So let's just concede that this is an element of JJ's filmmaking that is generally reviled
Sorry, but the rantings of a select few fanbois do not amount to "generally".
It's photographically corrupt.
To use lens flares on occasion for effect can be a superb creative choice (I'd say the first DIE HARD is an example of going almost to the brink of too far with them, but they are well-orchestrated, run out for key moments); to overuse them, and do so arbitrarily, is just bad photography.
There are industry folk who have cottoned onto this with a vengeance, but even when somebody like Edgar Wright gets excited by this (was very disappointed in him on this one thing), he still limited his (over)use on SCOTT PILGRIM to just the scenes that were shot in the wider format. Seth Rogen's new movie is apparently lens flare city too, which is the only reason I can think of not to see it, because EVERYbody who worked on it thinks it is funny as hell.
I just hope this plays itself out as a trend faster than some of the other visual disasters of the last 15 years, like the destruction of real-life color (in favor of some nearly monochromatic rendering) that seems almost required at this point. The ET & FLASHDANCE shoot-in-smoke thing went on for the better part of a decade, but at least it wasn't omnipresent.