Star Trek Beyond

The rebooted franchise started to slip with Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), the new had started to wear off, I believe I said. Star Trek Beyond, with new director Justin Lin of the Fast & Furious, feels more like an episode rather than a motion picture event. While Beyond certainly gives you the bang and visual effects for your money, it doesn’t offer anything you can’t see anywhere else at the box office. Lin’s specialty has always been action sequences and they are piled up in this third film. What’s lost from the two films JJ Abrams directed, is the humanity and time spent with the characters. Ironically for a film titled “Beyond”, the Enterprise crew spend the majority of the screen time on the ground rather than in space.

It’s been two years since we left Captain James T. Kirk (Pine) in charge of the USS Enterprise. He is three years into a five-year mission exploring uncharted territory when his crew take a break at the new Starbase Yorktown. Their relief doesn’t last long before they are assigned to aid a local fleet that was attacked. The new mission couldn’t come at a worse time with both Kirk and second in command Spock (Quinto) desperately wanting to discuss their future plans off the ship. The Enterprise warps into the region known as Nebula and is instantly attacked, with the entire crew forced to abandon ship on an unknown planet. With escape pods scattered everywhere, the crew much each depend on their specific set of skills to survive. Krall (Elba) is the cause of their demise and current predicament. Hell-bent on destroying The Enterprise, Yorktown and The Federation, he will stop at nothing to avenge the rights he insists were violated.

Doesn’t offer much stimulation outside of explosions and funny looking creatures.

Before accepting the dangerous mission, Kirk is offered a Vice Admiral position due to his exemplary work. “Vice Admirals don’t fly do they,” he questions, understanding the answer is no. “Where is the fun in that”. Indeed, Kirk, so why have the third Star Trek film take place almost entirely on land? The most impressive sequence of the film is the crash of The Enterprise, the visual effects are as especially enthralling combined with the tragic score, the script however, not so much. At first the separation of the crew looks to be an endurance test for the various groups, but too quickly do they re-join forces before any of the supporting characters can really have a moment. The white faced warrior Jaylah (Boutella) is one of the films few exciting new additions. That isn’t to take away from Elba’s Krall, it’s just little of the award winning actor is actually seen on screen.

“We will do what we always do. Find hope in the impossible,” Spock says. Star Trek does follow a predictable pattern, and has since 1966. Like many franchises, there is never much danger of the main characters getting hurt or killed, therefore without a strong script and thrilling circumstances you are faced with boredom. Long term Trekkies should enjoy the fact this reboot is keeping the franchise alive and moving forward, while audiences who watch and enjoy any sort of loud, bombastic, effects heavy summer film should also be entertained. For everyone else, Beyond doesn’t offer much stimulation outside of explosions and funny looking creatures.

Final Thought

The rebooted franchise continues to decline towards a simple, mind numbing action film with little substance.


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