Movie Review: Star Trek Beyond

Published on July 27th, 2016 in: Action Movies, Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews, Science Fiction |

By Brian Baker

Star-Trek-BeyondLet me level with you, I’m not particularly keen on Star Trek.

That’s not to say I don’t like it, or dislike it. Science fiction is just not my milieu when it comes to films. All that diplomacy between antagonistic alien species and the Federation of Planets has never been an impetus to get me to the theater. I also don’t play favorites. That means I’m not into Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica, either.

But I do appreciate good humor and rapid-fire quips, and Star Trek Beyond offers a bevy of those plus character dynamics that even the non science-fiction inclined watcher will appreciate.

As the chatter behind the latest J.J. Abrams infused story turns to how this reboot of the beloved original series reaches new heights, the general masses flock to see the crew of USS Enterprise get ripped from the orbit of an unchartered planet.

The demise of the ship is quite spectacular as a throng of spaceship locusts descend on it and rip it apart. Reasons for attack, and how they come to expose their flanks in a galactic deadzone is simple. Kirk registers a decommissioned weapon of mass destruction in the Federation’s database. A escape pod visits a manmade base, Yorktown, where the pilot, Kalara, informs all that her science ship was attacked and she was the only one to survive.

Of course, most people know the tired game of bait and switch, and thus, Kirk and company are sitting ducks.

Once the ship is picked apart like wheat sheafs by those insects of the biblical plague, the survivors are either taken by the attackers, or crash to the planet. Scotty meets up with another victim of the swarm’s, Jaylah, who is the highlight of the flick. Kirk is paired off with Chekov, with the wolf-in-sheep’s clothing Kalara playing tagalong. Bones, (or McCoy for the puritans out there) helps a wounded Spock, while Sulu and Uhura are taken with the surviving crew to the antagonist, Krall.

Krall, played by the talented Idris Elba, is the one who seeks the decommissioned weapon, and attaches it with another piece of the weapon. This is where the revenge factor comes into play.

From here it’s fairly easy to piece together what happens. Our heroes come together to save the day, and solve a mystery, as a long thought lost federation starship is the homebase for Jaylah — who has a penchant for Public Enemy and Beastie Boys music.

That’s when they make the connection of Krall and the crew of the USS Franklin.

As always, heroes save the day, jump start a hundreds-of-years-old ship, and come barreling into Yorktown as the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” is cranked to 11. It could be perceived as cheesy, but, to hell with it. It’s pure fun.

Now, when it comes to the bones of contention, or hoopla, that some Trekkies have with the film, they’re no big deal. Yes, Sulu is casually shown as being in a same sex relationship and with a daughter. Innocuous. The USS Enterprise may look antiquated, but you would too, if you had to travel the expanse of the universe, through ort clouds and nebulae. And the entire crew share in the final captain’s logoff with Uhura stating, “Where no one has gone before.”

All these are nuances that add, not subtract, from the modernization of a 1960s television series. Get with it, puritanical fiends.

As for the final question that has everyone scrambling to postulate theories on, will Spock leave the Enterprise to become an ambassador? Why not? He left in the original Star Trek III movie, The Search For Spock, so it’s not like he’s pulling off something new.

Finally, you should see to the film for Anton Yelchin and Idris Elba, who put in amazing performances. Stay for the scene stealer, Sofia Boutella, who is spectacular as Jaylah.

Star Trek Beyond opened on July 22.

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