Right. 12 hours after seeing it I have a few thoughts. I don't feel overwhelmed to write a review so this is all I got. In no particular order:
a) DEFINITELY need to see it again, preferably in the evening with a large audience and not at the first 10am showing. It was very impacting on a visual level and would love to take it in again.
b) If you've followed all the released clips that have popped up on the internet, you might have the same jarring experience as me. It was terrible! "There's the clip I've seen... new stuff! Tick tick tick... there's the bit I've seen... new stuff!" I was anticipating the bits I'd seen and it made the whole ride a bit choppy.
c) We had the exposition regarding the alternate reality, yet the plot contrives to push things together when - in an alternate reality - you would assume the end result wouldn't come to pass. Of course any alternate reality is possible, but in this instance it felt forced. Be it CADET McCoy's sudden promotion to CMO of the flagship, to Scotty's fortuitous arrival on the Enterprise and to CADET Kirk in the span of days rising in rank to Captain of the Federation Flagship. Was it his reward for the strategy he devised to save planet Earth? Was saving Earth such a big once-offer that they thought "what the hell, let's see how he goes?" In any event, he set a record.
On the subject of forced, I wonder if the relationship between Kirk and Spock was melded solely because Nimoy's Spock *told* them it was meant to be. We certainly witnessed the hostility develop between them, but the way Spock basically gets on with it and is *informed* of how his relationship with Kirk should be, followed by him hopping on as First Officer, didn't sit well with me. If their relationship had developed organically within the new timeline to emerge out of their dislike into the legendary bond they would eventually hold, I would have been suitably impressed.
d) I was underwhelmed by Nero. He was an instrument to bring the crew together for future adventures without the hindrance of canon, in the end. But he could have used a little more development. Further, his last lines along the lines of "I'd rather watch Romulus burn a hundred times than take help from you" detract from his main motivation of saving the world he loves. Had he just completely just lost the plot? If restoring his empire minus the Feds was his goal - stuff Spock! Just annihilate them then and there as opposed to waiting 25 years just to show off. Very odd.
As for "I should have killed you when I had the chance." ? Well yes, you probably should've as opposed to plucking out one of the oldest villain cliches of letting the hero go only to regret it later.
e) Cool moments: Opening, man. What a friggin' opening! A bit like First Contact
, in a way (saving the all out space brawl for first). I had goosebumps and the shakes! They certainly didn't muck around.
I'm glad I know what I'm in for second time round. Having followed the development of this film from day one I was so conscious throughout the film I was *actually* watching it.
I hope in the next viewing I can sit back and absorb it along with everyone else, minus the incredible backlog of information in the back of my brain I have about it.