What I liked:
- Set design (awesome stuff)
- Earth in the future, especially San Francicso, London and the British countryside with the hospital
- they cured the cameraman's Parkinson, and used less lens flares, I actually really enjoyed the cinematograpy and direction of the film
- first hour of story was dense and fun to watch, as someone who really dislikes 09 I was really positivley surprised by it, and thought "wow, it seems everyone deserves a second chance after all", I was about to forgive the plain stupidity to park a ship under water (tell me how they got there, WITHOUT the primitive species noticing, and why they didn't stay in orbit... I know... only reason, it was a cool looking effect... but that's a sorry excuse) and especially the stupidity of Starfleet command (to hold a emergency meeting in a room so easily accessible, as if the President of the USA would meet his staff in a sky skraper after a terrorist attack... uhm... yeah... ).
- Pike's lesson to Kirk! I was smiling... this young bada$$ so deserved this.
- Nods to DS9 and ENT
- Kronos (liked the design of the abandoned city) and the Klingons... the D4 however... looked just too generic, wish they would stay true to the original design linage
What I did not like:
- Basically what happened after they took Khan into custody and the film started ripping of TWOK, simply because it had no impact. When the original crew fought Khan for the first time, they have been a band for 20 years, hence Spock's death had impact. This Kirk and Spock know eachother for 12 month, so everything seemed to forced and I was not sold.
- Wha was Khan in there at all? The story would have worked much better without him, let Marcus be the bad guy, and make a prober cinematic rip off of "Paradise Lost" (the films was a mix of "Paradise Lost" (DS9) and TWOK in essence).
- Khan's explanation of his recent history... felt so forced so... "Let's have our Joker in this film". How would Khan be able to help them anyway? He was defeated in TWOK because he lacked 3-dimensional thinking (i.e. thinking like a space ship captain). How could he develop torpedoes within a year, which were 300 years ahead of his time? It felt unlikely and very forced.
- The action scenes were too boring, the ship to ship jump could have been cut shorter and more intense, and although it looked great, the Enterprise's decent was far too long, I remember looking at my watch when Kirk and Scott had trouble running through this ship
- The new warp core... aggghhhh.... V'ger is back. Honestly. It is the 23rd century. Why build something like that? Where you have NO access at all? How do you want to repair this thing?
- The brewery
- The ship to ship battle was far too short, but really intense, this could have been so cool done on such a budget, seems they don't like space battle and instead prefere jumps from high altitude (there are quite a few in this film... more than in some superhero movies)
- The Vengence... Ughhhh she is ugly, and turns uglyprise into something that is good to look at actually (honestly... uglyprise grew on me, a shame they changed the design after rechristening it in the end, that impulsebar looks bad), and again... for the 3rd time in a row we have a huge ship attacking Earth plot. NEMESIS had Scimirar, XI had the Narada, ID has the Vengence... can we come up with something... let's say slightly more original in the next one please? However I really like that motor sound she makes at warp...
- logical mistakes... Orci and Kurtzman... what is the problem to ask yourself... why does this happen?
- some of the humor was really cheap.
- that Alice Eve underwear scene... oh my was that cheap... btw... she was more annoying than Wesley Crusher... get her off board!
- The Vengence lacked something. The sets looked made for TV. Sometimes it felt like watching a TV episode.
All in all I enjoyed it much more, actually 1000 times more than that incredibly stupid, face-palm, shameful film that was released in 2009. I might even get it as a Blu Ray.
A vast improvement over the first one. Especially the changes in cinematography were great. It works as a popcorn film... maybe I am too demanding, but I want TREK to be more than that. Just yesterday I rewatched TUC, and that's in essence one of the best outings of the franchise. Yes, it has it's flaws and logical mistakes, but a good, emotional story, will make you forgive those (just like ID's first hour actually does!).
Now... Paramount, throw out the biggest issues (Orci and Kurtzman) and get authors of the calliber of the Nolan brothers to write the next film, and we will finally get a proper blockbuster TREK film, with an intelligent, emotional story.