What do the critics say about Star Trek Beyond? ‘It’s way too much like a TV episode’.
Wait, isn’t that what everyone wanted? Do away with the ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Themes, and return to the realms of real Trek?
Well you can’t satisfy everyone. But in light of the recent releases of said rebooted franchise, ‘Nu Trek’ Promises a change in pace with Star Trek Beyond, respect towards the originals and a return to classic adventurism. As I discovered, it was indeed fun, meaningful, adventurous and epic.
Star Trek Beyond is basically laid as a TV episode, but it certainly evolves and develops a plot as the story progresses. I admit to being pleasantly surprised a little, as my expectations were to receive more of an adventure-clad drama/action piece, as opposed to a story of revelation and personal development. There is hope for ‘Nu Trek’ after all.
The movie has exceptional character development, something lacking in previous JJ Verse titles. I simply can’t get over how well Spock and McCoy are together, a kind of ‘Anti-Bromance’ exists between them in the film which produces some good quality humor, definitely the highlight in terms of laughter.
The Action spread throughout the film actually had me on edge for once, far more than any JJ Trek movie before, which is great! It didn’t feel over the top, instead they did a far better job of making us care about the action. It’s not just a repeat of the instantaneous and flashy action sequences of Into Darkness, which basically just translates to: ‘Oh, they shot us…. and we’ve lost’.
Additionally I felt it was more of an original setting, making me feel more connected to the new verse, more fleshed out and larger than life. They take it slow in exploring the world of trek, allowing us to further immerse ourselves in the universe. At times it does make you wonder when the action and story will start, which is normal if you are sitting in a cinema expecting a modern adrenaline buster, as opposed to watching a casual episode of TNG. But again, that’s what makes it feel like a TV episode.
I will say there are some parts that annoyed me, and don’t get me wrong these are minor, though most people will fail to notice. I’m speaking of 1 or 2 parts in particular where the dialogue got lazy and inconsistent. In contrast with the good writing in some of the deepest conversations you will see throughout the movie. It seems like at one point for example where, say, a pep talk would seem necessary, but it’s more or less a ‘K’ response like in a disappointing text message. This leaves you with a sense that some parts are so well written that the writers were all too excited to fully develop 1 or 2 less exciting scenes, and instead rush to the good stuff.
When it comes to the villain, I don’t have a problem with Krall. I actually think he’s a decent original villain, one we’re not used to, and he comes with a pretty good backstory that I thoroughly enjoyed learning about. The current plot that involves the villain however, is nothing special, and seems to follow a basic action film progression. Don’t worry though, the film isn’t about the action, and the plot won’t feel underwritten in any way, instead it’s more like a means to an end when it comes to the adventure as a whole, and the development of the characters and their stories. There’s a great sense of achievement, like the characters needed a slap in the face, and this was it, because I’m pretty sure they were all ready to quit after being in space for a few years. This put the buzz back into their adventure, and they learned more about themselves in this story than any other JJ Trek previously.
There’s so much I could say, but it’s only a review after all, so in conclusion: Although it exists as part of a universe we aren’t perfectly comfortable with, in my mind it was a worthy 50th, plenty of homage was paid in the film to the originals, and as far as Nu Trek is concerned, it was quite good. Congrats to Justin Lin and Simon Pegg for a worthy 50th Star Trek. They played it safe, listened to the fans, and it was a success. I’m even more excited to see it again than I was going into the film…. and yes, I now support the idea of a 4th movie! Or rather, a 14th!
Keep up the adventures!
Trek safely everyone!