Title: Star Trek Beyond
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Director: Justin Lin
Release Format: Theatrical
No matter how you put it, Star Trek Beyond is a great movie. Whether you are a fan of the series or in love with science fiction movies, Beyond is definitely for you. It seems that director Justin Lin took real care with the third film in the new Kelvin timeline that started in 2009. While some are worried that the movie looked too much like Fast and Furious in space in the trailers, there is definitely no need to worry.
Star Trek Beyond‘s story picks up three years into the deep space mission that the crew of the Enterprise set off on at the end of Into Darkness. Many are on edge after being in space for too long and Captain Kirk himself is starting to have doubts about being captain. That is when visiting new Space Fleet Station Yorktown, a distress signal of a downed Space Fleet ship takes the Enterprise into uncharted space. The story is a lot in line with the older Star Trek films, even going as far as feeling like a really long episode of the original TV series. Fans are sure to like it, even the purists who despised Into Darkness.
Characters in Star Trek Beyond are more developed and the villain is more likable. That isn’t to say that Cumberbatch’s Khan in Into Darkness wasn’t great. It is just that Beyond has a more original and compelling villain. The villain is named Krull and there is definitely more than meets the eye to him. As with the story, the villain is more in line with classic Trek villains like Gary Mitchell and even Khan. Krull might even be ranked as one of the best Trek villains in the films when all said and done. Unfortunately, Krull only has little screen time but he definitely is a highlight.
The villain isn’t the only one who gets the spotlight. While all of the Enterprise has their moments, Scotty has a much larger role compared to Into Darkness and the 2009 film. Most of the comic relief will come from Scotty. Sulu, also playing a huge role, being gay isn’t outright stated despite all the controversy a few weeks ago. Star Trek Beyond also addresses the death of one major icon.
It was during the film’s production that the great Leonard Nimoy passed. Star Trek Beyond sees a nice little sendoff of the original Spock that will make even a grown man choke up. Nimoy’s death is incorporated into the story and helps drive Spock to question his mortality. It is one of the better subplots to the film.
The story and the characters are all brought to life by the actors that play them. Chris Pine as Kirk is just as great as ever while Zachary Quinto as Spock brings a lot of emotion to an action-heavy film. Simon Pegg is fantastic playing Scotty. Idris Elba as Krull though is what many will be happy to see the most.
Then there is Anton Yelchin, who also recently passed. Since the film already finished filming, there was no way to incorporate a way for the studio to give him a nod with the exception of a “For Anton” at the end of the credits. His character though felt coming full circle and instead of killing him off they can just write him off.
One of the biggest fears about Star Trek Beyond is that director Justin Lin will make it Fast and Furious. In space. After all, Justin Lin did direct the franchise starring Vin Diesel. There is no need to worry about that, though. Some elements from the Fast and Furious franchise are utilized, like the way some of the music is used or how space battles take place. Those elements, though, don’t hurt or change Star Trek for the worse. They improve on what J.J. Abrams did with the previous two films. You should still expect to see a ton of lens flares on the other hand.
The action sequences themselves are more fluid and make much more sense in the wide scope of things. There is one scene in particular that stands out. A huge space battle that uses music as a weapon. It might seem out of place in a Star Trek film, but it worked perfectly. I personally think the scene had the best use of a Beastie Boys song (no it isn’t Intergalactic) ever.
CGI is used heavily, but don’t worry. It is not jarring like other films this year. If given the chance, go see Star Trek Beyond in IMAX. Definitely worth the few extra bucks and if not, the 3D will be just as awesome. It really isn’t about things popping out at you in 3D, more than it being about feeling the large depth of space.
Overall Star Trek Beyond is a great movie and sequel. It is even better than the 2009 film and Into Darkness. Despite its length (it does drag a bit in the middle), fans have a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Go see Star Trek Beyond.
- Character and world building
- Not Fast and Furious in Space
- Length does drag a bit