Whelp, I've seen #StarTrek
Into Darkness and final verdict was, pretty good. As always I think the Enterprise Crew have the relationships down pat, and honestly was the best part of the movie. Honestly I wish they could have focused more on that then the plot, or Benedict Cumberbatch's character.
As for the plot it was solid, and was tied around a similar premise as ST:Insurrection and TNG:The Pegasus, where someone in the Admiralty decided that doing it the Federation way will hurt the Federation. I liked the callback to Section 31, and for the longtime fans it added the background that made Admiral Robocop's actions fit. For non trek fans, the Admiral was taking a stance seen in many modern films where the ideals of an organization is undermined by the leadership.
The nods to the Original Trek movies and show were sufficiently peppered to enhance but not overwhelm. Kirk and Spock in the engine room was pulled off marvelously, echoing their Prime timeline counterparts. Again that scene was all about the friendship and respect between them, and it played beautifully. But I don't think Spock prime needed to be in this film. It added nothing, and undermined the tension of we are near Earth but unable to tell anyone of Admiral Robocop's malfeasance. And him killing everyone on the Enterprise to keep it a secret kinda falls apart.
But there is the elephant in the room, and here come the spoilers, it is Benedict Cumberbatch. A lot has been said about the whitewashing of his character and I'm not going there. Not to say there aren't good points on both sides of the issue, but not what I am focusing on. I feel he did a passable, but lackluster job as Kahn, and it made his character the least engaging on the screen. He got the deviousness down, I could totally believe that he was smarter that everyone in the room, it kinda is Benedict's schtick since Sherlock. But that's it.
He had none of the easy charm of someone assured in their own power. Nor did he seem to exude power, sure he could take Kirks hits without blinking an eye and slaughter a Klingon security patrol without breaking a sweat. But in those quiet moments in the brig, or when he takes command of the dreadnaught he doesn't fill the room with his presence. He comes of as Hannibal Lecter, when he needed to be Hannibal Barca. Sisco or Picard could summon more presence than this Kahn, heck Sulu out presenced him when he took "The Chair". Mira Furlan bleeding on the floor or even just sitting calmly could be more powerfully menacing. In his most powerful moments Benedict comes off more as a hissing serpent than a roaring lion.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. Not a great trek movie, but a fun one. I place it somewhere between Undiscovered Country and Insurrection.