But you know what? None of that mattered, because all they really had to do for this episode... ahem... film.... was to get the characters right, and boy did they ever do that.
Chris Pine is Kirk. As I've gotten older, I've appreciated Shatner's portrayal of Kirk more and more, and Pine nailed everything I love about the character. The swagger, the smirk, the torn-up rulebook, the boldly going for lady after lady, and the getting to captain a starship mainly because you throw a really great right hook. I even think the Rebel Without a Cause vibe they gave young Kirk worked well.
I was kind of prepared to dislike Zachary Quinto as Spock, mostly because of the inconsistent writing on Heroes, but he was really good. It was a very sensitive and faithful reinterpretation of Nimoy's portrayal. Of course, I dig Spock best when he's busting at the seams between his human and Vulcan halves and this movie certainly delivered that.
I don't know Karl Urban at all, but he was so Leonard McCoy it was scary. DeForest Kelley's children must have had chills watching him on screen. Even though the script forgot about Bones as soon as the action started, he definitely left his mark on the film in a big way.
I mostly liked the way they portrayed Uhuru, updating her character from receptionist in space to xeno-linguistic expert, but I hope they let her have more fun in the next film. She was just a little too no nonsense for me. She can be a smart officer while still being the one who sings to console her lonely shipmates and falls for Tribbles. I thought Zoe Saldana did very well playing her and of course she looked super hot.
I love Simon Pegg and was pleased that he played Scotty with all the excitability that I remember from the show. I'm sure his Scottish accent was better too. John Cho did fine as Sulu, although he seemed less interested than the others in channeling his predecessor. I don't have much to say about Chekov, because for me he was never more than a Davey Jones lookalike who mixed up his Ws and Vs.
I also don't remember much about the original Captain Pike, outside of the unfortunate state he ended up in, but Bruce Greenwood (John from Cincinnati) was awesome in the role. He only had a few lines, but every time he spoke I was wrapped around his little finger, so I could totally buy his power over Kirk.
So, in short, great film. Bring on the next one!