Before entering Star Trek, you should know that you might find more of a character-driven drama rather than your typical summer action flick. Sure, there's special effects and action, but it's one of the more uninteresting elements of the movie, but then again, the movie doesn't really need it as J.J. Abrams aims to start anew with the franchise and remind the millions why they fell in love with it in the first place.
At first, the movie starts off as a prequel in the traditional sense that it follows how the main characters came to be, and why they come to do what they eventually do. Here, Abrams takes his time to design these familiar characters from the fatherless and rebellious James T. Kirk, to the outcast Spock who is constantly trying to find a place for himself in the universe. Raised by circumstance, driven by a search of destiny, the pair soon find their paths, personalities cross, and clash at Starfleet Academy. Of course, fate eventually lead the duo at odds to find themselves on the christening voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise, which happens to make a run-in with the exact same villain who had killed Kirk's father some minutes before his birth. Strangely enough, the villain is looking for revenge... What Star Trek villain hasn't wanted that before? Make no mistake about it; Eric Bana would be a wasted one-dimensional character if you could tell it was Eric Bana beneath all that makeup.
Of course, the plot doesn't do your mind any favors either because by the end of the movie it's not really a prequel since by the use of time-travel the adventures you've known from the faithful crew never really happened. No Kahn, no whales in San Francisco, no drawn-out scenes of inter-galactic diplomacy. Yet, by the genius of J.J. Abrams none of this really matters while you're watching the movie, mainly because of the likable and relatable characters.
The casting is also inspired as Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto come into their own as actors as they give these familiar characters the twists and turns as they make them their own. Even the supporting cast brings new life to relatively limited personalities. Karl Urban who pays tribute to DeForest Kelly in every line he utters as the wisecracking and supportive Dr. McCoy. Zoe Saldana whose character of Uhura is actually given a purpose within in the series, and accentuates the polarizing personalities of Kirk and Spock. May I also mention that the supposed love-triangle in the movie is greatly exaggerated from scenes of flirting.
Another key that Star Trek so surprisingly good is the fact that it's directed by a minor Star Trek fan who brings a filmmaker's prospective to the series, and two self-proclaimed Trekkie screenwriters, who also happened to pen the Transformers series. Star Trek is a mix of fandom and good filmmaking that is sure to please both fans and non-fans alike. If anything, the stage is set for a killer sequel.