I'm not sure if it was doing less of the "let's see how we can make old things new again" game, or if it was just not as novel as in the first movie, but I still enjoyed it. I spotted lots of fun references, though I especially liked the bits where they mirrored things from the original, rather than just repeating them.
I liked Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain. He's good at being emotionless and calculating but then looking weird and half-alien when he does have feelings.
I also really like how they gave Uhura quite a few opportunities to save the day. Actually, I think every named crewmember saved the day at least twice, which is pretty cool. Go team!
I also need to post about the excellent concert I went to on Saturday with Pyro (after making bacon chocolate chip cookies all morning for Ron's graduation party), but that will have to wait, because I got up early to go in to work early for an important meeting that got postponed, and consequently I am now tired.