Firstly, let me explain the presence of the word 'stale,' in my review title. I am NOT a Star Trek fan. I do not like the 10 movies that came before this one. I have only ever watched The Next Generation with a vaguely passing interest. I am aware of all the 'Trek Cliches,' (More on which later.) but honestly - like at least one other reviewer - I prefer Star Wars.
My girlfriend convinced me to go see this at the cinema and I was VERY glad I did. Characters I considered old and worn gained new depth and personality. It was great to see where the brash, cocky side of a very young Kirk originated and even better to see it knock heads with a young Spock, rather than have the two of them just hit it off from the start. Casting is absolutely first rate, every actor bringing something new to their respective characters (With the obvious exception of Leonard Nimoy, who play it EXACTLY as you both expect - and he needed to.).
The direction and cinematography was first class, just like the effects. The effects were possibly this films crowning achievement, mainly because in my opinion, the effects were probably one of the bigger jokes of the previous series and films.
And so to the previously mentioned 'Trek Cliches.' While I have stated I am not a fan, I do know enough about Star Trek within popular culture to know that if these were not convincingly present, then it would have had most Trekkies baying for JJ Abrams blood. But no, they are there, and made all the more humerousand occasionally subtle in the way they are delivered (I won't mention them specifically as I am not one for spoilers.). Even my girlfriend, who is neither a huge fan of Sci-Fi or someone who knows anything at all about Star Trek was tickled by them and came out of the cinema thoroughly entertained.
All in all, Abrams now has the whole Star Trek Universe open to him, thanks to a very clever storyline, and it feels like a very good place for him to be. I will certainly be rushing to see any future Star Trek films from this team