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[Review] – ‘Star Trek: Beyond’

 
 
Overview
 

Release Date: 22 July 2016 [USA]
 
Director: Justin Lin
 
Writer: Simon Pegg - Doug Jung [Screenplay & Story] - Gene Roddenberry - Roberto Orci - Patrick McKay - John D. Payne [Characters & Idea]
 
Cast: Chris Pine - Zachary Quinto - Karl Urban
 
Direction
 
 
 
 
 


 
Writing
 
 
 
 
 


 
Performance
 
 
 
 
 


 
Sound & Music
 
 
 
 
 


 
Cinematography
 
 
 
 
 


 
Editing
 
 
 
 
 


 
Visual Effects
 
 
 
 
 


 
Total Score
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/5


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Posted July 31, 2016 by

 
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Review:

The USS Enterprise is several years into its deep space voyage and makes a supply stop at Federation outpost Yorktown. There they receive an assignment to investigate lost ships in an uncharted nebula. However, lying in wait is a horde of hostiles, waiting to ambush the Enterprise.

Right away, Beyond is a more pleasing mix of moments lighthearted and dark, more pleasing than the last Trek. The prologue is very satisfying, an entertaining and warm recap of the Enterprise’s past years on its current long haul mission.

The emphasis on the main crew of characters is more generous this time too. Stranded on an alien world, the crew are separated into pairs. Chekov nervously advises on Kirks gung-ho approach in his rapid-fire Russian accent. Scotty tries admirably to drum up courage in the fighting fit yet frightened cast-away Jayla. The best on-screen chemistry comes from dysfunctional duo Spock and Bones. Urban’s melodrama never ceases to bring a smile when it bounces off of Quinto’s metallic Vulcan veneer.

The weaknesses come from the new arrivals Jayla and villain Krall. Sofia Boutella admirably brings an energetic performance to a weakly written yet stunning looking character. The same is not so easily said for Idris Elba. The vampiric Krall has an intriguing gait and fluctuating appearance yet the more you think on him and his tale, the less he makes sense.

The writing is at its best when concerning the crew, not so much when talking about anything else. Maybe seasoned Trekkies can decipher the dizzying techno-babble. One culprit scene is a hair-brained plan to take on the baddies with “classical music”. Figuring out how they got the plan is barmy but the direction deliberately speeds past it. All that matters is the spectacle and it is spectacular.

The Enterprise sets look wonderful, especially when they’ve been ripped apart and rest sideways on the surface of the alien planet. Said planet is a bizarre mix of razor sharp canyons, rock fields and pine forests with some Oddworld-style abodes for the planet’s hostile inhabitants.

While director Justin Lin did not face the gamut of internet ire that was aimed at Ghostbusters, he certainly dealt with a large portion of it. Fans went fanatic over “the Fast and Furious guy” touching their beloved Trek. Well, touch it he did and Lin has done a damn good job. All that Into Darkness has over Beyond is its villain (yet that’s a contentious point in itself). There is bittersweet warmth that’s visited often during the movie, Trek having its 50th anniversary being one catalyst. Another is Spock Prime’s passing, included as loving remembrance of Leonard Nimoy. Finally, it’s every moment Anton Yelchin is on screen, thankfully making up for how little he appeared last time. It’s difficult to put out of your mind how unfair and untimely his death was.

Star Trek: Beyond is a terrific cinema outing, brought to you by experienced blockbusting hands. While not overly referring to the franchise’s colourful past, this movie is more interested in being its own new tale, ultimately an admirable thing. Go see it and have a blast.

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Michael Keyes
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