Star Trek Beyond,
Directed by Justin Lin,
Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella
Nearly three years into their five year mission the USS Enterprise and the crew are about to reach a deep space station for re-supply. Captain Kirk is starting to question the exploration of space and the effect that it’s having on him, while Spock gets some news that has him thinking of changing his career path. At the Yorktown Space Station an alien craft and sole crew-member comes and tries to seek help for her stranded crew, who are stuck on a planet where only the Enterprise can reach.
It doesn’t take long into the film for things to go badly for the crew and the ship; with the Enterprise crashed, and the crew separated it’s down to Kirk, Scotty, Spock, Uhura, Doctor McCoy, Sulu, and Chekov to beat this new threat to the Federation.
While I’m not a Star Trek fan by any means, I can sit down and watch the movies or the TV shows and enjoy them. They always manage to be great entertainment. I know all the players and the history. I don’t get annoyed when someone is wearing the wrong uniform or if a character is suddenly given more depth and back story by telling us suddenly about their sexual orientation. I can just sit there and watch the film about a unified people coming together to explore and make the lives of all the beings in our universe better. I can see the beauty in this story and when the action kicks in I can sit there and enjoy the hell out of the film.
Here in Beyond we have Kirk showing a lot more depth to his character, the cocksure nature we saw in the last two films seems to be tamed a little; he’s grown, and Chris Pine shows this brilliantly. The weight of his people is pushing down on Spock more than ever now and his relationship with Uhura is suffering because of it. Quinto plays Spock as well as anyone can, the iconic character is loved across our world and it’s no easy task to take this role on. Karl Urban plays Bones and is always on hand with the quips that point out the insanity of their missions. Before it could feel like Urban was doing a impression of the original performance (by DeForest Kelley) and now seems to have grown into the role and started to make it his own.
The rest of the returning cast has a little more to do, and this is probably down to Simon Pegg writing the script. I can’t say it’s classic Star Trek, but it’s a great movie; I sat there eating my weight in popcorn and just smiling. The action scenes are really well done and you get that feeling that the whole crew are in danger. The villain this time around is played by Idris Elba, who surely must be the busiest man in the world of acting. His character Krall is single-minded, and for the most part a great villain.
What is most impressive is the creation of the Star Trek world (s), such as the deep space station, while the action scenes are amazingly detailed, with great computer generated scenes. Justin Lin directs this space adventure as though he has been doing it every hour of every day of his life.
While these new Star Trek films have disappointed some of the old guard fans, for some unknown reason, they have also brought more new fans to the franchise. The big deal with Sulu and his sexual orientation that I’ve been reading around social media recently is just one short part of one short scene, so if any of you are freaking out about that then just take a seat, blink, and you’ll be fine. It’s adding something to a character to make sure that he’s not a thinly painted being any more, it gives his actions meaning and enriches the world that we’re enjoying.
As most of you know now Anton Yelchin, who plays Chekov, died tragically in a recent freak accident, and while his role here isn’t much more than the previous movies, it’s nice that it’s a solid performance and he can be remembered for the other great roles he played this year. If you haven’t seen Green Room then you should. Rest in Peace Anton and thank you.
I don’t know if Star Trek Beyond is going to be the film that will satisfy the fans of the original series and films. I can’t see why not. It’s great summer entertainment and for a casual viewer of the show and films like myself I couldn’t have asked for any more from it. Well scripted, well directed, and the story keeps you gripped throughout, I don’t know what else to expect from a huge summer blockbuster. Just enjoy the film.