I’ll deal with this quickly (and then waffle on for about 500 words) – I loved 2006’s Star Trek and I hated Star Trek Into Darkness. If this view is in line with your tastes then good news, you’ll probably enjoy Star Trek Beyond.
Star Trek Beyond goes back to basics with its plot and characters. This is a movie that mainly glosses over many of the extraneous threads from Into Darkness. Spock and Uhura have split up, there’s no sexy Carol Marcus, and there’s no mention of the magic resurrection blood used in that dire film. This is a standalone story very much like an old episode of the original series. The gang crash the Enterprise (again. I hope that thing is insured) on an alien planet where they have to figure out what’s going on and how to beat the baddies lead by Idris Elba as Shere Khan, er, I mean Krall.
This departure from an overall franchise arc is a good move and gives the film a more light-hearted, fun, feel. I even seem to remember some of the obviously fake background scenery moving when a character bumps into it. Star Trek Beyond manages to elicit warm feelings of nostalgia without cynically rehashing parts of the old films (I’m looking at you Khaaaannnnnn!).
With the more enjoyable vibe to the film you can tell the cast are enjoying it more. Chris Pine is good as Kirk, Simon Pegg’s Scottish accent is still absolutely dire, and Karl Urban’s Bones brings the comic relief. The rest of the crew of the Enterprise are unfeasibly attractive, even the green alien ones, actually especially the green alien ones (yes I’m a weirdo) and are there to get blown up and sucked out into space during battles. Spock is still quite annoying but I’ve always felt the same about Zachary Quinto’s take on the famous Vulcan.
I should also mention the sad passing of Anton Yelchin after the filming of Star Trek Beyond. He’s great as Chekov, bringing an excited energy to the role and reminding me how big a loss his death is to the world of cinema. He was a special talent and was destined to be a fantastic, well-known, character actor and it’s just sad that this will be his last big appearance.
Star Trek Beyond is a lot of fun, it doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel, instead relying on a solid story and charismatic actors to entertain you for 90 minutes. The plot is nothing mind-blowing, in fact it’s very similar to a certain Red Dwarf episode (kudos to the first person who can guess the one I’m thinking of) but it compliments the light touch of Justin Lin’s movie. If you’re in the mood for some soft sci-fi that won’t tax your brain too much then Star Trek Beyond could be for you. Let’s just hope they build the next Starship Enterprise out of something that doesn’t fall apart if a crew member sneezes hard.
Star Trek Beyond is available on DVD and Blu-ray. Whats your favourite Trek movie? Do you have a thing for alien women? Let me know in the comments below.
Screenkicker Quality Index (SQI)