You have a few options when thinking about a movie like Star Trek. You can either lambaste it for the silliness of the action genre, or try to think about it on its own terms, within its own genre. Certainly the former can only lead to disappointment, because this is a pure action movie filled with explosions and malevolent characters that create a black and white element. As an action movie, Star Trek is typical: characters without depth, or are action standards such as the troubled hot head. Granted Star Trek relies on a back story with forty years of history that fills in the gaps, but take that away and the movie is easily summed up: bad guys come to town, brave hot head saves everyone.
Thinking about the movie in its own terms as sci-fi or part of the Star Trek family the movie does improve, but not really that much. Sure, a fan of Star Trek has to see it to know what is being done with the story, but it doesn’t have much more to offer. What made it weak wasn’t so much the rewriting of the Star Trek time line, but the silliness of it. How can a bunch of cadets become captains, etc. so quickly? For good or bad, Star Trek had the logic of a different world where there were rules that lead one to where they are. In this movie, to get Kirk to be the captain, the film makers had to jump him from cadet to captain in five minutes. It seems like a quibble, but it was the kind of shortcut that is typical of an action movie: a nobody saves the day.
I will skip tiresome introductions and pet phrases of the supporting cast, something that seemed to be required, but was usually tedious and seemed to be more about pleasing the old Trek fans, than creating a more plausible story. I suppose Wrath of Khan was probably the best of the films, most likely because they were able to balance the characters so much better. Besides possibly the Borg Queen, is there a memorable villain from another Star Trek movie?
The movie is two hours of time spent, nothing more, even if you are a fan of Star Trek.