by on July 30, 2017

in Entertainment, movie reviews

Star Trek Beyond review

Star Trek Beyond is a surprising chapter of the franchise that is more action than story driven. It’s like a James Bond film in space. Then again, it’s directed by Justin Lin, who has helmed fantasy actioner films like The Fast and Furious franchise. (I call those films fantasy, because, have you seen the ‘tricks’ they do with those cars!!!???)

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For some, an action-packed Star Trek film is fine while others, well, it’s a great time killer of two hours if all you want to do is vegetate and watch the classic battles of good and evil. Or good and confused. I realize that part of the allure of the Bond franchise is the  non-stop, mind-numbing action, and it looks like they’re doing the same thing here. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong there, I mean heck, how many Bond films have been produced on that formulaic mix to date?

Chris Pine movies.

The cast includes  the returning ensemble of John Cho as Sulu, Simon Pegg as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (who also co-wrote the story), Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Commander Spock, Zoë Saldana as Lieutenant Uhura, Karl Urban as Doctor “Bones” McCoy, the late Anton Yelchin as Chekov. The regulars are joined by new faces/characters, Idris Elba as Krall, Sofia Boutella as Jaylah, and Lydia Wilson as Kalara.

Star Trek Beyond starts out showing us Jame Kirk in his routine a little over three years into their five-year journey/mission. He’s very bored. We get a bit more on the relationship between Spock and Uhura, And we learn a hilarious and useful biological function of Scotty’s little alien helper. (I’ll let you find out what it is for yourself.)  We get a few other tidbits here and there but we don’t get a ton of more background info on the ensemble because things take off at a clip that someone fully caffeinated could appreciate.

It’s not until the second act that we start to get some light character quipping that we’ve come to enjoy over the years. It’s not overdone and is cute when it occurs.

But the action does outpace the quiet or story-developing moments and the action, at times, is used to further the story at times. All in all, well, if you’re a huge Trek fan, you should be fine. If you’re in it to watch a movie from a franchise you know of, it’s OK.

Pine is Pine. Urban, well, it’s weird to see him in this role of the medical officer instead of some burly action hero. Everyone else perfect their roles while it’s sad and a bit distracting to watch the late Yelchin.

Idris Elba is one of my favorite actors out there but you can’t tell it’s him until the last 30 minutes of the movie, so the classic character portrayal he tends to deliver is not quite the usual. If you did not know he’s in the film, you would not know it was him.

Jayla is a cool character but her tech is confusing… usually you can figure out the nuances of how the tech works, but she has this one tech that helps her fight opponents that makes no sense. It was almost as confusing or distracting as sadly watching Yelchin.

It’s a two-hour movie, and once it comes on TV to TNT or FX and gets the four-hour telecast treatment with all the ads they pack into these things, it should be fine.

(SPOILER): I hope you don’t need a lot of ship action. It all takes place in the first half of the first act, as they shred yet one more ship in the line of Enterprises (END SPOILER) and the rest of the film is more action and a little bit character driven

I don’t think I would have minded dropping money on the film in the movie theater.  So it is a fun experience from the franchise.  Overall, popcorn 7/10 easily.

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