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Review: Star Trek Beyond (Chris Bumbray's take)

Star Trek Beyond (Chris Bumbray's take)
07.22.2016
8 10
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PLOT: Towards the end of the third year in his five-year-mission, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) finds himself questioning his motivations for joining Starfleet and pondering life away from a starship captaincy. His ennui is interrupted by a distress call, which lands him and his beloved Enterprise crew in the crosshairs of the deadly Krall (Idris Elba) who seeks a legendary weapon that could help him wipe-out the Federation.

REVIEW: Trekkies were understandably anxious when it was announced geek icon J.J Abrams, now too busy with STAR WARS, would be handing over the reins of STAR TREK BEYOND to director Justin Lin, best known for his high-octane FAST & FURIOUS sequels. They need not have worried as despite a slight overabundance of action in the second half, this isn’t TREK FURIOUS, or FAST TREK, or anything like that at all, with this, the third installment of the new TREK saga being the closest in spirit to the original franchise so far.

star trek beyond anton yelchin chris pine

Starting-off in an uncommonly thoughtful mode, we find Kirk on a mission to broker peace with an alien race that has a comical payoff, and feels in-line with the kind of thing that would have happened to Kirk in TOS or Picard in TNG. The tv shows often took pains to show that life on the Enterprise wasn’t all life-and-death, and it’s nice to see that reflected here (although they don’t go too far – meaning no Spock jamming with space hippies on his lute). In fact, the first act is almost entirely devoted to the reality of what a day-to-day existence on a starship would be like, with crew members sleeping with each other (the late Anton Yelchin’s Chekov seems to be a particular stud), fighting (Spock and Uhura are on a break) or pining for the families they left behind (Sulu – in a nice moment – reunites with his husband and adopted daughter).

Like in THE WRATH OF KHAN, Kirk’s approaching birthday is what has him reconsidering life in Starfleet, with not even Karl Urban’s McCoy and some stolen booze (from Chekov) able to convince him the Enterprise is where he needs to be. In some ways, Kirk was marginalized in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, with Spock having been given the limelight. Here, Pine is front-and-center throughout, with him having the big arc, where he has to get over his own feelings of inadequacy to rescue his crew, all of whom are put in mortal danger by Idris Elba’s Krall.

star trek beyond simon pegg sofia Boutella

It’s interesting that after the ultra-ambitious INTO DARKNESS, which attempted to position STAR TREK as a mega-franchise, Paramount and Bad Robot have taken a step-back, letting Lin make a movie that feels like a legit Trek episode or film. It’s the relationships within the crew that takes precedent over action, as after the Enterprise is forced to crash-land on Krall’s planet, they’re spun-off into their own mini-stories, just like you’d see on the show.

Everyone here seems to benefit from more screen-time, making it clear that Simon Pegg, now doing double duty as Scotty and co- screenwriter, knows these characters better than anyone. Sulu (John Cho) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) wind-up as Krall’s prisoners, while Kirk, Chekov and Scotty team-up with a kick-ass alien castaway (Sofia Boutella – in a part which seems destined to become a fan-favorite) in an effort to salvage an old Starfleet ship and rescue everyone. The coolest bit of business has to be the B-story, which finds McCoy and Spock (Zachary Quinto) stranded by themselves, with Bones trying to keep the mortally-wounded Spock alive. If anyone’s been under-utlized up to now, it’s McCoy, but here Urban’s in full-on DeForest Kelly-mode, with him and Quinto showing off some amazing chemistry as they lean-on each other to survive (with Spock particularly in-touch with his human side due to his predicament).

star trek beyond karl urban zachary quinto

Eventually, all the plot-threads pull together in classic Trek fashion, and the last third is as explosive as anything in the other two films – maybe too much so as the movie is actually better when it’s character-based. Nevertheless, the action beats are pretty good here, with Boutella getting a cool showdown with Joe Taslim’s Manas, and Kirk kicking around on a vintage (for the 23rd century) motorbike.

