I keep going back to a complaint Harlan Ellison had about TOS, that fits like a freakin' glove to this movie.
Not only was it mediocre, it was deliberately intended to be mediocre.
They didn't strive to make something great and fail (that's the saving grace of some of the worst episodes, at least they tried something different and it didn't work). They targeted this film to hit that lowest common denominator and get the biggest bang for the buck. From the ubiquitous lens flares to the shaky cam to the MTV rapid edits to the pandering to every Star Trek stereotype in the book, both real and imagined, this film was plotted and made solely to suck in as many people as possible and separate them from their money (nothing wrong with that, in and of itself), and (here's the real crime) BE AS UTTERLY NONCHALLENGING AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE!
And for Star Trek, any incarnation of Star Trek, that is completely unforgivable. Star Trek is supposed to make you think. That this film not only doesn't make you think, but actually requires you to not think, lest the whole house of cards falls apart, is far worse than just another bad installment in the franchise, but a fundamental betrayal of the very idea behind Star Trek that Roddenberry tried to instill in the production and the writing, summed up by his favorite saying on the subject, "There is an intelligent life form on the other side of that television tube!" Eye candy is not enough, you have to appeal to the mind, to the intelligence of the viewer. Short change that, and you sell out the whole thing and reduce Star Trek to "just a movie."
Understand why I'm so angry over this thing now?