Star Trek Beyond (2016)

star trek beyond retro poster
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

A fun ride

Won't win over Star Trek fans who feel the series is too far from the original

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Star Trek Beyond

Studio:  Bad Robot

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  July 7, 2016 (Premiere)/July 22, 2016 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

star trek beyond enterprise destroyed

Oh no! The Enterprise is being destroyed…again

It is three years into the five year mission of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) has grown restless.  With a decision to leave as acting captain, Kirk is unaware that Spock (Zachary Quinto) is also having doubts after receiving news from New Vulcan about the death of Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy).  When the Enterprise arrives at Starbase Yorktown, the crew finds themselves thrust into a rescue mission in a dangerous nebula.  The Enterprise quickly learns that the rescue might not just be a rescue and that danger could threaten the crew, the population of Yorktown, and the entire galaxy.

Directed by Justin Lin with a script by Simon Peg and Doug Jung, Star Trek Beyond is the third film in the Star Trek relaunch following Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013.  The film was dedicated to both Leonard Nimoy who died in 2015 and Anton Yelchin who was killed in a freak accident in 2016 before the film’s release.  The movie was received positively and had a strong box office performance.  The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

star trek beyond cast spock bones uhura zoe saldane zachary quinto karl urban

It’s sabotage!

A lot of people were down on Star Trek Into Darkness…especially a year or so after its release.  I actually rather enjoyed it.  The new Star Trek isn’t the old Star Trek, and while the old Star Trek often explored science-fiction, the new Star Trek is more of a action-fantasy.  Star Trek Beyond continues this trend.

This film feels almost like what Star Trek:  Insurrection was attempting.  The film is simply an adventure in the world of Star Trek…it isn’t a recreation of a canon story like Star Trek Into Darkness and it doesn’t involve saving Earth (directly).  Unlike Star Trek:  Insurrection, it feels like an episode but achieves the “big feel” that Insurrection couldn’t achieve…and it does it with a lot of fun.

star trek beyond jaylah sofia boutella

Oh yeah…I see another alien for Kirk to bed

The cast remains one of the strongest aspects of the new Star Trek (and the old Star Trek for that matter).  Pine, Quinto, and Urban are a great trio and I love the increased role for Uhura’s character (played by Zoe Saldana).  Simon Pegg can sometimes be a bit much as Scotty but as script writer, he has to make his role.  Idris Elba is a great villain and I like Sofia Boutella’s Jaylah character.  Pegg wrote out Alice Eve’s Dr. Carol Marcus due to no real place for her and the loss of Anton Yelchin will be felt in future films.

One controversy that rocked the movie was the decision to make John Cho’s Hikaru Sulu gay.  Sulu’s original portrayer George Takei objected to the change despite being gay since it wasn’t the original vision for the character.  It seems however that science-fiction’s lack of gay characters also is a reflection that homosexuality is something that was “cured” in future and that isn’t a message that seems to fit Star Trek (or many sci-fi stories)…so Sulu being gay doesn’t seem to hurt anything to me.

star trek beyond krall idris elba

Everyone wants a piece of Kirk

The movie looks fantastic like the previous entries.  You have your patented Abrams light flares and some great looking effects.  A preview which incorporated Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” seemed gratuitous, but it actually was smartly incorporated into the script for one of the great scenes of the movie.

Star Trek Beyond probably won’t win die-hard Star Trek fans that feel that the new movies have diverged too much from the original vision, but the film does deliver to the casual Star Trek fan.  I enjoy the new take on Star Trek and I continue to look forward to see where it goes…I just wish that the movies would be a little closer together so key cast members aren’t lost in movie deals and more of the story can be revealed.

Preceded By:

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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