^Star Trek movies have always had looser, sillier science than the shows. As far as I'm concerned, the Genesis Device is still the single most fanciful, impossible, and ridiculous idea in the history of Trek movies, and one of the most ridiculous in the entire franchise. Something that small with the godlike power to transform an entire planet and create life in a matter of moments? And instead of just failing when set off in a nebula instead of on an existing planet like it was programmed for, it manufactures a whole planet and possibly a star out of the nebular gases? That is sheer, unadulterated magic. And then in the next film they give it the equally magic ability to resurrect the dead, and make up some random nonsense thing called "protomatter" to handwave it into a failure. And then it's completely forgotten, despite the fact that even a failed experiment of such godlike power would certainly warrant further exploration and produce amazing technologies as spinoffs even if the intended function didn't work.
There are a lot of lame ideas in the later movies too -- Sha Ka Ree, trilithium, the Nexus, the Borg using time travel exactly once and never again, fountain-of-youth radiation in a planet's rings, thalarons. The 2009 film has its flaws, but nothing worse than its predecessors have given us. We've just had more time to come to terms with the earlier films' absurdities.
I get what you're saying Christopher, but I'm not sure you get what I'm saying. You're talking about the implausibility/impossibility of made up tech, "future science" and treknobabble invented by the writers. I can accept a fair amount of handwaving in light sci-fi like Trek.
I'm more frustrated with the completely asinine misuse of contemporary
scientific knowledge -- like supernovae, and talking about "lightning" in space -- in order to dumb-it down for the masses. They didn't even try to handwave with made up technobabble or future science. They just used terms the audience would've heard, but hoped they wouldn't understand.
Genesis Device? Sure, it's impossible, but it's "future science," and I can suspend disbelief. Protomatter? Okay, fine. Subspace shockwave? All good. Trilithium? Okay, you used that word before and probably forgot about it. Metaphasic radiation? Thalaron radiation? Okay, add 'em to the list. I can deal with all of it.
Note, I'm not really letting The Final Frontier
off the hook. The plot wasn't good enough to make up for the stupidity of the Enterprise
making it to the center of the galaxy in a few hours, let alone anything else.
But calling whatever
the Hobus event was a "supernova"? Talking about "lightning storms" instead of just saying "an energy distortion" or something like that? And naming your McGuffin something like "red matter"? It's like a really bad Saturday morning cartoon for five year olds.