Let me get this out of the way before I begin. I've always considered my self a Trek fan. I haven't seen every episode five times over and I don't know Klingon, not for lack of trying, but I do consider myself a mild trekkie.
For the most part the new Star Trek is a fun, fast paced summer hit that will surely make ton of cash for Paramount, which will in turn spawn sequels for years to come. When I remove myself from knowing anything about Star Trek, it's probably going to be my favorite movie of summer 2009. Non-trekkies like my wife will probably enjoy it in ways the old trek faithful never will. This isn't a bad thing for Paramount, taking Trek out of the niche zone and into the main stream has always been their goal and I think this movie will do that.
It was really hard for me to see Kirk and Spock Played by different actors; Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto respectfully. Pine made no effort to mimic William Shatners portrayal of Captain James T Kirk. I feel like it was both his and director JJ Abrams decision to do this and was a great move. Intentionally attempting to mirror The Shat would only have ended in disaster. Pine did a great job with the character that was written for him, which may or may not be the Kirk I remember; then again this IS literally a different Kirk than we have seen before. Nero altered the future, or created a parallel universe depending on who you talk to, when he killed Kirk's father, thus creating a new version of Kirk with different motivations and pains.
I give Quinto real props for having to stand face to face with Leonard Nimoy and managing to not be over taken by his simple presence. He did a great job with young Spock, a version we haven't seen in any Trek before. His struggle with being half human and learning to cope with this was great. However, I do hope in later films he can get back to the Spock we know and love from the show and movies and lose the temper tantrums. The relationship with Uhura was something I didn't see coming. It seemed an odd choice at first, but if they handle it well in the future, it could be a real great story thread going forward.
I loved Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy and the only negative I have with him is that he wasn't on screen enough. All the supporting cast was there and for the most part they felt right. One spot that I can't quite figure out is how they made Scotty into a stereotypical bumbling Scotts man. He was funny, yes, but I hope they do more than comedy relief with him or I'll be really disappointed. Not to mention when did Scotty come up with beaming from a planet to a ship traveling faster than light half a quadrant away?
All that said, I cannot forgive this movie for what it has done to the Star Trek universe. I will now spoil the entire movie. Nero, the villain for the film, blandly played by Eric Bana, is another in a long line of bad Trek Villains. I understand every Trek villain can't be Khan, but really this is getting bad. So in the present time, sometime after the events of Star Trek Nemesis, but I'm not sure how long, the Romulan sun begins to go supernova. Spock tries to save the Romulan home world, fails and it get destroyed. Anyways they both end up going back in time. Nero decides the only way avenge his lost home is to destroy Vulcan, Spocks home plant and then try at Earth as well. So a natural disaster wrecks your pad, and you go planet decide killing? How does that save your planet Nero? Why not head over to Romulas and warn them all so they have 200+ years to prepare?
But that's nothing. When Nero comes back he changes all Star Trek history when he nukes Vulcan. Official word from Trek land is that the movie was based in a parallel universe to what we know and Spock and Nero jumped from the one we know to this one. Lame. This is the writers way of clearing space for sequels without having fanboy's breaking down the door. I don't get why they couldn't have played in the existing universe accept that they were to lazy to research the extensive Trek lore. But I guess I can live with there being two Star trek universes, one with all the characters i know and love, and another with young versions of some of those characters, going on much sexier adventures.
My one nip pick. I write, and I understand that sometimes things just happen because you say so. But Kirk went from Academic Probation to Ship Captain in about a week, I just think that's lazy, and my wife would have a big problem with him if she had been in his class at Starfleet.
So there, I'll return my inner Trekkie to it's little hiding place for a few years until we get a sequel.