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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Movie Review- Star Trek Beyond

Look, I wasn't the only one who occasionally lost interest

Intro


It's sad to say, but our Star Trek elders are all boldly going into that bright light in the sky. DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy), James Doohan (Scotty), Majel Barrett (Nurse Chapel/Lwaxana Troi/Computer Voice), Ricardo Montalban (Khan), Mark Lenard (Sarek), Leonard Nimoy (Spock), and many other actors who played small yet important roles in the Trek mythology, are disappearing. Time is not a gentle guide. But if we lived much much longer or even for an eternity, would anything seem as special if there were no limits? Even Anton Yelchin (New Chekov, Odd Thomas) has passed on, albeit too soon. It's unfortunate that we also do not have the gift of foresight. Maybe then they could've given Anton a better sendoff, or at least warned him not to buy any Chrysler products. Don't worry, that ill-timed statement won't even be remembered in the long runs of things.

Star Trek Beyond


Yelchin isn't the only thing that gets treated lackadaisically (Yes! I finally get to use that word!) in Star Trek Beyond. The story itself seems to rely more on the previous ideas from past Trek films, and less on its own originality. Now, this is not a bad movie at all, however I've seen enough of Gene Roddenberry's future based sci-fi, to know when deja vu is occurring. In the 2009 picture, those comparable connections were important to establish itself and usher in a younger fan base, but then Into Darkness (2013) overdid it and crammed too many classic moments into itself, which diluted the overall impact. Like Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), Beyond is largely set on a planet where the crew gets stuck, and aids some mistreated aliens who are oppressed by a race of youth-obsessed bad guys. Even their barely recognizable leader (Idris Elba, Prometheus), is a less vain version of F. Murray Abraham's (Scarface) character from that previous film. Most of the story on the planet is so "by the numbers" that for awhile, I lost some interest. Then it picks up when everybody's space bound again. The action is well done and looks great, especially when the cleverly designed alien attack ships tear through the Enterprise (the trailers gave that secret away, not me). The makeup is also outstanding. It looks so good that I can't tell if it's real art or digitally enhanced. I even like the question that's raised about the eternity of space and never completing the journey, although it's never truly answered.

The lack of any true character meat is ever apparent this time around. It is so obvious that I wonder if these new films would be better presented in a television format instead. Every personal dilemma (if any are fortunate to even get them) is quickly rushed through and/or put on the back burner for later on. Nonetheless, there are some redeemable moments for a few. Kirk (Chris Pine, Smokin Aces) is at his best when he's inner monologuing and chasing the villains. Spock (Zachary Quinto, Heroes) and McCoy (Karl Urban, Dredd) finally get a comical team up. Scotty (Simon Pegg, Shaun of the Dead) generates a couple of laughs, but that's it; Everyone else is either forgettable (Zoe Saldana, Avatar), (John Cho, American Pie), (Elba), or irrelevant (Yelchin), (Sofia Boutella, Kingsman: The Secret Service). Boutella's character is especially annoying because she takes away from the main cast, as well as serve as a cheap plot connection piece. She looks cool but otherwise, no. Elba's talent is largely wasted as well. He just drones on and on about how unity is a lie. All that time stranded and he couldn't read some books that might've at least put a dent in his warped ideology?

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of Star Trek Beyond


The Good- The intro scene Teenaxi peace offering, the frozen security barriers, "Sabotage" blasting across the sky, the Yorktown chase, the time lapse rebuild, and Spock Prime's death handled respectfully.

The Bad- The two bad cliches that Trek should move "Beyond"; The crap about quitting at the beginning that miraculously works itself out by the end, and the old last second pull up before the ship crashes into the ground. Was I supposed to cheer? This is 2016, isn't it?

The Ugly- "Oh my God! Sulu 2.0 is Gay! Whaaaaaaaat?!" Who gives a shit (rhetorical). This should have never've been mentioned before the film's release in the first place (probably for extra press on the film). In the film, it's handled in an everyday, normal life, matter of fact, way. There's no exploitation or shock value with it. It just is what it is. Sulu's moved on, so should we.

Final Thoughts


Star Trek Beyond is worth a viewing for fans and newcomers alike. Just don't be fooled by its empty promises. It doesn't go Beyond anything. Justin Lin's action first direction in the Fast & Furious franchises might have worked there (for a moment), but if this series wants to go Beyond its comfort zone, then J.J. Abrams (The Force Awakens) needs to return to the chair and slow things down a touch. I have a feeling that Shatner (Kirk 1.0) might be the next to go into the great Beyond. Hurry the hell up and cast him in the next one before it's too late! No more Beyond jokes, I swear. I've moved Beyond it.
Rating- 6 out of 11 (Beyond 10)


Star Trek Beyond (2016)

PG-13  |  122 min  |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi  |  22 July 2016 (USA)

The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

Director: Justin Lin
Writers: Simon Pegg, Doug Jung, 

Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban 


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