- Most of the acting and casting. The core crew have a lot of charisma in the best tradition of Trek. The main exception was Simon Pegg, who I have a lot of time for, but in this film was a scenery-chewing ham of the worst kind. It wasn't just the accent. (Although, why didn't they get an actual Scottish actor to play Scottie? Tradition?) He was an obnoxious twit throughout. Everybody else was pretty much spot-on.
- The special effects were never going to be bad, but there were some fantastic moments. The fight on the drill-bit, for one.
- There was a rollicking, barnstorming atmosphere to the whole thing that reminded me of the best moments of the good original series films. Despite its many flaws it absolutely did not fail to be entertaining.
- The actress playing Uhura is gorgeous.
- It was nice to see Captain Pike being given a role; a nod-and-a-wink thing maybe, but it's good to have some sort of continuity for the poor bastard.
- They didn't try to "do a Daniel Craig James Bond" on Kirk. He's a lothario and a bighead and that's what we like about him. Similarly, I was glad they didn't try to turn Uhura into one of those ninja-badass heroines that are ten-a-penny these days.
- The score was great. Not as memorable as, for example, Treks II and III, but did the job in an unintrusive and atmospheric way.
- At times the whole thing threatened to slip from pastiche to parody. Did Kirk really need to get into so many fights and get beaten up so many times? Wasn't there one too many "oh look, Kirk has to run away from something really quickly" scene? (The snow-beast bit is the one I'm thinking of.) How many times did Kirk end up hanging off the edge of something? I mean, I know Shatner did a heck of a lot of getting beaten up/being chased/hanging off the edge of stuff, but it was never THIS much.
- The product placement was about the most hamfisted there's ever been. In fact, the entire bit with the young Kirk seemed to have been included mainly to have something good to put in the trailer and a place for a Nokia ad.
- Eric Bana is a fine actor but he was completely wasted on probably the most bland villain ever (after Star Trek V, maybe). He didn't even get to quote any Shakespeare. And what the hell were this guy's motivations? Romulus was going to get destroyed through an act of God, Spock tried to help but failed, so now I'm going to destroy Vulcan and every planet in the federation for revenge? Rather than use the fact that I was transported backwards in time to, er, try to avert the original disaster?
- There was very little sense of danger throughout, which was probably the film's worst failing. It reminded me very much of the 'new' Star Wars films in that respect; there simply wasn't an iota of a suggestion that any of the cast were going to fail or be killed.
- There were lots of moments that, as a long term Trek fan, I found a bit weird. For example: it really only takes 3 minutes to get from Vulcan to Earth at Warp 4 (or whatever it was)? Where was the entirety of Star Fleet when Earth was threatened at the end?
- I feel like the first 'baddies' should have been Klingons. I think Romulans are actually more interesting, but Klingons are too iconic to only have a passing mention in what's supposed to be the first in a successful reboot of the franchise.
- There were quite a few clumsy bits of exposition. The Spock mind-meld bit, for one. "Hey audience, here's where we try to explain the plot..."
- Are people in the 23rd century really still going to be listening to the Beastie Boys?
Overall, 6.5/10. In the fair-to-good range, but by no means great.