This week, we watched Star Trek Beyond. The third for the new Star Trek crew brought to the screen by J.J. Abrams in 2009 and followed up by Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013.
We had mixed views going in with direction now being handled by Justin Lin, our concerns being he was more known for his Fast and Furious films, yet we were put at ease knowing Simon Pegg, as well as returning to play Scotty, would be working on the script.
The film starts with Kirk (Chris Pine) meeting with a new alien race, and this great opening which includes a lot of comedy moments had our hopes raised but unfortunately they never really the heights of its opening or indeed the 2 previous films.
The crew in this film, which again include Spock (Zachary Quinto) Bones (Karl Urban) Uhura (Zoe Saldana) Sulu (John Cho) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) see them encounter a new enemy in the form of Krall (Idris Elba)
After Krall attacks the enterprise, the crew are taken prisoner with the exceptions of Kirk; Chekov; Spock, Bones and Scotty who have escaped to a new planet.
Scotty, finds help in the mysterious Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) who takes him to her home on the planet, which is a marooned former starship.
In the meantime, Spock and Bones are marooned together, which results in some of the films best moments as these 2 bicker and argue, yet show how much they both care for each other, especially as Spock has a serious injury.
Of course the 5 shipmates do all eventually meet up and with Jaylah’s permission, get her starship home up and running, as they set out not only to rescue Uhura and the rest of the crew, but also stop Krall’s mission of destroying star fleet entirely, for which he has his reasons, but that would contain too many spoilers.
The dialogue in this film is where this film excels, Spock fighting those pesky emotions, as he is still dealing with the loss of his home planet Vulcan and his relationship with Uhura. Kirk has been offered an Admiral role, but would be miss being a captain in deep space are amongst some of the stories that are dealt with. Scotty still has issues in the enginering department, with his ever reliable sidekick Keenser (Deep Roy) and Bones continues to moan about nearly everything =)
Sadly, the great moments with the crew do seem to get lost in the huge special effects of this budget, some truly epic space battles, at least superior to those in recent Independence Day: Resurgence highlight the capabilities of Lin as an action director. This is never more obvious in Kirk’s rescue attempt of the crew, which involves a motorbike, clearly taking from Lin’s Fast and Furious film experience.
It is all a spectacle to watch but we personally felt it took away from the Trek we know and love.
Also, going into the film we were aware that this was the 50th anniversary of the original series, we thought that much like Skyfall, the celebratory film of James Bond, there would be lots of nods to its history but it wasn’t to be and we feel this was a massive missed opportunity.
Despite the weaknesses of the film, the heavy explosions did at time make us feel this was a Michael Bay version of Star Trek being our biggest issue, we do think the always watchable cast, Urban as Bones again is a standout, made this another worthy addition to the franchise, but we did feel it was probably our biggest let down of this year.
The film is available for viewing in 3D and IMAX however we viewed it in 2D format. The film also does end with a tribute to both Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin which is a very nice touch.
A Fourth film has already been announced and we really hope that we finally see the Klingons or the Borg as a much stronger enemy to the crew of the U.S.S Enterprise.
Did you enjoy Star Trek Beyond? Which is your favourite Star trek film? Who is your favourite member of the crew? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films
A great script gets lost within the huge special effects. This is Star Trek for Fast and Furious Fans. We found this to be the weakest of the new films. A great cast again saves the day to make it highly watchable. 4 popcorns