In keeping with the current trend of letting the fanboys review a sci-fi universe movie before the critics get a crack at it, Paramount mounted a surprise Fantastic Fest sneak preview of Star Trek in Austin (in place of the scheduled Wrath of Khan). Leonard Nimoy attended. (Pictures are here.) Early reaction so far is upbeat. The next round of reactions are coming from the Sydney world premiere.
AICN's Quint makes it clear that J.J. Abrams departs from the old Star Trek universe:
Everything we have seen still exists, just not in this reality. I think it‚Äôs pretty genius, actually, but only if they stick to this universe now. I‚Äôd hate to see them go back and forth with the existing Trek reality and this one in further sequels. I like the world (or maybe universe is a better term considering the material) that Abrams and his team has created here. I like the cast he assembled, I like the way this new universe turns some old Trek landmarks on their heads, while keeping true to what‚Äôs really important to each character.
If there is one thing that Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have captured in their script and that J.J. Abrams seems to hold in high regard, it is the relationships that are forged between the crew of the Enterprise. The bonds between Kirk and the likes of Spock, Scotty, Sulu and most notably, Dr. Leonard ‚ÄúBones‚Äù McCoy. But we‚Äôll talk more about Bones later, as there‚Äôs plenty to say. What I‚Äôd like to make clear is that the two writers on this project ‚Äî whose work I have loved at times and hated at others ‚Äî is some of the smartest work they‚Äôve done. They get these characters and when you combine that with the visual style that J.J. Abrams has brought to the franchise, it makes for a dangerously accessible and exciting film.
Here's some video.