So I did that last Friday, and I came away feeling disturbed. I'll put the cut here, so if you haven't seen it yet you needn't have your first impressions interfered with by mine.
Watching the movie, I was pretty happy. I liked it that the focus remained pretty tight on the characters without ceding too much ground to special effects. I thought the casting of the young Kirk, Spock, Chekov, Sulu, and Uhura was good to excellent and the Scotty character acceptable; the only real miss, I felt, was the young McCoy, who didn't look right at all and didn't even have a southern accent. Nobody but Mark Lenard can ever cut it as Sarek for me, but the actor who played him did a decent job; the fault I find is with the writers, who make Spock's father much too supportive in the film. I stayed pretty engrossed in the story while still in the theater; the only thing that threw me out was finding that Spock and Uhura were now an item. Keep in mind that I bring an enormous amount of baggage to any Star Trek screening and never care as much about the story line as I do about how the characters interact in dealing with whatever they're given to deal with.
Driving the 45 miles home, though, I realized that I felt sad. At first I thought this was just the sadness of nostalgia, of being brought back in contact with something that had played such an important part in my life for such a long time, and realizing how much had changed since that had been true. It wasn't till about twelve hours later, in the middle of the night, that I abruptly understood why my mind had keep brooding over the movie all evening. You've probably figured this out already: the very premise of the movie (oversimplified)--that vengeful Romulans had traveled back in time to emerge at the moment of Kirk's birth and change the time line--had annihilated the entire Trek universe we know and love. These young whippersnapper movie writers had decided to wipe the slate clean and start over: same characters, same Starfleet Academy, same Earth, brand new game.
Me, I don't want a brand new game. I want a new look at the same old game. I know why they eliminated the story we know, I see what good sense that makes in terms of Hollywood and box office and the demographic, but I'm talking here about what I want, and this wasn't it.