While I like the fact that the JJ Abrams movies don't take themselves too seriously, this feels like too much of a piss-take. The entire first section is stupid. Parking the Enterprise in an ocean - I mean WHAT? Scotty even tells us how stupid it is, with a nudge and a wink to the fourth wall. Not to mention all the time Spock spends violating the Prime Directive, only to turn around and berate Kirk for … violating the Prime Directive. Apparently on a scale of 0 to Interference, letting a bunch of aliens see a starship is WAAAAAY worse than stopping a volcano that would've wiped them out.
Scotty isn't the only one guilty of some fourth-wall-breaking. Kirk tells McCoy to stop speaking in metaphors, because that's basically all he does for the entire movie, with a handful of “I'm a Doctor not a …” and “Are you out of your … mind?” quips thrown in for variety. Whoever wrote McCoy's dialogue must've played a lot of #madlib
The whole reboot universe feels like the kids have been given the keys, and even when they fuck up, nobody takes the keys off them. How does 17 year old Chekov go from navigator to chief engineer? Surely Scotty had someone in Engineering who would've been a better “shadow”?! And how does Kirk get busted from Captain, back to “the Academy”, to Commander and then back to Captain, all without changing his rank slides? Not to mention the fact that Spock was a Commander the whole reboot series, whereas Kirk's gone up and down the entire rank structure from Cadet to Captain. Twice.
As expected, Spock's impersonation of either William Shatner and/or the Klingon Death Yell (take your pick) doesn't work the second time. First time around I was amused by the homage and caught up in the opening night buzz. This time it felt forced and cheesy.
And sorry, but Mr Nimoy, it's time to bow out. I don't know who planned the old-Spock cameo-and-timeline-altering-spoilers, but someone else should've stepped in and said “no, that's rubbish”.
It's still a rollicking Space Action movie, and I still love that it's in the (well, A) Star Trek universe. But it's definitely not as good as the 2009 film, and certainly doesn't maintain the “even numbers” rule.
It's a pity, because after the first one I was really hoping that this reboot would be a breath of fresh air into the Star Trek franchise. Unfortunately, a remix of The Wrath of Khan isn't really fresh air, no matter who dies and who gets the big yell …