As the baddie, Idris Elba initially seems to be wasted under heavy make-up, but towards the end a surprising revelation makes his casting worthwhile and his Krall winds up being the best of the Abrams-era Trek villains. Running a lean two hours, Lin gives this Trek adventure a punchy pace, even during the more character based parts. He also contributes a significantly different look with DP Stephen F. Windon, meaning no lens flares and a darker color palate. Michael Giacchino is back as the composer, giving this continuity with the other two movies, with him reusing most of his major themes.

While I’d still give Abrams’s first STAR TREK the slight edge among these three movies on the merits of its pure fun-factor, Lin’s BEYOND really has put the franchise back on solid ground after INTO DARKNESS alienated fans. Hardcore Trekkies and more casual fans will no doubt have a great time with this one, and it’s nice to one again feel like this franchise is once again heading in a great direction under the guidance of people that care about both the saga and the fans.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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12:07AM on 07/24/2016
I liked the movie, but it was definitely the weakest of the three by far. First off, Abrahms is a way better director than Lin. The latter may know how to film car chases, but he fumbled the ball with the early action sequences in this film. The scenes where the enterprise was being attacked and boarded gave way to complete and total incoherence to the point where it was near impossible to decipher who was where or doing what. The same goes for Kirk and Chekov's downed saucer chase scene. The
I liked the movie, but it was definitely the weakest of the three by far. First off, Abrahms is a way better director than Lin. The latter may know how to film car chases, but he fumbled the ball with the early action sequences in this film. The scenes where the enterprise was being attacked and boarded gave way to complete and total incoherence to the point where it was near impossible to decipher who was where or doing what. The same goes for Kirk and Chekov's downed saucer chase scene. The lack of tact and skill with the close up action shots was killing me with this film. Then there's Krall....no disrespect to Idris Elba because I love him as an actor, but he has nothing to work with here. Krall is forgettable, his motivations muddled and poorly developed, and he failed to really register as a threat to me despite killing the enterprise! I don't even know how that's possible for a villain to do that and not leave an impression! Then there's the tone and story of the movie itself, which ends up having the impact and feel of a 30 min Star Trek episode of old. Depending on what you're in the mood for, this may suit you. I think it's ok to take a break from the heavy weight of past story elements and do something geared more towards adventure and fun, but make no mistake, this feels like Star Trek Lite compared to the other two films. We do get some memorable exchanges and bits of dialogue here and there, (especially from Bones) but the character development also feels less significant here than the other films. Overall, its lean and has a good pace to it, making it ideal for a matinee or breezy summer entertainment, but don't expect much in terms of dramatic weight here because you're not going to get it. 7/10
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10:57AM on 07/23/2016

Saw it last night

I grew up loving Star Trek: TNG and the Star Trek movies were always go-tos whenever I would hit up the video store. I enjoyed the first two JJ Abrams films but Beyond was my definite favorite of the new films. The way in which the characters were developed throughout the film made it feel much more like the Star Trek of old. Some of my favorite moments actually had less to do with the story but the way in which the film respected the passing of Leonard Nimoy. Highly recommended
I grew up loving Star Trek: TNG and the Star Trek movies were always go-tos whenever I would hit up the video store. I enjoyed the first two JJ Abrams films but Beyond was my definite favorite of the new films. The way in which the characters were developed throughout the film made it feel much more like the Star Trek of old. Some of my favorite moments actually had less to do with the story but the way in which the film respected the passing of Leonard Nimoy. Highly recommended
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10:21AM on 07/23/2016
Seen all of Star Trek except TOS and really liked this film. The character interactions are just perfekt. And Urban's Bones is perhaps the best thing in the movie.
Seen all of Star Trek except TOS and really liked this film. The character interactions are just perfekt. And Urban's Bones is perhaps the best thing in the movie.
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10:07PM on 07/22/2016
Solid 8/10 for me. I agree, closest to the original Franchise, and loved the Vintage vehicles.
Solid 8/10 for me. I agree, closest to the original Franchise, and loved the Vintage vehicles.
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8:02PM on 07/22/2016
I've been a Trekkie all my life, and although this was better than into darkness, it still left me disappointed overall. The action scenes were only seconds apart, and took up about 95% of the movie, leaving no room for character development. The villain was completely forgetable. Nero is by far the best villain of the new series. Simply because his actions are still felt even in the third movie with the destruction of Vulcan. Krall will never be mentioned again and did nothing of any
I've been a Trekkie all my life, and although this was better than into darkness, it still left me disappointed overall. The action scenes were only seconds apart, and took up about 95% of the movie, leaving no room for character development. The villain was completely forgetable. Nero is by far the best villain of the new series. Simply because his actions are still felt even in the third movie with the destruction of Vulcan. Krall will never be mentioned again and did nothing of any magnitude. It's heading in the right direction, but there's still a lot of room for improvement.
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6:45PM on 07/22/2016

