After Star Trek (2009) and Into Darkness (2013) I was pretty much willing to write off the alternate timeline that the movies are following. Too much lens flare, not enough substance, not enough of what makes Star Trek different from other space operas. Not to mention the plot holes that you could drive a starship through!
So it was with little hope or even interest when the first trailer was released. Except... Simon Pegg was involved in the script, and JJ was off working on another project. And Idris Elba was playing the villain? Okay, maybe my interest was piqued.
So I looked, and then watched the second trailer. Then Simon Pegg said NOT to watch the third trailer. Now I was intrigued... and then the initial reviews started coming out, and they said it was good.
For all that, I wasn't ready to commit and see it opening night. But a Saturday morning matinee? That I could do.
And it was good!
Now, it might be that the bar was set so low that they didn't have to try very hard, but based on what my friends thought, and on what the other people in the theater were saying, it seems like they pulled it off.
Not only that, but while continuing to diverge from the original timeline, they keep it linked together, and not just through Ambassador Spock. There are a few easter eggs that touch on each of the different series, so no matter your taste in Trek, there will be a nod to it.
Also, blessedly, there was a distinct lack of female characters in their underwear!
Oh, and as far as the gay Sulu thing? I liked the acknowledgement that Demora Sulu exists in this universe, and that Hikaru's husband is also of Asian descent, but that it wasn't any sort of issue that they were a same sex couple. It just was.
I am curious what they'll do for the next movie with the tragic loss of Anton Yelchin. I find myself hoping they add another female crewperson. The cast could use a little balance that way.
Overall, it hit all the right notes for me. I give it a solid B+/A-.