My complaints have nothing to do with Trek or Trek continuity. it has to do with this as a movie.
Perhaps I am just an old fuddy duddy, but I am getting real tired of endless action sequences that segue into the next action sequence filled with funky camera angles, weird jump cuts, and endless close calls of near certain destruction. I'd kinda like to get to know a character now and then.
Also, the film totally lost me emotionally when Amanda dies from the mysterious five second delay in the transporter after the contrived "I must go rescue them personally and lead them through the collapsing cliche cave while other Real Important Vulcans get squished like bugs" and then Hey! Amanda's standing near the edge of the collapsing cliff of doom when the transporter has the utter inexplicable one-time only five second delay. I wonder if something bad will happen. But I think it was the pathetic outreached hand that just tripped my "you have got to be kidding" reflex.
If you want me to suspend disbelief, I gotta give a crap. But every single scene was so over the top that I just couldn't maintain any emotional connection. We start with the heroic and dramatic death of George Kirk who -- for some reason -- has his pregnant wife along on a military cruise. Because it wouldn't be dramatic enough to have him die heroically for his plain ordinary crew and have the grieving widow at home -- like too many actual soldiers today. We gotta save the pregnant wife who is -- of course -- going through labor during the attack. Because the only thing that induces birth in over the top movies more than life threatening disaster is being stuck in an elevator with total strangers.
And ejecting someone onto a hostile planet in passing is both the logical and correct thing to do, because while the flagship of the fleet has a steam turbine, it doesn't have a brig.
And how exactly did the Grand Canyon get in Iowa? Because it wouldn't be dramatic enough if the ten year old driving the Thelma & Louis style antique didn't drive it into the Grand Canyon?
I mentioned the steam turbine, right? And while I'm at it, by the third "look, we materialized in the comically wrong spot," it is not funny -- just sad.
Oh, and there is a difference between people who make physics breakthroughs -- like how to transport people from one planet to another -- and people who are amazingly good at building and maintaining things. we call the first set of people "physicists" and we call the second group of people "engineers." These are different skills. Really. No matter how much math engineers know, that doesn't make them physicists. And no matter how good physicists are with theoretical breakthroughs, it does not mean they can build stuff.
I did mention the steam turbine in the engineering room, right? The one with the convenient trap door?
And that is one hell of a well armed mining ship!! I mean, Jesus Christ! I know Romulans are warlike, but they put photon torpedoes on in-system mining ships? I guess they better, because not a single planet in the Federation apparently has a planetary defense grid. Although apparently Christopher Pike knew every single security code to let the Giant Super Mining Ship of Doom coast into our solar system. I guess Earthdome has a prefix code.
Mind you, the one thing I really liked about this was the plot contrivance to relaunch Trek 2.0, except that I keep thinking of it as Crisis on Infinite Trek. On the plus side, we've created an alternate universe where Voyager never needs to have happened. Oh yeah, and Leonard Nimoy played Spock Prime perfectly. The other characters are also played well, given the "butterfly effect" explanation to change anything out of character. Except that a cadet smooching her superior officer in a lift elevator is about as believable as a first officer that gets into a fist fight with his commanding officer.
But that's OK, because Star Fleet 2.0 is not terribly big on this "discipline" thing. Lets start with what would happen if a bunch of cadets in uniform went into a local bar and proceeded to beat the crap out of a local and were caught in the act by their commanding officer? Hint, they would NOT be taking the cadet shuttle up the next morning -- except under arrest. And our cadet communications officer at the Academy is able to pick up a coded Klingon transmission from across the Galaxy which describes a Klingon war fleet some impossible distance away being wiped out by a mysterious Romulan craft -- although how anyone identified Super Mining Ship of Doom as a Romulan ship is beyond me. But apparently NONE of this is secret. Or considered unusual enough to be part of a mission briefing. (We will ignore the little fan boy voice in my head that says neither Klingons or Romulans had cloaking devices at this point in Federation history, the Klingons and the Federation were going through an escalating cold war cycle at the time, and the Romulans were a mysterious and unknown race inside the Neutral Zone. Bad fan boy!)
Ummm...Vulcan doesn't have a planetary evacuation plan? Who is in charge of FEMA Vulcan? T'Brown?
Ah the fan boy voice again, lamenting a missed opportunity. Instead of boinking the green Orion chick, couldn't Kirk have been boinking Carol Marcus? Not that boinking green Orion chicks isn't cool too.
But I could forgive everything -- except possibly the steam turbine -- if the movie had just had enough substance to make me care. But I found myself feeling the same way I did about 2/3 of the way through the Skull Island sequences of King Kong. "Is it over yet? Oh look, we just transitioned to a scene and there is a brief pause, so I know something horrific will attack in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . ."
And did I mention the steam turbine?