Review of Star Trek Beyond

startrekbeyond

Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Star Trek franchise. It’s continuing mission to explore if the rebooted universe still has legs. To seek out if there is life after the disappointing Into Darkness. To boldly go where… yada, yada – you get the gist. It’s time to review the thirteenth film in everyone’s favourite sci-fi series. Will thirteen prove to be an unlucky number for Trekkies? Let’s hope not because I have enjoyed the Chris Pine fronted flicks, even if the last film didn’t get much praise. To avoid another backlash, this time round we get a brand new adventure rather than a rehash of past ideas. Funny man Simon Pegg (who plays Scotty) contributed to the script, as evidenced by the hilarious opener were Captain Kirk’s diplomatic mission goes awry.

OVERVIEW

Star Trek Beyond begins like many episodes of the classic TV show. The Enterprise enters an unexplored nebula after receiving a distress signal from a ship that has crash-landed on a nearby planet. After warping to the location it becomes apparent that the call for aid is a trick. Without warning, a throng of alien vessels launch from the surface and ambush the Enterprise. Surprised and outnumbered, Kirk’s crew are routed in battle and eventually captured. The Enterprise is completely destroyed, which would be shocking were it not for the fact that star ships with that designation become scrap metal on a regular basis. You can no longer count on one hand how many times the Enterprise has met its demise onscreen. It’s so unsurprising that no one batted an eyelid when the scene was spoiled in the official trailer.

The leader of the aggressors is a chap named Krall who has the ability to prolong his life by absorbing the vitality of others. Did he set the trap to procure hostages he can feed on? Nope. It’s later revealed that he has a beef with the Federation, although his flimsy motivations are only divulged in a brief snippet found shortly before the film’s end. It’s such a waste seeing the talented Idris Elba being relegated to the role of generic villain. What we get as a result is a good film with a weak antagonist, in stark contrast to Into Darkness (underwhelming movie starring an awesome baddie.) Anyways, it falls upon Kirk, Bones and a badly injured Spock to thwart Krall’s convoluted plans. They better succeed if they have any aspirations to live long and prosper.

VERDICT

My rating for Star Trek Beyond is a four out of five. Star Trek (2009) is arguably a better movie, but I still had a great time watching Beyond. Like many modern films it does run a bit long though. I personally would have wrapped things up half an hour earlier. The powers that be decreed however that the story should continue on and close with a bang. Director Justin Lin (who has previously worked on the Fast and the Furious) dutifully obliged with a trademark high-octane finale. Viewers who prefer a more cerebral Trek may not care for the overabundance of action, but on the plus side the fight sequences are flashy. The comedy is top notch too and the character focused subplots fleshed things out nicely. Aside from the Krall matter, Kirk wrestles with the monotony of captaincy whilst Spock ponders what direction his love life should take.

Another thing I enjoyed about Star Trek Beyond would have to be the debut of Jaylah, an extra-terrestrial lady who has a questionable taste in music. She forms a great double act with Scotty and kicks some major ass. What can I say? I dig badass chicks with funky accents, which may explain why I liked Resident Evil more than most people. If another Trek movie ever gets produced I would be okay with Jaylah filling the bridge seat left vacant by the tragic passing of Anton Yelchin (Chekov.) Whether this version of Star Trek gets a fourth instalment or not remains to be seen though, as its box office performance wasn’t stellar. When it comes to generating a profit Star Wars is far superior to Star Trek. Scotty beam me up… I need to get out of here quick, because I suspect livid Trekkers are about to descend on my position!

27 thoughts on “Review of Star Trek Beyond

  1. Still have not seen this one. I enjoyed the 2009 film as a one-off, although the more times I watch it, the more the stupid plotholes piss me off. Only saw Into Darkness once. It is literally not allowed in my house. I suppose I’ll get around to checking this out eventually, but suffice it to say this will never really be my Star Trek.

    And you go right on enjoying the Resident Evil movies! They’re fun and Jovovich is nice to look at.

    • The movie is a fun popcorn flick in Star Trek clothing. I’ll admit that the tone isn’t in line with that of the old shows, but I suppose action packed Trek is better than no Trek at all. My fave stuff from the franchise will forever be TNG and DS9.

      • I definitely agree. I grew up with the original series prominent in syndication. The original crew will always be my favorite ensemble cast. That having been said, I’d still rank TNG and DS9 among my favorite series in the franchise.

        TNG had a slow and awkward start and it hit some rough patches now and then, but as an overall body of work, it’s great stuff.

        I was hooked on DS9 from the pilot episode and never looked back. From character development, to producing story arcs that were ahead of their time, I actually think it’s the pinnacle of Trek on TV.

  2. I enjoy these rebooted flicks, although I was never a huge Trekkie. I’ve found that old school fans don’t like these action-packed movies but they draw in the casual viewers.

    I think TNG still ranks as one of the best send offs (series finale, not the later movies) of any shows.

    • Some hardcore Trekkies may not care for the newer movies, but to be honest a lot of the older films weren’t that great either. Star Trek works better as a series imho. The good thing about the reboot is that it encourages casual viewers to check out the older stuff.

  3. This movie pleasantly surprised me. The early trailers were so bad, that Simon Pegg had to get out in front of them, and yell “It’s not this terrible! It’s pretty good! We swear!” On top of that I did not like the first one, not so much the cast, I think they’ve all done well, and tried to respect the characters. But Star Trek reboot 1 had a major hole I couldn’t get around, and was just really trying to be Star Wars with Trek characters. Into Darkness was MUCH better IMHO. At least until the last act where they tried Wrath Of Khan role reversal.

