Joel’s review of Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

[This is one of those catch-up posts from earlier.]

The last weekend of July, we me up with friends Douglas & Kathy in Parsippany to see Star Trek Beyond. The plan was to grab some lunch, then see Star Trek. We were running late, so we had to find new places in Morristown. We grabbed an Irish lunch at X, then walked down the street to the AMC theater.

This is the latest film in the “NuTrek” or the so-called Kelvin Timeline. I’ve got a love-loved hate relationship with these films. I’ve the first two films, and appreciate the writers and everyone else involved in the production who are bringing a wider audience into theaters to see a Star Trek film. Hey, I love Star Trek more than Star Wars, so that’s good. 

What I detest is how derivative and stupid the plot elements often are in these new films. It’s less science fiction and more science fantasy. And with all the opportunities afforded to the writers of a “new timeline”, the plot points have been derivative of previous films. Come on, people. I’m still smarting from Star Trek Into Darkness three years ago.

With the latest film directed by Justin Lin, and written by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, I had some hope for a better film. Simon Pegg is a real ST fan, and a talented person. The film takes place about midway during this Enterprise crew’s 5 year mission. The crew appears a bit tired after 2+ years in deep space, and is headed to an incredibly large deep space station for shore leave in that sector of space.

The Enterprise crew unexpectedly goes out on a minor task near the station, and is attacked. Without going into too much spoiler territory, the crew ends up separated on a planet or planetoid  (unclear.) They rest of the film is about regrouping, escaping the planet, and fighting the villain Krall and his crew living on the planet.

I would describe the film as a popcorn flick. It’s not a deep film. It’s a basic action film. I’d rate it as better than both prior films because:

  1. The characters act true to themselves, and don’t do stupid things simply for plot.
  2. There are nice callbacks to the original films and the last tv series Star Trek: Enterprise.
  3. There is no egregious use of fantasy technology. Sure, the climax is a little tongue in cheek silly, but I was surprisingly okay with it. 
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