I seemed to enjoy the movie in spite of itself at times.
The plot was hackneyed, illogical and really just a retread (to varying degrees) of the last three TNG movies. Yet there was an audacity (they destroyed Vulcan!) and verve to the writing that has been missing from Trek since the days of DS9. And, if the film's makers are honest and faithful to their work, Star Trek will have repercussions that will last well beyond the end credits (and no, I'm not talking about canon).
Characterisations were understandably broad and flimsy, but their portrayals were warmer and much more relatable than Trek characters have been for a very long time. Pine, Quinto, Urban, Saldana and Cho turned in performances that recalled the characters' original actors while offering something new and inviting. Surprisingly, Ryder as Amanda was lovely while Nimoy admirably anchors and gives the film some dramatic heft.
In stark contrast, Cross didn't have the presence necessary as Sarek and disappeared into the background far too easily, while Pegg and Yelchin's performances were little more than Brady Bunch Movie-style caricature.
Sadly, Bana was criminally wasted. Rarely on screen, Nero joins a long list of Trek villains who are little more than plot devices (he was, let's face it, Soren with pointy ears). Bana deserved so much more.
Of course, being Trek there was an unforgivable technobabble cheat that would have made the creators of Voyager proud. Why have his human lover and Vulcan father on Enterprise (following the annihilation of his homeworld and death of his mother no less) when some technobabble hand waving from Scotty can excuse a Spock unravelling under the weight of sorrow and anger from having to acknowledge, account and face any consequences for abandoning Kirk (rather maliciously I might add) on a giant ice cube. It seems the influence of nuBSG was limited to space battles ...
Speaking of which, I really don’t understand the point of spending so much money on space battles when they’re edited in such a way as to be almost impossible to follow.
Ultimately though, perhaps the best thing about this movie and what saves it from its failings is that it reminded me again of the potential of Trek. Once more, the possibilities are endless, I just hope the filmmakers boldly seek out and explore them.