Star Trek Beyond
I have enjoyed these new Star Trek movies that have rebooted the franchise and taken the story off in to a new direction. I think JJ Abrams has brought new life into a franchise that was slowly dying off. I feel that Beyond was a good addition to this new storyline, and that the movie franchise is headed in the right direction.
I had a mixed reaction to this film, as there were a lot of story elements, action sequences, and new characters that I really liked. There were also story elements, action sequences, and new characters that I found to be boring and uninteresting. Warning: There will be spoilers discussed below.
First the boring and uninteresting. I found the film's villian, Krall, to be the same ol', same ol', which is too bad as Idris Elba is a great actor. There was nothing new or creative about him in this film. What we get is a former good guy that experiences a crisis and becomes bitter. He feels wronged by Starfleet and then seeks revenge on the establishment who did him wrong.
The next boring thing is something I was surprised that I found it boring. The action sequence of the Enterprise being completely destroyed, once again. While I'm guessing if this was the first Star Trek movie I'd ever seen, I would find this scene gripping and shocking. However, how many times has the Enterprise been destroyed? In my eyes, too many to make it relevant anymore, and they always rebuild it, and they always let Kirk be the Captain again. There is no drama to this event happening, as it continues to be portrayed over and over again. In fact the rebuilding of the Enterprise at the end of the movie was glossed over and they showed it happen in about 30 seconds. I think I would be more surprised if they made it through a movie without the Enterprise being destroyed at this point.
Another boring plot point is the crew being held captive on the planet and having to be rescued by Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, and the new girl. There was no drama to it. You knew it was going to happen, and the way they were freed wasn't that exciting. Also, the lack of Uhura's screen time is almost criminal. She was such a strong, fun, enjoyable character in the previous two movies, and to have her relegated to the role (or lack of a role) in this movie is probably the worst thing in this movie! It's like the writer, Simon Pegg, went back to the 1960's and relegated her to a backup character.
Ok, just so you don't think I hated this movie, which I didn't, I will praise the film for it's fun and interesting parts! First of all, the introduction of Jaylah is a good addition to the franchise and I hope she is brought back for future Star Trek adventures. I enjoyed the extra screen time that we got for Bones and Spock together, as well as Chekov (RIP Anton) and Kirk. I think that having an ensemble cast with actors and characters such as these of the Enterprise crew can make it hard to divvy up screen time and plot points between all of them. (but still, Uhura needed more screen time!)
I liked how the film started off with Kirk being bored after being in space for over 2 years, because I've always thought that it would get monotonous real quick. I enjoyed how Kirk was able to find his motivation to stay with the Enterprise and refocus on his career.
I liked how they found the old starship, USS Franklin, and had to resurrect it and get it up and running in order to escape the planet. The end chase scene through the city and the subsequent fight between Kirk and Krall was pretty intense and it was a great way to end the conflict.
Oh, and no Carol Danvers? Another missed opportunity, as she was a great character in the last film, Into Darkness.
Some things that I liked in theory, but thought it didn't work well in the execution of it. First of all, the Beastie Boys defeat the massive enemy invasion? I love the Beastie Boys, I grew up with them and have all of their albums. I thought the inclusion of their song in the first Star Trek was clever and appropriate. However, in Beyond it seemed forced and too simplistic of a way to defeat the highly advanced, technological threat of Krall and his army. Maybe if the crew would have been listening to Sabotage while fighting the enemy and defeating them in a different manner? I could get behind that.
Another thing was Kirk riding the motorcycle through the enemy camp while no one could pick him off. I like the visual of him tearing it up and avoiding the enemy, but I'm pretty sure my 15 year old son could've taken him out at some point during the 10+ minutes of riding around the camp.
So with all this being said, I did enjoy the film and I'm glad they are doing a fourth film in this new Star Trek universe. I'm curious to see how George Kirk will play into the story. Knowing JJ, there's some alternate universe/time travel element to it. If Spock can meet up with his future self, then Kirk can meet his dad, right?
Of the three new Star Trek movies, Star Trek Beyond is my third favorite. I put Star Trek Into Darkness as my favorite, then Star Trek, followed by Beyond.
1- Star Trek Into Darkness
2- Star Trek
3 - Star Trek Beyond