Those who know J.J. Abrams know he's pretty much a guy who likes to weave a tale by hitting the ground running, which he does so here quite literally, and thus keeps the momentum going. In that regard it's no different from the first Star Trek film. As the film begins you are thrown into a completely confusing sequence of events full of surprises that manages to sort itself out as it goes allowing you to catch up with Kirk and crew out there running about making a mess of the universe. Kirk still has to earn the right to serve as the Captain of the Star Ship Enterprise, and he's not off to a good start despite his heroics during the events of the previous film. However a series of calamaties once again has him running the show, testing his leadership and ethics and obedience as an enigmatic figure, whom we discover to be Khan, blows up an archive in London, and kills many ranking members of the Federation.
Parallels to terrorism, 9/11, and suspicion of authority are abundant here much as they were in Iron Man 3 such that Kirk finds himself at odds in a 3 way deadlock between Khan, the Federation, and even the Klingon of which he must maneuver his way around carefully, and if anyone knows diplomacy, it's our young Captain Kirk, and by 'diplomacy', I really mean 'youthful rebellion.' And by 'anyone who actually knows diplomacy', I actually meant Spock. You can expect more of this tension between hypothetical swords and shields as even Kirk and Spock's friendship is strained to their limits as they each debate correct courses of action, and judging when to obey the rules and when to break them.
The story is pretty strightforward. Kirk is ordered to find Khan and kill him, and Kirk doesn't have a problem with that given Khan killed someone dear to him. But at the same time, Kirk is suspicious as to whether he's being used, and his friends are there to keep him on the straight and narrow path.
Star Trek Into Darkness is a fun thrilling film with plenty of awesome moments that general audiences will enjoy immensely. However, hardcore Trekky fans may take issue with many things about the film. Obviously one of them being that this movie is more along the lines of an action adventure film with little thought provocation and sci-fi themes that Star Trek fans love about the original universe. Also those who have watched 'Wrath of Khan' will apparently find nothing new of worth here except rethreading the same old territory with some roles switched around. Also to nitpit quite a bit, there are random things thrown about for no good reason other than perhaps comedy, or perhaps to drive home the fact that in case you missed it, Kirk is a womanizer. Also Alice Eve looks very nice in her underwear as many might've long theorized, but now we can verify that scientifically, or maybe you still won't be very impressed, who knows? Kirk certainly isn't picky.
All in all it's an enjoyable film, with very good visual effects and very nice lens flares. Though for me, the first one was better. Still... it's a warp well worth taking. Next we'll see what Abrams can bring to Star Wars!