This movie was just great. I have nothing further to say on the matter.
Seriously, though. This is the best space adventure we've gotten in a long time. I definitely like it more than any of the previous Trek films (the most excited I ever got during one was the Borg space battle in First Contact, and this definitely trumped that).
People were calling it the Iron Man of the summer, and initially I thought this meant "the geeky movie that the general population ends up liking". It may still be just that, however I'm inclined to mention that there could be a trend starting here, and I really hope it doesn't.
Drunk guy humor + sci-fi genre = summer win. Yes, Kirk falling hands first into Ohura's boobs got a laugh out of me, probably equal to Tony Stark having a stripper pole on his private jet (where does that thing COME from?!?). However, that's how they won the general audience. You can't relate to Kirt making tribble jokes and such, but throw him in a good old-fashioned bar fight, and everyone'll be on his side. So that works.
The thing that got me about this movie though was the portrayal of the original characters. I have limited experience with them as far as the series go, but I saw all the movies. I know who they are. And these actors played them brilliantly. My favorite is the ever-up-and-coming Karl Urban, seemingly destined to skate the border between of stardom and "Oh, where have I seen that guy before?". His 'Bones' is just plain inspired. It's too bad that loud-mouthed stewardess kinda drowned out my favorite line of his, no one seemed to laugh much at that part except me. I still do the impression on occasion, and my friends are ready to kill me. "It means a fear of dying in something that flies!" It's the hand gestures, it's the eyes, it's the sarcasm, it's how he moves his mouth. Karl Urban is bones. A little more ruggedly handsome perhaps, but Dr. McCoy nonetheless.
And that goes for the rest of them. Spock is Spock, Chekov doesn't quite have a tan so far, Scotty is probably the biggest departure (still quite a bit of Simon Pegg in there, but once he put the uniform on he was getting closer). The best move they made was de-Shatnering Kirk. Shatner's alright in small doses, but whoever's idea it was to take the basic womanizing, hotshot qualities of Kirk and allow Pine to do his own thing with it was definitely onto something.
Then of course there's the bad guy. Eric Bana, folks. Gotta love 'im. I just like how he says people's names.
"Hi, Christopher. I'm Nero." and of course "SPOOOOOCK!" Awesome.
The update of the design was very well executed. I always thought I was looking at the Enterprise. I'm sure there's countless Trekkies cringing at the differences, but it worked for me. I'm actually amazed that all the fans seem to be going for the 'alternate reality' bit. I was almost certain that some of them were gonna call shenanigans on that one.
The characters were all very strong and well-defined. I believe that's what really kept this movie together. When the captains and commanders were off the bridge and they secondary members talking amongst themselves, it just felt natural. Like a team. Like a team should.
I really don't have much more to say. Great acting, great action. The sound work was astounding, particularly their established rules for 'no sound in space'. I'm pretty sure that only happened when a person actually went out into space without a ship, like the crewwoman getting sucked out the hull and the 3 crewmen making the spacejump to the drill. Then there was the phaser fight on the Romulan ship, my ears were a-tingle. Rather than fakey sizzle effects (lightsaber are often guilty of this) when the beam hits stuff, we actually hear clanging and thumping of metal, like it's being struck by something solid before it melts. First time I remember hearing something like that is the infamous internet vid Ryan vs. Dorkman 2, and while I can't prove it's a direct inspiration, I'd like to think Ben Burtt saw RvD2.
I didn't realize he worked on the sound until the credits, but the re-mixing of classic Enterprise bridge console sounds remixed with modern touches should've been a big clue. Burtt is definitely known for dipping into the archives and coming out with something fresh.
I saw this 4 times in the theatres, so far. I'm still not bored with it. I'll prolly let them cool their impulse engines for a bit and watch it again on DVD, but man. I so needed that.
Alright, so next on the list we need a new, more modern director to do the Star Wars sequel trilogy, meanwhile I'll get started on putting a SeaQuest film together.