Kirk and Spock had worked together for 6 months and they were frenimes not friends that was why Bones told Kirk that Spock would let him die in the volcano and why Kirk, before his death asked Spock does he understand why he went back for him. Spock tearfully replies by saying because you are my friend.
So they were not technically friends at the beginning of the film...yet.
the whole thing with the kirk and spock dynamic in into darkness was that the writers didn't make it their own.
they borrowed heavily form their legendary friendship in TOS. Its like the writers basically were trying to cement their friendship and place it on the same level of TOS Kirk and Spock without any hard work or depth, they even went as far as copying and pasting the scene from wrath of khan in STiD.
If STiD had the kirk and spock dynamic fresh, unpredictable , original and standing on its own, it would have worked better and would have been more believable.
People have opinions on what ST 3 should be like however while some of our opinions differ, we all agree that we want ORGINALITY. No more rip off, remakes, rehash or paying homages. STiD has done that enough.
Someone said the third film should be about exploring. I am guessing Paramount are too scared to do that. Paramount believes the typical Hollywood formula of how a summer blockbuster film needs actions and amazing fight scenes with awesome visual effects to bring in the big box.
Especially now that star wars is coming back
Maybe Trek 3 should be like the Voyage home.... All fluffy and family stuff. It would definitely do well at the box office in USA however the foreign box office numbers might be poor.