together against their enemy, proving how strong they are together - both in mind and body. Their plan depends utterly on mutual agreement and trust, and ultimately saves the Federation while also avenging the parents they lost to Nero. By the end of the struggle, they've both clearly realised just how much they can rely on each other, and a deep and lasting respect is born.
For me, the most noticeable turning-points are when Spock returns to the bridge after his talk with Sarek, all calm and collected and ready to help plan the attack on the Narada; then later, when he and Kirk are aboard the Jellyfish and Spock calls his colleague "Jim" for the first time.