The synopsis at Wikipedia is really almost complete. I would just like to comment on the movie.>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_2009
“Star Trek is a 2009 science fiction film directed by J. J. Abrams and written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It is the eleventh film based on the Star Trek franchise and features the main characters of the original Star Trek television series, who are portrayed by a new cast. The film follows James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto), before they unite aboard the USS Enterprise to combat Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan from the future who threatens the United Federation of Planets. The time-travel story establishes an alternate reality, freeing the film and the whole franchise from continuity constraints.”
It is new –and it might reinvent the whole Star Trek universe-with its destruction of Vulcan at the beginning of the original series timeline. The presence Spock Prime is also a sort-of threat of what we already know about it.
The death of James Kirk’s father in the beginning is really gut-wrenching. It is really fast and emotional at the same time. The next two scenes- young Kirk racing with a police officer and then the teen Kirk trying to make a pass with Uhura (yes she is sexy and very visually stunning) and being bashed by a group from Federation’s academy. These two are also fresh interpretation of what happened with young Kirk and other Star Trek personnel.
One scene I really like is when Sulu and Kirk went down to the rig’s seismic cannon to save Vulcan from imploding in itself due the red matter from the future. In the original series-you will not think that they are action heroes-but here in the movie-it is now changed. They are like Indiana Jones or Han Solo.
Spock here is still trying to find a grip on his emotions-and that he really loves his mother-especially when he refused his call from the Vulcan Science Academy because they commented on his Terran side as a disadvantage. This is the weakness that Kirk used so that he can be the captain of Enterprise in the final phase of the movie.
Basically, the old Star Trek-tries to balance rationality with the emotional side of McCoy and have it synthesize it with the pragmatism of Kirk. But the commanding presence of Kirk and the regrets of Spock Prime might quench the reason and logic of the young Spock. I hope they did not replaced the modernism of the old series with the post-modernism of the new one. Reason, emotions and need of the moment must be still be weighed.