Star Trek Beyond (2016) Movie Review
Simon Pegg and Doug Jung
In commemoration of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary (I didn’t know about this until 5 minutes before I started writing since I was never a Star Trek fan), the 3rd movie in the rebooted Star Trek series remains the 3rd best movie in the rebooted Star Trek series. Entertaining if unremarkable, Star Trek Beyond is one of the brighter spots in the summer of sequels no one cares about, no one asked for, and no one saw.
If you’re already a Trekkie, you’re gonna watch this regardless of quality, so you’re beyond (!) help. If you’re on the fence, just lower your expectations and prepare to dry your eyes as you see the late Anton Yelchin (RIP) play Chekov for the very last time (he‘s not given very much to do, much like the other 2 movies). And Spock’s dead too. *wipes tear*
Beyond has the most streamlined “plot” of any of the Star Trek movies and by streamlined, I mean there isn’t much of one. Plot, that is.
Following the events of the far superior Into Darkness, the crew of the Enterprise is 3 years into their 5 year mission. They’re suffering from the ennui of seeing the same thing, day after day.
Much like we were seeing lame Star Trek sequels before JJ Abrams pushed reset back in 2009.
Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is droning on in his Captain’s log about the monotony of space, and he’s approaching a birthday, which makes him remember that his dad (Chris Hemsworth) blew up on the day he was born. *wipes tear*
Spock (Chris-achary Quinto) and Ohura (Chris-zoe Saldana) have broken up. Spock has also learned that Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy)has died. Spock would wipe a tear from his eye if he had any to produce, but it’s way too early in the movie for Spock to be crying.
No one cares about rest of the crew because they’re not important. Except Chekov, because he’s dead in real life. *swipes left*
The Enterprise crew is getting a well-deserved break in Starfleet’s newest starbase called Yorktown, where they serve Yorktown Peppermint Patties.
We learn that Sulu has a daughter and a boyfriend.
We learn that Kirk wants to leave the Enterprise and become Vice Admiral of Yorktown, whatever that means.
We learn that Spock wants to leave the Enterprise and go back to New Vulcan.
We learn that Kim Kardashian likes to leak conversations with Taylor Swift online.
We also learn that some alien girl with a head shaped like a vagina is in distress, and that she really needs the Federation’s help. Help with her damaged ship and kidnapped crew.
Kirk and Crew strap themselves back into the Enterprise, where it is promptly attacked and destroyed by a bunch of killer space bees (No, I’m not kidding) and they’re forced to land on a desolate planet.
No Ship. No communication. No crew. No plot. No way this is better than Star Trek ‘09 or Into Darkness.
What Works With Star Trek Beyond
- By far the best sequel in a summer full of limp sequels, not that that’s saying much considering that this movie is just okay and this title may last a whole week if Jason Bourne is any good at all. At least it’s not _______ (insert your least favorite sequel of 2016).
- Excellent use of, um, classical music (“Good Choice”) in the oddest nod to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
- The scenes between Spock and Bones lift the rest of the movie beyond (!!) the blah. After three movies, Karl Urban and Zachary Quinto know their characters like the back of their pointy ears and gruff bedside manner. You get the feeling their outtakes are better than the movie around them.
- Justin Lin- After taking over from JJ Abrams, who remade Wrath of Kahn to remake A New Hope, the director of 35 Fast & Furious movies acquits himself nicely during the action scenes. There’s enough forward momentum so that the viewer is appropriately breathless, even if he/she doesn’t really know what’s going on. It’s not his fault he’s saddled with such a ‘meh’diocre script
What Doesn't Work With Star Trek Beyond
- The script written by Simon Pegg (Scotty) and Doug Jung doesn’t really deviate from your typical Marvel movie: Disposable bad guy shows up-good guys fight disposable and forgettable bad guy. It’s because the now-seasoned cast plays their characters so well that the movie works better than it really should. Let’s hope Simon Pegg doesn’t degrade his other action franchise by writing the next Mission: Impossible.
- Idris Elba- Beyond takes one of the world’s most charismatic actors, makes him look like Skeletor from the Dolph Lundgren Masters of the Universe movie, gives him a muddled backstory and pathetic motivation, and pretty much turns the movie “villain” into a little whiny bitch, much like what they did to Eric Bana in the first Star Trek. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Kahn slaps both these characters with the back of his hand.
Barely beyond adequate.