The last movie I had seen before yesterday was Lord of the Rings III, I think. So my impressions of the new Star Trek arise from someone who is essentially a movie dropout. Just a caveat.
That said, I enjoyed the movie and recommend it. However, I'm pretty certain I wasn't the target audience, nor should I have been. Some specifics:
- The camera work - I realize the rage is for extreme closeups and quick, eye-dazzling cuts of 2-3 seconds, but I cannot get into this style. The lack of stability to comprehend a scene or even make out what the heck is happening, let alone add timing and pace to the action was jarring. Just like we now have to look at the nostril hair of the guy shooting a free throw, you get to see every whisker and blemish while struggling to figure out perspective and even sizes. And why we need shoulder-camera jerkiness in a sci-fi flick is beyond me. Do they want us to think it was a reality show?
- The actors did a remarkable job creating younger versions of their counterparts. McCoy was the best, I think, but all captured many of the quirks and mannerisms of the guys I knew. Kirk was over the top, IMHO.
- The time-travel paradoxes lost me completely. Look, I know it's science fiction, but the premises were shaky and the exposition baffling. Veterans like myself may spend too much time reacting to obvious inconsistencies.
- I still have no idea what the bad guy was up to or really why. Or how you make starship captain two weeks out of the Academy.
- Lordy, they love hand-to-hand violence. The sheer unreality of modern personal combat common in all action films reminds me of how often in Westerns guys would get knocked unconscious with a gun butt. I grew up thinking you could really casually temporarily render someone inert with few problems or consequences. Obviously today we have raised the bar, and the video game aspect of the action is cartoonish to me.
Maybe I'll go see another movie in a few years.