It's weird, because the cast is all great. Whenever there's a scene where the characters are just talking to each other about stuff, those scenes are good. When Kirk, Spock, and Uhura are flying to Kronos and just bickering like three friends would bicker, I really loved that. But all the action crap is dumb and nonsensical. Everything about the story and the way it's told is stupid and poorly done.
The problem is that the people who wrote this **** clearly just didn't give a flying ****. I hate to be That Guy, but they're pretty clearly not big Star Trek fans, and that sucks. They had an idea session that went basically like this:
"Hey, we want a scene with Kirk and the bad guy jumping through space."
"Hey, we want Spock to get in a fist fight with a guy while flying on a thing."
"Hey, we should put Carol Marcus in this one somehow."
"Hey, remember Pike? Maybe we could kill him off? Maybe that would add some pathos?"
"Hey, let's do Wrath of Khan, but this time we'll have Kirk do the sacrifice."
"Hey, Nimoy says he'll do a little scene for $150,000, so let's do that. Nerds love that guy."
"Hey, we should say something about the prime directive. Maybe with some Indians or something? Let's put them in danger from a volcano, exactly like on that Next Generation episode that I've never watched or even heard of because I'm not a huge nerd."
"Hey, let's have Carol Marcus be a really hot blond. And let's have her take her clothes off in front of Kirk for literally no reason, since she's a hot blond."
"Hey, people know about Klingons, right? Let's throw 'em in."
"Hey, what if the bad guy had a ship that was even bigger and faster?"
"Hey, we should put one of the crew somewhere else for awhile. It'll create drama. How about What's-His-Face, the British guy. Welshie? Is that his name?"
"Hey, aren't Tribbles a thing? Let's put one in."
"Hey, Kirk needs to do the 'To Boldly Go' thing, since I don't think he did it in the last one."
"Hey, remember when Shatner yelled 'Khaaaaaaan!'? Well this time, SPOCK will do that! It's ****ing revolutionary!"
"Hey, that Vulcan guy hides his emotions AND has a girlfriend. Let's do some stuff with that. It'll be funny."
"Hey, anybody know what makes the weapons/shields/transporters/engines work or not work? Anybody? No? All right, well we'll just disable/enable them as it's convenient for us, because who really cares, anyway?"
Then they wrote each of those things on an index card and stuck them on a cork board with thumb tacks. They connected the tacks with yarn basically at random until they were in a sequence. They then paid someone $24.50/hr to write a "plot" that would move the action along the yarn-sequence until we got to the next index card.
After chewing it over, I think what rustles my jimmies the most is that they rebooted this **** but don't actually want to do anything new with it. They just hit the numbers, reference things, blow **** up, and make money. It's the most cynical thing ever.
Here's my example: The only time I was fully engrossed in this movie was when Kirk died. For half a second I thought they were actually going to kill him off. It could've been great: We get the mirror universe of Wrath of Khan, and we see how it would have been different and how it would've been the same. Something like this: Spock has to give a moving eulogy for the captain and friend he loves. But he can't, really, because he's a Vulcan who suppresses all emotion. He tries to get Bones to do it, but he says "Dammit, Spock, I'm a doctor, not a reverend. You're the captain, now. It's your duty."
In "Khan," Kirk says of Spock "Of all the souls I've come to know, his was the most... human." It's the most beautiful line in Trek, and the most emotional by far. In this movie, we could've had Zachary Quinto say something that echoes that at Kirk's funeral. "Of all the souls I've come to know, his was the most... human." That would normally be an insult coming from Spock. But his voice could crack, and it could've been just absolutely great. Then the next movie (or the first act, anyway) is about resurrecting Kirk somehow, perhaps by recovering his chakra (sp) from a mind meld that Spock performs just before Kirk died, a la Star Trek III. Or perhaps through some other means.
I ran through all that in my head as soon as I realized Kirk was going to go into the magical death room. In reality, if they'd done that, it may well have sucked. But that's OK. There's plenty of Trek that sucks. (There's seven whole seasons of Voyager for ****'s sake.) But at least they'd be doing something new and interesting, instead of blending up references to Star Trek stuff/characters with space explosions and fist fights.
But, no, they don't do any of that. Kirk's "dead" for like five minutes of screen time before Bones says "I think I can save him!" and then we all know that McCoy's going to save him somehow, and knowing that they're not going to take any chances just sucks the drama out of the rest of it. We know that Spock's going to beat Khan in their fistfight, and that Kirk will be OK, and that'll be that. And that's a shame. I would much prefer watching a movie that is "an interesting idea that ends up not really working" than "a generic action movie that's in the Star Trek universe, sort of."
Way TL;DR, this movie sucks and **** everything about J.J. Abrams.