1. Scotty's Plumbing Mishap - When Scotty (Simon Pegg) and Kirk (Chris Pine) finally get beamed aboard the Enterprise, they wind up in a mechanical bay. Kirk lands safely on dry land while Scotty gets trapped in some plumbing. While you've got to respect the attempt to up the stakes and add some tension in an intoxicatingly Zemeckisian way, it comes off as awkward and jokey. And anything that reminds us of "Men in Black II" is a bad, bad thing.
2. Spock in the Cave of Coincidence - Aside from shoehorning Leonard Nimoy's from-the-future Spock into the plot (which frankly was unnecessary, just do a friggin' normal prequel), easily the most glaring issue and illogical bit of narrative silliness (and this comes after the "Men In Black"-like cockroach-monster chase) occurs when Kirk just so happens to be banished to a random planet by Spock (Zachary Quinto) and hides out in the same cave that future-Spock (Nimoy) is taking refuge in. And this is after Abrams goes out of his way to show us how expansive the snowy landscape the planet is. It's a ludicrous narrative lapse (to put it nicely) that could have been avoided.
3. Tyler Perry's Cameo - While not a narrative lapse or silly plot point, the decision to hire Madea to play an imposing Starfleet official was still a distracting and unnecessary one. And to have him pop up twice, in two key scenes, well, if it's enough to make you flail wildly with hoary African American clichés.
4. My Mom Winona - We're still baffled as to why Abrams hired Winona Ryder, a fine actress for sure, to play Zachary Quinto's mom. (She's three years older.) Did he remember the unconvincing old woman makeup they caked her in for "Edward Scissorhands" and said, "Gee, my movie could use some of that!" There are plenty of wonderful older actresses he could have gotten to play that part or, barring that, Tyler Perry in old woman drag?
5. Red Matter Matters - What, exactly, is the "red matter?" Is it ever really explained? Did Old Man Spock just have a surplus of this gunk lying around for deep space calamities or what? And if you only need a tiny, tiny drop, why do you have to have that massive ball of it? And did anyone else have flashbacks to the giant red ball in Abrams' television series "Alias?" (One that, in the third season, turned people into zombie-like killers.) No? Just us? Okay (actually, yes).
6. The Slime-Green Orion Slave Girl - Despite many claiming it was clothing-challenged actress/model Diora Baird who played Gaila, Orion slave girl/green alien woman that Kirk (Pine woos) at the beginning of the film, it turns out it was Rachel Nichols, who plays Scarlett in the upcoming 'G.I. Joe' movie (though apparently there's a glimpse of Baird elsewhere). Wait, that's not the problem. Remember the Orion slave girl/green alien girl that William Shatner wooed in the "Star Trek" TV series? Well, apparently it's supposed to be either the same girl, or more likely the same species (nerds would obviously know) and perhaps it's simply just a clever nod to the series and Kirk's sexual proclivities (he evidently likes aliens of a verdant green shade). None of that however, is the problem. The big issue, is the Orion slave girl from J.J. Abrams films looks just as laughable and unbelievable as the one from the 1960s TV series. Apparently make-up hasn't evolved in almost 50 years in the here and now. It's meant to be a moment of comic relief, sure, but it's not meant to take you totally out of the picture or make you snort Diet-Pepsi out of your nose in the theaters either. She looks ridiculous. Is such a concession to the fans worth it?
7.- Scotty's Sidekick Monster - Let's forget for a second the absurd notion that Spock from the future (Nimoy) teaches Scotty (Simon Pegg) the secrets to the "transwarp transportation" technology -- whichs allow people to be beamed aboard instellar-moving objects (like the Enterprise) -- before he actually invents it (therefore totally changing the history of time in this Universe). Geez, there's a doozy. But what the fuck is that furry little critter by Scotty's side the whole time that did a whole lot of nothing, but grunt and or jump up and down (in excitement?) Ewok meets Jar Jar Binks much? Guys, comic relief doesn't have to be this silly does it?
8. Spock's Bro-down Advice Chat With Spock - Turns out future Spock (Nimoy) is a big fancy liar and despite being "emotionless" has a real sense of mischievous humor. At the beginning of the picture he tells Kirk (Pine) that he must induce a fight with Spock (Quinto) so the Vulcan can lash out, be seen as unfit for duty and then Kirk can take over and kick ass. He also warns Kirk that he cannot let young Spock (Quinto) know that crusty old Spock (Nimoy) is roaming around this universe, because if he knows or they meet, the very fabric of the space time continuum will implode and eat itself (or something like that anyhow). Turns out none of this is true and Spock was just trying to bond Kirk and Spock (Quinto) by letting them kick the shit out of each other and teach his younger self to trust his emotions. During this expository monologue, painful in of itself, Spock also drops his stentorian Vulcan demeanor and basically speaks in a relaxed human tone that basically advises his younger self, "chill out, dude." Awful.
9. Everything That Comes Out Of Eric Bana's Mouth - A mediocre villain, with dubious motivations, played by an actor we normally love who just plays the Romulan like a snarling goofy oaf, with a huge chip on his shoulder. What can he do, the character was sorely underwritten. It's amazing to think that the main villain of the film is terribly weak and yet, again, the film, against all odds on paper, succeeds winningly. It's not like we checked our brains at the door either. Gotta give it up to J.J. for a film full of little problems that still amounts to a sizable win. And we don't give out geek plaudits easily, obviously.
0k, fine, 10. The new/old Enterprise is essentially a sleek-white advertisement for Apple? Didn't know Steve Jobs partly co-funded this one. - co-written with Drew Taylor.