A Trek back to greatness!!!

Justin Lin has done it!! He has brought Trek back to greatness! A TOS episode mixed with high octane movie.
Justin Lin has done it!! He has brought Trek back to greatness! A TOS episode mixed with high octane movie.
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12:03PM on 07/22/2016
Sounds like another win for Star Trek movie.
Sounds like another win for Star Trek movie.
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10:09AM on 07/22/2016

Spoilers . . . maybe . . . idk

They seem to have ruined the twist with Elba's character in the last tv spot I saw. Showing a recorded message he leaves Star Fleet, only he's sans prosthetics in the message, implying he's not an alien and undergoes some kind of [link]

Not really sure why they decided to ruin this, especially with JJ 'top secret' Abrams producing. It's not like Elba is that famous they had to get his face in the trailer to sell tickets.
They seem to have ruined the twist with Elba's character in the last tv spot I saw. Showing a recorded message he leaves Star Fleet, only he's sans prosthetics in the message, implying he's not an alien and undergoes some kind of [link]

Not really sure why they decided to ruin this, especially with JJ 'top secret' Abrams producing. It's not like Elba is that famous they had to get his face in the trailer to sell tickets.
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10:09PM on 07/22/2016
Don't want to spoil much, it is simply explained that after hundreds of years of prolonging life, he literally lost that original part of himself. Kirk reminds him of that part he lost. Hope turned Bitter is the blackest hate of all.
Don't want to spoil much, it is simply explained that after hundreds of years of prolonging life, he literally lost that original part of himself. Kirk reminds him of that part he lost. Hope turned Bitter is the blackest hate of all.
6:06AM on 07/22/2016
I had a good time watching this movie. Definitely much more entertaining than Into Darkness, though I could have sworn that they lifted parts of the plot from the popular (and I guess ironically) Star Trek-inspired video game, Mass Effect. You can easily swap Kirk with Shepard, Enterprise with the Normandy, the villains as Reapers, and Yorktown rechristened as the Citadel.
I had a good time watching this movie. Definitely much more entertaining than Into Darkness, though I could have sworn that they lifted parts of the plot from the popular (and I guess ironically) Star Trek-inspired video game, Mass Effect. You can easily swap Kirk with Shepard, Enterprise with the Normandy, the villains as Reapers, and Yorktown rechristened as the Citadel.
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9:20AM on 07/22/2016
I noticed that too. Krall's "drones" looked too much like the Husks for my liking. Couple that with the recycled Event Horizon plot that leads to Krall's creation and even a rip off of Knights of the Old Republic explaining how Krall received his forces and the movie appears more celluloid Frankenstein than fresh new original material.
I noticed that too. Krall's "drones" looked too much like the Husks for my liking. Couple that with the recycled Event Horizon plot that leads to Krall's creation and even a rip off of Knights of the Old Republic explaining how Krall received his forces and the movie appears more celluloid Frankenstein than fresh new original material.
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