I went to see Star Trek Beyond with my older brother and a few of his friends. Upon exiting the movie we had very little to say other than: “The other two films were better.” Half the reason this review has come out later than I intended is because I’ve struggled to figure out enough to talk about to make an adequate review. Was it because it was less eventful? Or something else? Guess we’ll find out. Here goes nothing.
The acting in the film is once again top-notch. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto reprise their roles as Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock respectively and are terrific. The supporting cast also does a good job. Specifically Simon Pegg (Scotty) and Karl Urban (Dr. McCoy) are able to balance a lot of comic relief and serious moments. Idris Elba plays the villain, Krall. He is not the charismatic villain we are used to seeing Elba play, rather he is terrifying and properly insane. He does very well.
Despite the strong cast, I felt like the movie was lacking a lot of good character interaction. One of my favorite parts about the earlier entries of the Star Trek reboots was the way Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk played off each other. It often felt like a buddy-movie of sorts. Interaction between these two is almost entirely absent in Beyond. There are only two scenes I can think of with them talking to each other, and both were short-lived.
There is also an issue with some of the heroes’ interaction with the villain. Sulu and Uhura tell Krall that unity is Starfleet’s strength and Krall laughs and says it is actually their weakness. The dialogue goes back and forth like that between the good guys and bad guys. Give me a break… could it be anymore cliché?
That goes for the plot overall. It ends about as you will expect it to. No surprises anywhere in the story. A little disappointing, but I guess cliché plots continue to exist because they end up working out for the most part.
Star Trek Beyond is actually pretty reminiscent of some the old Star Trek episodes in terms of plot and atmosphere. I was never a fan of the original stuff (meaning I never actually watched it), so perhaps that part of the movie didn’t quite resonate with me. Fans of the original episodes and movies, however might find it very pleasant and charming.
One more problem I had with the movie was its made-up science. I mean yeah, it is a science fiction film so that is basically a prerequisite. I have no issue with science fiction-y science by itself, but there was a bit too much of it in this movie. All of this science actually lost me more than a few times. Additionally I do not know how they accomplished half of the things they pulled off in the plot. Not to mention Scotty repeatedly saying: “Maybe. There is a small chance this could work.” Surprise, surprise, everything worked out all too conveniently. Maybe I’m just not smart enough to get it? But how smart do you need to be to understand science that doesn’t exist yet?
Finally I feel obligated to pay respects. RIP Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin. Nimoy left quite the legacy behind and Yelchin did a fantastic job continuing the legacy by playing Chekov for the trilogy. The both of you will be missed.
Anyway, I agree with the notion that the prior two films were better, but that bar is pretty high because Star Trek and Into Darkness were pretty awesome. With all my criticisms I’m probably making it sound like it was terrible. It wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t even bad. It did have some really cool action sequences and space battles. Very enjoyable. I’d say the film is a bit above average. But only a bit.