Star Trek is an insanely fast and fun re-imagining of the Star Trek franchise, and it generally works. Those who pine for a methodical, thought-provoking film may be disappointed, as this film makes momentum its primary concern. If the 1978 Star Trek: The Motion Picture was focused on slow plot development with minimal action, then this new Star Trek is its polar opposite. While there is plenty of character definition and development, this film does it in a very quickly-cut style, giving us hundreds of great character "snippets" rather than a few dozen longer sequences. Sadly, the film is perhaps too focused on the momentum, often interweaving too many subplots into the narrative in order to keep the pace going strong. It's a trade-off, and while I'm not sure it was for the best, it certainly keeps the film interesting, which is, at the very least, fun.
"Fun" may be the key word in this new film, which seemingly ditches the science fiction "thinker" feel of the old Star Trek for a much more exciting narrative. Humor similar to that seen in Star Trek IV (the one with the whales) abounds in this film, which may annoy some and thrill others.
The characters of Scotty and Chekov are played mostly for laughs, and while 80% of the time it works, every fifth gag comes off as childish and stupid. Hopefully that'll change by the time the second film rolls around,
One significant point must be addressed: two of the main characters become romantically involved. Every time I hear myself or anyone else bring up that relationship, I have to stop and take a moment to gather my scrambled thoughts up off the ground. While the film certainly explains why their coupling should occur, it is still very off-putting. However, the humorously shocked reactions of the other characters to this relationship both acknowledge and alleviate viewers' concerns.
Some of the plot choices in Star Trek are confusing. Why exactly did the writers feel the need for a Willy Wonka-style "Scotty's stuck in a water pipe" scene? It added NOTHING. Also, the reveal of the film's backstory was badly done, leaving many--including myself--scratching their heads as to why the choice was made to reveal the central driving force of the external conflict in such a schitzophrenic and vague manner.
Another seeming plot hole is the fact that Kirk and most of the main characters are mere cadets, yet are almost instantly promoted to being the senior staff of the Federation's flagship by the end of the film. From what I've heard, there was a bit of dialogue that was cut from the film which explained that, due to the time-altering events of the film's prologue, the timeline is attempting to "mend itself" by pushing the same people from the Original Series into their same roles, despite the altered state of the universe. That line would have gone a long way to explain things, and I'm not exactly pleased that it was cut.
There are several events in this film that are so mind-shatteringly epic that they forever alter the Star Trek universe. This new series of films is not the same Trek we've known for 40 years; this is something entirely different, slightly akin to Joss Whedon's Serenity. Some may not initially welcome the change; it took me about twelve hours to accept it. Now that I've had a good morning's sleep, I've realized that I love this new movie. It's character-based, fast, and fun.