I love this movie eleventy-one with exclamation marks. It is greater-than all the other STAR TREK movies put together. I less than three it in a massive fangirly way.
Where do I even begin to tell of my love for this film? The fact that Kirk, despite being just as much of a sleazeball as he ever was in the rest of canon, does not get the romance in this movie. That in spite of Kirk's Daddy Issues and loose-cannon attitude, it's Spock who is really the emotional core of the film. Not to mention getting the girl Kirk's been angling for -- Spock/Uhura is my new favorite ship, made all the more brilliant by her having been his student at the Academy (not that that stops her taking charge when it's really needed, go Uhura!).
I also loved that they did Old Spock and New Spock and even had them MEET and it wasn't cheesy. For once, a film with a time-travel subplot where the time-travel isn't used as a copout or a chance to hit the reset button -- YES.
The brilliant casting -- of course Zachary Quinto was genius as Spock, but the one that really blew me away because I wasn't expecting it was Karl Urban. Talk about an absolute dead-on impersonation of DeForest Kelley -- and yet it didn't seem contrived or forced either, he did it very naturally, so that pretty much every time Bones appeared on screen I was holding my breath with sheer delight. My husband noted that he's too tall but I DON'T CARE. And Simon Pegg's Scotty! So adorable!
I had skimmed a few spoilery reviews from friends, so I knew there were a lot of in-jokes with the earlier ST movies and shows BUT what I did not know to look for were all the hilarious Alias and Lost in-jokes! HEE on J.J. getting some more use out of Clifford the Big Red Ball from the former, and trotting out one of the underground bunkers (was it the Swan? I can't remember) from the latter. And, of course, the inevitable Greg Grunberg cameo, even if it was only a voiceover.
My one negative: The scene with Kirk on the ice planet getting chased by the giant monster. You know, we don't have to have action ALL the time to enjoy a movie. Really. Especially when it's clearly just filling in time before we get back to the Real Plot. But that's a minor quibble, and actually I'm grateful for it because you have to have SOME point at which it is safe to get up and go to the washroom, right?
There will be a sequel? Yes? As good as this one, yes? I sure hope so.