Helping close out the summer of 2016, Star Trek Beyond hopes to continue on the success of the previous Trek-reboot movies, however, being the first film of the series not directed by JJ Abrams, can this film do as well as its predecessors?
Story: Personally, I was not a huge fan of the reboot films thus far because the story gives predictable a new meaning and in this sense, Beyond continues the proud tradition of its brothers. It starts out with a small mission gone wrong like the Into Darkness, before proceeding to a brand new space station that might as well have “target” painted across it. What follows is the crew going to a strange new world before things go south and it only gets more predictable from there. By the time the epilogue rolls around, I had felt like I had seen the film before; like I was in some weird twilight zone. However, it was still ‘fun’ to watch, which I suppose is redeeming in some way.
Acting: Once again, Chris Pine’s depiction of Kirk is dull and flat. I can’t tell if its him or the script but its just bland. In addition, Idris Elba is entirely forgettable as the villain, which I guess is a complement to Pine’s Kirk in some weird unnecessary way. However this film, as with the others, is redeemed by the supporting cast. Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin are fantastic in their respective roles. And Karl Urban is just solid gold. I can’t tell if he’s being serious or just going ham but it’s great. <small claps>
Presentation: Ok I’m a bit conflicted with this part. On the one hand, everything looks very pretty and the scale is quite impressive. Everything from the pristine space station to the alien planet to the destroyed space ships looks good and sharp. Yet, on the other hand, I never felt the sense of excitement I got from the Force Awakens. The last Star Wars had countless scenes where I ‘felt’ the worlds and ships shown and I never got that feeling from Star Trek. I’m not sure if it’s my love of Star Wars or an actual difference between the films but it just doesn’t feel as special as it could be. Additionally, while the compositions of Michael Giacchino are damn fine, the film feels the need to throw in Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys is just a strange; it’s quite odd to go from a grand orchestra to Sabotage.
Effect: Here is where I really get annoyed by the film. The movie goes back and forth between trying to be a super serious action movie to a comedy with action around it. I’m fine with comedy in action movies but there should be a consistent tone throughout the film. At one point near the end, there is a full serious space battle and with a flip of a coin it shifts to a make-shift music video straight out of a video game. It takes away from the serious moments and life away from the jokes. If there’s one take away from this movie is that it’ll learn that for the inevitable sequel.
Other: As I said above, it is still a fun movie, despite my negative comments. I was more or less engaged throughout and it is a nice complement to the other big summer blockbusters (i.e. Suicide Squad, Ghostbusters, and Civil War).
Coming together, Star Trek Beyond is not the Force Awakens but it’s still good and worth a watch. At the very least, you should see it for Karl Urban.