I finally saw this. I used to be a huge Star Tre fan before Rick Berman and Brannon Braga slowly destroyed the franchise with Voyager and Enterprise.
First of al, I loved Chekov and Scotty. Kirk, McCoy, Sulu and especially Spock were also excellent.
But I really did not like this film. Due to holidays I was delayed in getting to see it, and was doing my best to avoid spoilers on the web, but where it was referenced on all sorts of forums, the overall consensus was that it was, at the very least, very good, if not, in fact, excellent.
With this sort of anticipation, I was then HUGELY disappointed. While each performance was great, and the production values were high, the whole plot was lazy and contrived. Nero was a hugely pointless villain.
My synopsis of the film is as thus:
In the TNG future, a star close to Romulus is about to go nova. I'm not an astrophysicist but I'm pretty sure that it would be quite obvious for THOUSANDS of years that the star was about to go nova, long before the original Vulcans settled there.
Anyway, rather than get the brightest minds that both the Federation and Romulus have to solve the problem they get one man, a pretty old one at that, to sort the problem. Maybe evacuating the planet might have been a useful precaution? And since the Romulan Star Empire use quantum singularities (mini black holes) to power their ships why the hell do they need Federation sourced red matter?
Spock was obviously having an afternoon nap, or troubled with intractable prostatism because he was bit late injecting the red matter. Romulus got destroyed, but what the heck, let's inject that stuff anyway. (Given that Spock was living on Romulus by the time of the TNG era I'm wondering if he got really pissed off and let the planet get destroyed).
Nero was obviously watching nearby, rather than actually going to rescue his wife (who appeared human). Presumably as a miner, he was part of some sort of trade union that prevented him doing rescue work, as that's not part of his contract. He watches his planet and pregnant wife get fried and he's a pit pissed.
Both Spock and the Nerada get pulled into a black hole, which rather than crushing them to a microscopic pea pulls them back in time. The first thing Nero sees on going through the singularity is an ancient (to him) Starfleet vessel. He opens fire but rather than destroying it completely and getting on with the mission of finding Spock (who was just nearby a moment ago) asks their captain to come over for tea and scones.
Then he spends the next 25 years waiting for Spock to come through the anomaly. Hello? How long would you wait? I'd give up after a day or two. Anyhow, the rest of Nero's crew, who I assume also should be part of a miner trade union go along with this. As opposed to going home, betting on the Romulan Superbowl and marrying their grandmothers.
Spock eventually comes through. Kill him after all this time? Nah. Why not just put him on Vulcan's nearbying planet, a stones throw from a Starfleet base and let him watch his planet die from having a black hole at its core. Presumambly this planet doesn't rotate on its own axis so as to guarantee that Spock would actually not be on the WRONG side of the planet when Vulcan croaked.
On Vulcan, their greatest minds are standing in a crumbling cave, meditating and thinking about to have for dinner, while their planet starts to disintegrate.
Meanwhile back on Earth the brand new flagship is launched with a crew of mostly cadets? A 3rd year (not FINAL year) student is made the 1st Officer when Pike goes over for tea and scones. Hellllloooooo? Where are all the officers? Heck, where are all the crew who actually have trained to run the ship?
Back at Hoth, future Spock risks the fate of the entire federation just so that his past younger self (who now constitutes a significant proportion of the Vulcan race) can get a bit of experience of dealing with humans on a day to day basis.
And isn't convenient that Scotty, who has yet to actually prove he is a genius other than copying some future Vulcan, just happens to be next door?
The Trek rules of time travel are thrown out the window in this one, in that most other time travel plots always involve the same timeline. Alternate realities do exist in the Trek universe, but once their residents cross over into our universe, it usually means its curtains for them (e.g. "Parallels" characters, Enterprise C crew and the alternate Miles O'Brien from "Visionary").
Back at the final fight the Nerada gets a full dose of red matter. A drop of this stuff can destroy a planet, but the whole lot just makes you get stuck in first gear. Kirk offers to help, Nero politely refuses so Kirk massacres them in a move akin to German fighter planes raking the cold and wet Titanic survivors with bullets a la Pearl Harbor.
In fact, rather than back away first and just drop some torpedoes into the gravity well, he flies TOWARDS the Nerada and the black hole to kill them!!!???!!!!
For this genocidal act Kirk gets promoted to CAPTAIN straight from third year!!!!! No final year, no ensign, no Lietenant j.g., no lietenant, no lietenant commander, no commander. Nope, staright to captain. Of the flagship of the fleet. In what reality or career would this ever happen?
Hmmm..... I think that's me done. This film wasn't a patch on First Contact, and I appreciate I'm in the minority on this one, wasn't a patch on Nemesis.
I can't believe I'm the only Trekkie to feel this way, but I'm not prepared at this late stage to sift through thousands of posts to find out.
Three of my friends who are casual Trekkies seemed to really like it. My wife, a big Star Wars fan, who hates Trek came out fuming because se was promised a film that would convert her. It didn't. She still hates all Star Trek. With that straw poll, I'm not sure what this film has actually achieved other than pissing off the die-hards, bringing in the casuals, and not making any difference to the haters.
And it annoys me that TNG and DS9 have been essentially wiped from existence, but the woeful Enterprise is left intact.