I just saw the film an hour ago, thanks to the ticket Throwback sent me!
Some brief thoughts:
1. I LOVED that Section 31 was part of this! I loved the conspiracy aspect, and that the big bad wasn't just another pissed off mustache-twirling alien.
2. I liked Khan, but I won't be admitting that on Tumblr.
He was actually way more terrifying than Montalban but also comes off as a character redesign. CumberKhan was way more a connection to Space Seed than TWOK, as it should be. Honestly, I would have LOVED to see Naveen Andrews or another Indian actor play him - but I can also see why they didn't (because it would be in the realm of unfortunate implications), and given how genuinely blood-curdling and inhuman I found this Khan, I'm fine with Cumberbatch's version. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, I bought him as a character in his own right. And I can see why they didn't use Joachim or someone else, it would have lacked the same impact.
3. I was okay with the Klingon redesign. Just okay with it. Enough was there that said "Klingon" to me that the redesign didn't bother me. It seemed midway between TNG and TOS. I bought the Klingons as Klingons and that's really all I ask. The costumes really did look inspired by TOS and I liked that.
4. Most of the people in the theater with me were people old enough to have seen the original series, let alone TWOK. The callouts to TWOK proved problematic because they caused everyone else in my row to snicker, mutter "yeah right", or giggle and THAT was distracting. Somehow, the tail end of the film came off a little... fanfictionish. But I was okay with it.
5. This is the first time I've really bought Chris Pine as Kirk.
6. The movie really runs fast. I couldn't believe I was in the theater as long as I was, it really feels short. I liked the brisk pace, though. Very tight writing.
I only have one question - one thing that confused me - what happened in the engine room that caused the ship to drop out of warp? Who sabotaged the ship and when? That part went by so fast.