Ok everybody can go back to talking about it. The gag order is lifted.
First of all, I loved the film. So let me get this out of the way, my brief list of quirks.
1. What was the point of the Uhura-Spock thing? I don’t see how it advanced the plot or even developed the characters. There was no lead-up to the first elevator scene after Spock turns over command to Kirk. It was just out of the blue.
2. I didn’t like the new Enterprise. It looks more advanced than even the Enterprise-E (Picard’s ship).
3. Kirk’s rebelliousness was taken to the point of hyperbole. The whole adolescent car thief sequence was not believable. If it were my son, he would have been grounded for the rest of his life. Ok, the fact that he wrecked a classic Corvette strikes a nerve with me!
4. Where was the scene where his uncle says, “no you can’t go to the academy, we need you for one more season.” And Kirk says, “but all my friends are going now!” And his aunt says, “Let the boy go. He has too much of his father in him.”
5. Why wouldn’t old Spock give young Spock a bunch of winning lotto numbers?
6.. I didn’t feel the need to introduce every Star Trek principle in this film. It felt a bit contrived that they all met on their first mission. Also, they killed Mrs. Spock. Don’t they need her later?
7. I’ll forgo a number of minor annoyances, but here’s just one example. Uhura orders a Cardassian drink. <Exasperated gasp>, contact with the Cardassians wasn’t made until about a century later. Was that reference really necessary? <dozens of other such references omitted here>
8. The core of the plot was your basic good v. evil. I prefer character-driven stories. For example, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (the first film) was built on discovery and the journey of the human spirit.
On the plus side, what I liked was:
1. The action and special effects did not disappoint; never was there a dull moment.
2. The writing, acting and directing were superb.
3. They didn’t do the prequel thing too over the top the way the Enterprise (series) did.
In summary, the film was innovative but had a balanced amount of homage to the Star Trek canon. Roddenberry would have approved. Now I’m eagerly awaiting the next installation of Star Trek films with this crew. It’s a team that works.