I am going to give my thoughts on the movie. I will mark parts of my review where there'll be spoilers. Before reading, you should see the movie. I do not want my opinion to sway your own view of this film. Go watch it!
I REALLY wanted to like this movie. Star Trek is an important part of my life. I grew up watching The Next Generation (TNG) & Deep Space 9 (DS9). And I liked most of the films (excluding the previous two abortions). And this movie is a really good summer movie. The effects are incredible. The film was very well-casted, and the actors' chemistry was believable. I accepted this cast as Kirk, Spock, Uhura, etc.
Now down to the nitty-gritty. The plot holes in this film were fucking ridiculous. I can make peace with the contrived way they brought the cast together. I can accept the seemingly forced relationship between Spock and Uhura. I can not accept the way they made Kirk a captain at the end of the movie. This ruined the film for me. How is it possible that someone who never graduated from Star Fleet Academy could be promoted to captain of a ship? This is a man who
a month [Diarist's Note: The film stated three years, thanks Professor Fate for correcting me!] before the events of the climax was getting into drunken bar fights. Then, they make him CAPTAIN, and promote him ahead of Spock, who is a Commander. If I had been Spock, I would have filed a fucking species discrimination lawsuit. Or at the very least finished killing Kirk. They made a punk ass kid captain ahead of a career military officer. The poor man already just witnessed the death of his mother and his whole planet. Now he has to suffer this indignity?
And it completely contradicted where they were going with Kirk's character. The Kirk of this movie is NOT the Kirk of the original series. This Kirk is a flawed, troubled young man. His life is spiraling into the life of a bitter old drunk. I like this Kirk! He still acts like Kirk, but is not the Aryan superman archetype of the idealized 50's and 60's. He is (seemingly) a Kirk for my generation. And then they do a 180 by making him captain. "Don't worry trekkies, he is still the old Kirk! Here, we'll make him captain to prove it!" It was a puss-out on the part of the director and writer. It would have been far more believable, and enjoyable, to see this Kirk have to earn his way into the captain's chair. Hell, they blew up Vulcan, would it have killed the writers to make Kirk serve under Spock instead of the other way around? You have already hit the reset button on the whole fictional universe, why keep the same command structure? Because the audience expected it? I bet the audience expected to not be treated like they were morons.
I am starting to get long-winded, so I will only address one more point. I was completely confused by future-Spock's explanation of how he and the villain (which sucked) ended up in the past. Something about supernovas, and some red jello shit called "red matter" that makes black holes. I was lost. I know a bit about astronomy & physics, and expect sci-fi to be more FI than SCI. But they could have looked up supernovas on Wikipedia in 5 seconds and gathered enough information to make a plausible disaster scenario. But obviously they didn't, instead concocting a disaster that had has much science as the Bible has pizza. At that point in the movie, I felt like they made the script using Mad Libs. Poor Leonard Nimoy was just saying a bunch of words to eat up 5 minutes of film time. I am sure it pained him greatly to say goodbye to Spock in that manner, until he cashed his big check from Paramount.
So, that is my view of this film. Not as bad as "Nemesis" or "The Final Frontier", but not "Wrath of Kahn" by a country mile. Fortunately, they have put together an excellent cast (who are all under contract to appear in the sequel). And JJ Abrams is a good director, who made this film watchable despite the ludicrous story. So, I am optimistic about the planned second outing for this cast. Hopefully now that they have reintroduced Star Trek to the masses, they can get on with decent stories, and create an enjoyable cinematic experience.