J.J. Abrams revamp of Star Trek, is the most entertaining of the series of movies, but given that some of the others were stodgy, that is not saying much. By the time movies were made out of two successful television series shown over a twenty year period, the majority of the actors already looked far too old to be involved in too much fast moving action, and while the films themselves visually looked stunning,they lacked excitement and energy. That is not a problem with this version, full of fast moving edits and moving camera shots, the action starts in the opening minutes, with a prologue to the main story, which as it turns out occurs in an alternate universe.
The alternate universe story is handy, because it allows drastic changes to previously established Trek history, such as the death of Kirk’s father and Spock’s mother, along with the destruction of Vulcan, to become important events in the story line establishing the characters of the crew of the Enterprise, young unfamiliar faces with very familiar names. These young faces work very well in the old roles played by Shatner, Nimoy, Doohan,etc, as enough time has passed since their hey day to make these new comers acceptable to old and new trekkies.
Though when in the middle of the picture, surprise guest star, Leonard Nimoy, rescues the young Kirk, it is tempting to think of him as the real Spock, as the alternate timeline has him playing Spock in the future. This fact that this is the pivot around which the whole story revolves, is in retrospect the cleverest and wittiest moment in the film.
Summing up, too full of hair breadth escapes, near misses, beamed out in the nick of time action sequences and computer generated imagery, to be plausible,the film has more in common with the unreality of the Bond movies than any of its Star Trek predecessors. It does, however, still find time to engage in the emotion versus intellect(logic) debate, that was at the centre of many of Roddenbury’s original stories in all the TV series,of which many are better than the movies derived from them. It is this that stops the film from being just another dumb action film. This is not the most intelligent or thoughtful of the Star Trek films, just the most exciting one.