Short version: While hard core Trekkies may have some problems with it, this long time classic Star Trek fan found this reboot fun, fresh & exciting.
Screen Rant reviews Star Trek
Where to start? (This is going to be a long one, folks. If you want to skip the preamble and get right to the review itself click here.)
Some people are Star Wars fanatics, others go nuts over Transformers or X-Men. While I'm a huge Iron Man fan, Star Trek is my true love going back well over 30 years. My favorite of all the shows? The Original Series (aka TOS). You may look at it now and think it looks cheesy (however I highly recommend you check out the digitally remastered version with brand new visual effects on DVD or Blu-ray), but remember the original Star Trek is over 40 years old.
At the time the other big Sci-Fi TV show was the cheese-fest called Lost in Space - so keep that in mind as a comparison. :-)
I have Star Trek prop replicas on my bookshelves (some pretty damned nice ones) along with a copy of the original Star Fleet Technical Manual by Franz Joseph and a set of blueprints of the original U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 (which shows the location of a bowling alley on the ship!). I've memorized every episode of the original series - I can tell you which one each one is within seconds of any of them starting. And I've seen every movie.
Yes, I'm into Trek "canon" - tracking all the little details that tie the whole Star Trek universe together, however I'm also aware (though some fans seem to be in denial about this) that over the course of hundreds of episodes across five different series, Star Trek itself has violated its own canon many times.
Why am I telling you all this? So you have some context for my review of J.J. Abrams', Roberto Orci's and Alex Kurtzman's reboot of the Star Trek universe. However this is not a review just for "Trekkies," and that's appropriate because neither is this film just for that group of die hard fans (among which I include myself).
Also, I did read the four part prequel comic that tells the story which leads to the events that take place in the film. If you have a chance I recommend you find it and pick it up at your local comic book store as it really fleshes out the "villain" in the film, Nero.
Some fans may disagree, but this franchise was in desperate need of a reboot, re-imagination, fresh "take" or whatever you'd like to call it. Star Trek, as a brand, was whithering on the vine and was in danger of being put on the shelf for who knows how long - until Paramount might decide enough time had gone by to give it another go. This was due to a number of factors, among which included the subsequent series being taken in directions by Rick Berman (and to some exent, Brannon Braga) that the fans did not agree with. Essentially it was a case of "the fans don't know what's good for them - we'll tell them what they want."
From this we gained the ignoble death of Captain Kirk in a transition movie with a stupidly weak plot device, Star Trek: Voyager, the Lost in Space of Trek, progressively crappier movies and finally Enterprise: At least an attempt at something fresh in Trek, which unfortunately went off in some half-assed direction - and Manny Coto's efforts to bring the show back to what it should have been in season 4 were too little, too late.
So... when it was announced that the new film would go back to before the original series crew had met I was both excited at the prospect and terrified of how it might turn out. I mean we're talking about recasting iconic roles. Bill Shatner? Leonard Nimoy? DeForest Kelly and James Doohan?
But I tried to be cautiously optimistic over the course of very early news, pre-production and through the production. I listed this film as my most anticipated of the year...
And I was NOT disappointed.
So finally - the review...