One guy commented on the cast and how perfect he found it. And I have to agree, the whole cast was perfect. I can't think of any weak link there. Although, if I had to name someone I would say that I wasn't too impressed with Leonard Nimoy. I would have never thought that I'd say that, but somehow he just didn't feel like Spock. Maybe it was the new German voice they gave him (which was good, but it just wasn't Spock). I even found most of the dialog they gave him quite predictable and rather uninspired. I groaned at his 'volle Schubkraft' (I don't know what it was what he says in the original version; maybe 'full thrust' or something like that) in the scene where Kirk gets promoted to captain. I mean, what was that supposed to mean anyway?
I saw the original version and while I didn't think Nimoy was weak, I was a bit shocked how old and fragile he looked. He doesn't sound that much like Spock anymore (I snickered when the computer in Spock's ship recognises young Spock's voice.). It was still great to see him. A few guys even cheered in the theatre. The scene where old Spock says, "full thrust" is followed by the scene on the bridge where Kirk says ist. I guess, it's supposed to show that new Kirk is still Kirk, old Spock being able to predict what he'll say because he knows him so well.
I agree about the cast. They were all great and really became the characters. I wish we would have seen a bit more of Sulu and more meaningful scenes with Scotty. But then again, this movie was mainly about Kirk and Spock.
One of may favorite characters from the original has always been Chekov. I just love the guy and Walter Koenig's performance. What I didn't see coming was that I would like the new Chekov just as much. Really, I just fell in love with this character all over again! I don't know about the original version, but the German dubbed version of his Russian accent was quite heavy and many people snickered in the theatre.
The accent is heavy in the original version, too. People in the theatre kept laughing at it, even in the more dramatic scenes. We Germans really have a questionable sense of humour, I guess.
I have some minor problems with the whole plot, but nothing too jarring. I found the whole chain of events (Kirk getting dropped off at Delta Vega [seems like a rather unconventional penalization when they could have easily put him into the brig instead], coincidentally running into Ambassador Spock's cave, coincidentally meeting Scotty who coincidentally knows how to transport back to the Enterprise) rather far fetched. That was just all too convenient and therefore distracting. I also find it rather hard to swallow that Nero and his crew waited for 25 years doing nothing, really!
I was surprised to find out that the Delta Vega scenario was a coincidence. Nero and his crew get little screen time and character build up, unfortunately.
Some more random thoughts:
Even though a lot of stuff looked different, this movie got the TOS feel down, especially in regards to Starfleet. It felt like the more military organisation it was in TOS, comprised of dedicated, earnest, great people. They even kept the basic design of the female uniforms and the underrepresentation of women on the bridge.
Pike was a great captain, a mentor figure and yet, badass. Then again, in this universe, a lot of people were badass.
The movie was a bit too fast-paced at times. At least, the action sequences weren't as bad as in Quantum of Solace
. One had a general idea about what was going on, but I would have preferred it a bit slower, still. I miss the old days where you could easily follow an action sequence and it still looked good (I'm thinking "The Avengers").
But more importantly, I felt the movie sometimes hushed over the emotions generated by the events in the film. I mean, this has a tremendous death toll, nearly all Vulcans and the current Academy class plus many Starfleet officers. I loved the sequence where Spock is walking down the corridor while Kirk is taking over command.
Generally, the cinematography was excellent, a lot of beautiful shots and not too pseudo-artsy. However, the lens flares were slightly annoying in their mass. I don't mind one here and there, but I think it was overdone.
I could have done without a few crude jokes. The dialogues were well written and often funny (and we haven't had that in a Trek film for a while), so they could have done away with some of the slapstick scenes, especially the one where Kirk accidentally touched Uhura's breasts and where he hits his head in the shuttle (probably a hommage to Scotty hitting his head in STV).
They should have used more familiar aliens instead of making up all new ones. I liked the more alien looking ones, but it would have been nice if the nurse with the creepy eyes in the Kelvin scene would have been a humanoid alien from old Trek (a Trill maybe).
Overall, the movie felt quite rich in its details. There were a lot of hints at interesting opportunities. I feel they did an awesome job at introducing the main characters and the general setting, and now we have this blank canvas, ready for the taking. It's exciting!
I really hope they do a sequel.
For me, the film hangs between 'above average' and 'excellent'. I'll see it again tonight and will reserve grading until then.