Star Trek Beyond warped in to theaters this weekend as Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the Enterprise go on their latest adventure. With the film coming out during the 50th anniversary of the franchise, there are five decades of Star Trek history and hopes riding along with this adventure. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint.
Halfway through the Enterprise’s first five year mission, Star Trek Beyond finds Captain Kirk’s facing another birthday. With this comes lots of introspection and questioning as Kirk struggles with his own challenges and motivations. While visiting Starbase Yorktown, the Enterprise is dispatched to rescue a downed ship only to be attacked. The resulting battle finds Captain Kirk and his crew stranded on a planet facing off against the reptilian villain Krall (Idris Elba) with the help of their new friend Jaylah (Sofia Boutella). With technological wizardry of Scotty (Simon Pegg), the cunning teamwork of Captain Kirk and Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the combined efforts of the crew, Star Trek Beyond really re-captures the feel of Star Trek movies and television shows before it.
First off, Star Trek Beyond felt like Star Trek. While enjoyable, the first two movies in the rebooted series haven’t exactly nailed this. However, this story by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung tapped into the feel of this franchise in a way that both fans and first times will enjoy (I know, because I brought a first timer with me to the movie). This was perhaps the biggest success of the movie. Elements of this included an ensemble cast that came together and were directed quite skillfully by Justin Lin, a plot line that could easily have been a Star Trek episode, and finally a villain that had some depth and made sense. I could get into lots of specifics that I liked about the movie but one… spoilers, and two… this review would get boring.
Where Star Trek Beyond Missed
I actually was expecting to have a lot more to complain about going into this movie. I really wasn’t a huge fan of the marketing so that’s the first miss. It all comes down to, I’m tired of them blowing up the Enterprise. Star Trek generally has a love note to the Enterprise woven into its different stories and frankly, that seems to have been missing in the reboots. What has been chronicled in most of the trailers… I wasn’t a fan of. Throughout the movie there were a couple of effects I also wasn’t a fan of. They weren’t super cringeworthy but… there were a couple that raised my eyebrows. Also, some of the battles were a bit over the top. However, I have to chock this up to movie expectations for the world we live in.
Star Trek Beyond takes Star Trek back to where it belongs. I sincerely hope that this movie does well and that the powers that be continue to create films like this. The movie was enjoyable, the tribute to Leonard Nimoy was touching, and by the end of it I was all ready for the next mission. Happy 50th Anniversary to you Star Trek. Here’s to 50 more years of boldly going where no one has gone before!