MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: Last night, I saw “Star Trek Beyond,” which stars Chris Pine (Into the Woods, Rise of the Guardians), Zachary Quinto (Heroes [TV series], Margin Call), Karl Urban (The Bourne Supremacy, Dredd), Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar), Simon Pegg (Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol, Shaun of the Dead), John Cho (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Sleepy Hollow [TV series]), the late Anton Yelchin (Fright Night, Terminator Salvation), Idris Elba (Prometheus, Zootopia), and Sophia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service, StreetDance 2). It is directed by Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6, Annapolis) and is written by Simon Pegg, Doug Jung (Confidence, God Particle), Robert Orci (Mission: Impossible III, Cowboys & Aliens), Patrick McKay, and John D. Payne. After crash landing on a remote planet, the USS Enterprise crew, led by Captain Kirk (Pine), must find a way off while avoiding the enemy that inhabits the uncharted territory.
The first “Star Trek” film in the revival series to not be directed by the great J.J. Abrams, “Beyond” had a lot on its shoulders. It not only had to match the greatness left behind by its predecessors, but it also had to create its own enriching story that could separate it from them. Did this release accomplish those tasks? No. I will tell you that my expectations were rather rocky when walking into this one. The trailers did no service to me, and for the longest time I wasn’t interested, until the reviews poured in. From what I read, it seemed to go above and beyond the trailers and actually pull off a great plot. So I was a bit jazzed after feeling discouraged. After seeing this film with my own eyes I can conclude that it is better than what the previews suggested, but not by much. All of the right pieces are in place when it comes to breaking down the flick, but the story is what caused the most issues in the long run. Co-written by Simon Pegg himself, this feature comes off as highly predictable. Out of its entire runtime, there may have been one or two things that caught me off guard (and not in a startling way). Of course, when a movie is entertaining, like this one admittedly is, predictability shouldn’t have as much of an edge as it usually does. However, other problems with this plot began to weigh in on its overall entertainment; one being how it mimics a ton of story elements from the previous movies. As suggested by the trailer, the Enterprise gets destroyed…again. With that comes your typical “Star Trek” adventure, where they must repair the ship, save the crew from an evil force that has a grudge against the Federation, and maybe put some of the main cast in near-death situations. This familiarity often soured the mood on my enjoyment. I still laughed a few times, and the characters were great, but if the plot had a bit more meat and thrills, I would’ve had a better time. Something Abrams proved in his films is that there can be suspense in this universe. There can be danger; you can fear for your characters. Although Justin Lin did a good job directing, I never felt a sense of danger, because things began to get too easy for our crew. Tell Scotty (Pegg) to fix a ship that hasn’t operated in a hundred years or so and he can do it, with very little tools mind you. But, the writers have to figure out some way to get our characters out of this pickle, right? Anyway, let me steer away from this feature’s issues and talk about the good stuff. I’m starting to make this movie out to be worse than it actually is. The acting and characters of this release are still good. There were a few moments where things seemed exaggerated, but all in all everybody was solid. You can’t go wrong with characters like these. The chemistry amongst them is great, and I liked how they formed a “bond” between Bones (Urban) and Spock (Quinto). It added some of the best jokes to the storyline. As for the villain, he was rather hollow. I could predict who he was rather early (not real identity, just his past), and his efforts were flimsy. I did like Idris Elba’s portrayal of Krall though. He did a fantastic job with what he was given. The visual effects in this were obviously awesome, as with each new release they improve. I always enjoy watching these for their special effects. This was stunning to see and the planet they visited provided a great backdrop. In the end, this would have to be my least favorite “Star Trek” film out of the revival franchise (the only flicks I have seen by the way). It’s not bad, for it does entertain quite often. I just wish that they broke the mold and made it more captivating and interesting. Having everything follow the same template as the previous movies made this one predictable, keeping it from the great potential it had. I still had fun, just not as much as I should’ve. FINAL SCORE: 75%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: