Star Trek Beyond (2016) is the third film in the rebooted Star Trek saga, and it cancels some of the stupid and burdensome narrative choices of the previous film like a possible romantic involvement between Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) and Kirk (Chris Pine), which the previous movie introduced only because it was ripping off Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). Forget also about planetary teleportation and blood raising the dead. Star Trek Beyond brings the plot back to a more classic environment for the brand, less convoluted and intricate and more enjoyable.
The Enterprise, fresh from a diplomatic mission in which it retrieves an alien artifact with mysterious powers, is sent to the aid of a vessel inside a nebula that hides a planet. The distress call turns out to be fake and orchestrated by a certain Krall (Idris Elba), who intends to recover the aforementioned artifact and take revenge on the Federation, for an unknown reason that will be revealed later.
The first part works and it almost seems that having Simon Pegg among the screenwriters saved the day. Maybe this time they managed to do something halfway between new Trek and old Trek, finding the right balance between the two?
Well, unfortunately the movie is not exactly amazing. Justin Lin behind the camera does what he knows best that is, something similar to the Fast & Furious movies. He treats the Enterprise like a 1970s Ford Mustang and stays true to this new action nature of Star Trek. He shoots the ship from below while dodging space debris, form the hood as she is about to set sail, from above the warp nacelles… everything’s really dynamic! Plus, here’s Sofia Boutella kicking asses, and there are plenty of hand-to-hand combat scenes for her to shine.
The cinematography is different from the previous movies and finally they got rid of all those lens flares and they use normal colors, for a change. Still… the movie is not fun.
Star Trek Beyond feels bland and unoriginal, and it uses all the overused Star Trek clichés. Yes the writing is similar to the classic one, at times it feels like a TOS episode, at least for its intentions if not for its rhythm, but it’s too predictable. Most of all, the villain is really bad: Krall is anonymous, his motivations are stupid, and it’s impossible to be empathetic with him. He’s just a fascist who used to make war and wants to make it again because “it is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” Oh, well…
He has no quotable lines, not a great look, and he’s immediately given away by many clues, plus the climax is dull and forgettable. That’s a shame because Krall is similar to Montalban’s Khan as for genesis and motivations, much more than the new Khan, he had some potential. Instead he’s up there with other great actors with terrible parts like Christopher Lloyd in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Murray Abraham in Star Trek: Insurrection, or Ron Perlman and Tom Hardy in Nemesis (another attempt to make another Star Trek II: Stop trying!).
Not only the villain is bland. Even the protagonists come out as simple sketches of their original versions. And once again here’s something we saw in the original third movie: the Enterprise is destroyed. Oh my… Add an understandable homage to Leonard Nimoy’s death, and the film ends.
There are a few things to remember, like a crazy scene accompanied by the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage in which our heroes sabotage the telepathic transmissions of enemy ships (which then explode, but didn’t they just have to sabotage the transmissions? I don’t understand), the aforementioned destruction of the Enterprise which I objectively found cool… and little else.
So, Star Trek Beyond is harmless, it entertains for a while, maybe it has too much Marvel-style irony that’s dominating today’s Hollywood blockbusters, it contains some good scenes, and once again it’s called Star Trek but ít’s not. Ciao!
- Movie trailer on Youtube
- Movie page on Internet Movie DataBase
- Movie review on The m0vie blog
- Movie review on Every movie has a lesson
- Movie review on Blogging for dopamine
- Movie review on Jason’s movie blog
- Movie review on The film experience
- Movie review on High-def digest
- Movie review on Kneel before blog
- Movie review on Dim the lights