    So between bad trailers, a rough start, and a mostly good sequel with a screwy finale, I was pretty skeptical.
    But I really liked Beyond. It had a lot of action, but it was paced much better. It didn’t feel like I was ONLY seeing battles. There was a pretty good storyline in it. I found Krall to be a pretty sympathetic villain. Someone you want to see defeated obviously, but at the same time you could understand why he had the motives he did. He didn’t have the wow factor of other movie villains. But he was still an interesting original character. Jaylah was an interesting original character.

    Beyond still doesn’t touch the better films from the pre alternate timeline. But I felt this was a big improvement for the series, and I didn’t find a ton to complain about with it. I mean, parts of Krall’s plans were stupid, and he gets thwarted by centuries old hip-hop. But it’s not like other Trek bad guys’ plans were always ingenious. Hopefully now that Abrams is helming Wars, he’ll put more people in who will let Trek, be Trek.

    • Although they did explain Krall’s disillusionment with the Federation, I thought his views were a bit extreme. That said his reasoning was warped by all those mutations, so fair enough. It takes a lot less to make people on the internet turn violent 🙂

      I was okay with the 2009 movie, but concede it was more Star Wars than Star Trek. Guess that may have been a factor in Disney recruiting J.J’s services.

  4. I would agree with you of this. I got the DVD for Christmas, and thoroughly enjoyed it … though the enterprise does appear to be a fragile beast these days. I know that a lot of older Trekkies haven’t enjoyed the reboots, and I can understand why (the attachment to the original incarnations of the characters, the different feel and so on), but I think the reasoning was summed up well by a friend. He said that the newer films weren’t for him or his era, they’re designed to play into the tastes of modern movie fans, and to try to bring new fans into the franchise. He found that, seeing that, made the films easier to enjoy. For me, TNG was my era, so I have no real attachment to the original cast. As such, I have no problems with the newer versions (though it was always cool seeing Nimoy appear). I really hope that we get more, before as reboots go, this has been fun.

    • Your pal is right. The purpose of many reboots is to repackage an old property for modern audiences. Perhaps the old guard won’t approve, but hey it could be worse. As a fan of the G1 cartoons, I think Trekkies have done better on the film front than Transformers.

      • Absolutely! I struggled with the Transformers films (though I do like the look of the newest trailer). Star Trek has always had a mixed success with films, so for the quality thus far to be as it is is a definite positive in my eyes.

  5. I guess I’m in the minority as this was a decent flick but the plot holes, weak antagonist and risible contrivances left me a little frustrated and underwhelmed. Thumbs in the middle for me. :-/

    • The villain could have been better and the story certainly hinges on contrivances, but those faults didn’t bug me too much. Based on the tone of the previous movies and who was directing it I went into the film with the mindset of “don’t think too much, go with the flow and just enjoy the action/laughs.” I hope they can deliver something smarter next time round, but Hollywood doesn’t have much confidence that mainstream viewers want that.

  6. Loved it! We saw it twice in cinema and I got the DVD for Christmas. Not surprising though as I’ve been a Star Trek fan since I was 7, which is already 46 years ago. I like the way Chris Pine portrays Kirk. Close to how I loved him in TOS. Plus, once again they capture the camaraderie!

  7. Interesting. I’ve been on the fence about seeing this one, since I’m still not 100% sold on the whole “re-imagined universe,” but the other Star Trek movies have been very good, so maybe this one is worth a look, as well…

  8. When I saw Jaylah, I was immediately attuned to thousands of needles going through fabric as if a million cosplayers were already hard at work :p That is one I’d love to attempt one day. Just doing the makeup alone would be a treat.

    I guess I must’ve been more lenient to Into Darkness’ issues because I absolutely love Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan, so I definitely agree with the awesome villain part. I wasn’t as impressed with Beyond. It was fun, and I’ll also agree with you on Idris Elba’s talent being wasted. The Marvel Universe made much better use of his talents as Heimdall (even though there was backlash for an awful reason to that ughhh).

    I’m happy I watched Beyond last weekend so I could actually read this review. I need to rewatch the first and second of the reboot (I guess we could call it that), since it’s been a while. Into Darkness is so far my favorite still thought. BC has some incredible star power. Plus I have a thing for genetically perfect, righteously pissed off, green-eyed ubermensch’s :p

  9. I saw this in theaters. I never really saw the original TV series or the other movies at all, so was a little confused as to whether this was a reboot or a next generation with everyone as being like twins of their parents. I liked it though.

    • It’s pretty much new actors playing the characters from the original TV series. The first film featured a villain from the future who has changed the timeline. Cool idea, because they can use the classic characters without having to tie things up so they match what happened in the original continuity.

      • I’ve seen it on TV, but I never bothered to watch it. I knew who the names of the main characters and that they go around flying in space, but that’s about it.

  10. I will probably watch all the new Star Trek’s as they come out, just because I like Star Trek. This one was OK, but it does not feel like Star Trek to me. I hated the first movie because of the story, and I cannot seem to shake it off for the sequels.

    The more of Chris Pine I see, the less I like him. If the Star Trek series wants to be “edgy” — then kill off Captain Kirk.

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