Star Trek Beyond Review

“Star Trek Beyond” is the newest sequel in the “Star Trek” franchise concerning itself with the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise.  Directed by “Fast and the Furious” helmer Justin Lin, “Star Trek Beyond” stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, Carl Urban, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Adris Elba and Sophia Boutella.  “Star Trek Beyond” shows the crew of the Enterprise navigating deep into  uncharted space, before crash landing on a mysterious planet and meeting a blood thirsty race of aliens.  This puts the federation to the ultimate test of courage and sacrifice.

I am not a “Star Trek” fan, lets get that out of the way.  I however loved what J.J. Abrams did with the 2009 film and the sequel “Into Darkness.”  I know hardcore Trekkie fans despised those newer films but I happened to love them.  Now with “Beyond,” it was the first of the newer films without Abrams magic touch and it definitely shows.  “Star Trek Beyond” had a problematic production from the get go.  It lost two amazing screenwriters and went through a closet full of different directors.  The film was pushed and then re-written quickly to be released on time and the rocky start definitely seeps through.  Justin Lin, I think did a decent job with this film, but it’s campiness and over abundance of comedy felt extremely forced and too on the nose.  The special effects were at times jarring and cheesy and didn’t have that Abrams flare that the other two had.  But despite all of “Star Trek Beyond’s problems, overall this was a fairly entertaining film.  It felt more like a B-movie than a grade A blockbuster, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

First of all the cast was great as always.  I love Chris Pine as Kirk and Quinto as Spock.  They still make a great team.  I thought Zoe Saldana was kind of wasted in this movie but her acting was good.  Simon Pegg is perfect playing Scotty and I liked Sophia Boutella as Jaylah.  But again, the lack of character development with these newer characters was pretty terrible.  They felt so stock to me, especially Idris Elba as the main villain Krull.  I hated Krull’s backstory and he felt like a cartoon character.  I didn’t care one way or another about him or his fate for that matter and I walked out of this movie wishing they would have made a tighter script.  The story to me is the biggest failure in “Star Trek Beyond” more so than the effects or the action set pieces.  The movie’s pacing was at times odd and once in a while slow, but the humor made this thing truck along.

Where the film completely lost me was the climactic ending.  How many times in a “Star Trek” movie do we need to see the Enterprise crew go back to a certain city or planet to save it from Annihilation?  We’ve seen it twice with “Star Trek and Into Darkness.”  Now they do it again!  It’s a little exhausting for sure and most people out there won’t give two shits one way or another how the film ends but for me, not being a fan of the franchise but loving those two films, I was let down to say the least.  The marketing campaign, while not as abysmal as “Ghostbusters” kind of turned me off to the film and in all actuality, the trailer was pretty close to its final product.  What “Star Trek Beyond” is, is “Fast and the Furious” in space.  It’s big, dumb summertime fun, but it really brings forth no merit to the Abrams films.  I think Justin Lin is a decent action director, but I don’t think he was the right choice for this property.  I am not a Trekkie, so I don’t know if this movie is closer to the show or not, but to me this movie wasn’t the action blockbuster that I was hoping it would be.

“Star Trek Beyond” is an entertaining film, with decent special effects and a great cast of characters.  It’s disappointing for sure, but fun enough to recommend that people see it, especially if you are a fan of the franchise.  The film didn’t pack the punch of the Abrams film, but it did the best that it could do under the production circumstances.  This isn’t a bad film by any means.  It has humor, action and sci-fi flare but it also is forgettable.  “Star Trek Beyond” is not the final frontier, but the very beginning.  Let’s hope that future sequels will give us more story, more character development and more lens flares.  (Just kidding about the lens flares!)

Grade:  C+

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