RELEASED 2016 RUNTIME 122 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION JUSTIN LIN SCREENPLAY SIMON PEGG, DOUG JUNG STARRING CHRIS PINE, ZACHARY QUINTO, KARL URBAN, SIMON PEGG, JOHN CHO, ZOE SALDANA, ANTON YELCHIN, SOFIA BOUTELLA, IDRIS ELBA, JOE TASLIM, LYDIA WILSON, DEEP ROY MUSIC MICHAEL GIACCHINO
Star Trek Beyond is the 3rd film in the alternative Star Trek timeline aka rebooted timeline and is directed by Justin Lin (Fast Five, Fast 6) who takes over for J. J. Abrams (who we know had bigger things to do in the bast 2 years 😉
The Enterprise Crew is in the 3rd year of their 5 year mission, when their ship gets boarded by an unknown army and forced to crash land on an unknown planet.
Justin Lin has big shoes to fill. Not only did Abrams make people excited for Star Trek again, but he managed to give us intimate character moments surrounded by incredibly visceral action sequences to make the first two films some of the most rounded action blockbusters of recent years.
But seeing what Justin Lin has done to the Fast & Furious franchise since he took over after the 3rd film, it feels only natural that he got hired to become the successor to J. J. Abrams. And it shows!
If you didn’t know better you may have been fooled in thinking that Beyond is made by Abrams as well. The tone is very similar and by now we know that Lin has a very keen eye for incredible action. However, that’s not to say that Beyond doesn’t have its own merits to be judged upon. While it feels similar it also doesn’t. It actually walks a fine line between acknowledging the tone that J.J. Abrams has set up, but also pays great homage to the old Star Trek TV show from the 60’s. It actually feels a little bit like an episode from that series. The enterprise crew flying through space and taking on a mission to engage in diplomacy with an unknown entity, only to find themselves stranded on a planet’s surface in a difficult situation. I think this movie comes the closest yet to what the TV series was all about and therefore should please long time fans.
The cast of the film is familiar and by now it’s no secret that it’s the great characters that make this franchise so good. Other than the previous two films this one does not focus on the relationship between Kirk and Spock. Because of the nature of the plot the focus is spaced out more evenly between the cast. The enterprise crew is separated and therefore we have some fun and odd pairings. We have Kirk and Chekhov, Bones and Spock, Uhura and Sulu and Scotty and Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), a new character who I will come to in a second.
One of the most fun “teams” and one the movie pays some of the biggest attention to is Bones and Spock. Again, this harkens back to the old TV show where the relationship between Bones and Spock was one of the most highlighted upon. That’s true to the movie as well. Some of the most fun moments happen in the scenes between these two guys.
That is only being rivaled by Scotty and Jaylah. Jaylah is being played by Sofia Boutella (Kingsman) who does a fantastic job. She actually gets to act instead of just kicking ass, which she of course does here as well (you have to utilize her talents after all). She is a great addition to the cast overall and I can already see the hundreds of cos-players running around as Jaylah around the coventions. She also may be my favorite female character in the franchise overall. I just like ass-kicking women. Kinda my thing… give me a break!
Idris Elba plays Krall, the villain of the story. Mr. Elba is a great actor and he does for a good villain. But given the nature of the story it’s more about the crew of the Enterprise trying to find each other on the planet’s surface and, therefore, Idris Elba doesn’t get much to do besides the action scene in the beginning and the final battle. It’s unfortunate, also because the scenes we get from him he is hidden behind some heavy make-up. But his character still has a nice back-story which I wish would have been developed more.
One thing I want to touch upon is the debate that has been going around since the first trailer was released. There was two things people were concerned about. One, the motorcycle scene and, two, “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys.
Ok, first, the motorcycle scene is really cool and fits very naturally inside the story. When you see it, you will know what I mean. Second, after you finish watching the film you will realise why “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys was the perfect choice for the 1st trailer. It actually serves a very important role in the story, so just wait for it. It’s incredible! And the scene it’s being utilized is amazing – maybe my favorite scene in the film!
So here you have it. Star Trek Beyond is the Star Trek movie many of the older fans may have been waiting for. It’s a nice blend between the new and the old, paying homage to the classic TV series while utilizing the blockbuster character it has been given by J.J. Abrams. Justin Lin did a great job taking over and has now proved that he can handle more than just the Fast & Furious series. Besides Civil War this is the blockbuster you want to watch this summer.