To me one of the mistakes of JJ Trek is he's making it more about Kirk+Spock and Spock+Uhura (at least that's how it felt to me), but as Harve Bennett discovered it's more about Kirk+Spock+McCoy and their friendship together. For all of its faults, that's one thing I feel TFF did well. But TWOK really knocked it out of the park. The relationships felt real without being in your face about it. There was humor without trying too hard. And there was raw emotion. It all felt so real. With that strong triad, TWOK also did a great job of making the Enterprise crew -- all of them -- feel like a strongly connected family. Great film. Still the best IMO!
That is out of context.
JJ Trek made it about characters still getting to know and understand each other, they are in their 20's and far from the middle aged veterans you see in TWOK.
As for middle aged characters in JJ Trek, Bruce Greenwood's performance as Pike would not look out of place being in the TMP era movies himself.