Star Trek Beyond is the third movie in the rebooted Star Trek franchise that started with an origin story in 2009’s Star Trek and was followed by Star Trek: Into Darkness. They were apparently both successful enough to warrant another sequel. I have just seen this movie even if has been available for months now on Blu-Ray. I’m mentioning this because it illustrates how much of a “must see” I consider these movies. Unlike Star Wars, the Star Trek franchise is a much more low-key endeavor. One that doesn’t pull you on board the hype train.
Another thing plaguing the rebooted Star Trek franchise is it’s memorability. I only remember small bits from the previous two movies. Certain elements, like Spock and Uhura being a couple, were new to me upon watching this movie. Luckily the characters themselves are carbon copies of the original series so it’s easy for to dive back in having seen all of the movies featuring the original cast.
Star Trek Beyond has the crew of the Starship Enterprise end up scattered on an unknown planet after an attack. With no means of contacting the Federation or each other, they must try to escape from this planet and prevent the evil warlord Krall from destroying a nearby Starbase named Yorktown and starting a galactic war.
The original Star Trek movies were always kind of polarizing: they were either very good or atrociously bad. They took chances which did not always pay off, but when they did both the makers and audiences were rewarded. These new Star Trek movies take fewer chances and tinker hardly with the formula. The results are always watchable and to a certain degree entertaining, but also very decent.
And with decent I actually mean boring.
The end product might be OK, but there’s nothing new on the horizon. For a series about boldly going where no man has gone before, Star Trek is firmly stationary in its ideas. They travel a bit through space, come upon an alien threat, end up in some nasty situations which they overcome and defeat the bad guy saving the day and the universe. Star Trek Beyond is no different.
Director Justin Lin, mostly known for his Fast & Furious movies, takes over from J.J. Abrams. Having pushed stunts that can be done with a car to the limit, he now gets the opportunity to do the same with space ships. Star Trek Beyond has plenty of action sequences in which a lot of stuff blows up. Even in Space. Lin is a no hold barred director, making the story second fiddle. Trek was always more philosophical compared to Wars, but it feels as if they have to compete with them and decide to do so by making this an action fest. The result is a movie with striking visuals, but a rather serious problem when it comes to plausibility.
Since the beginning of Star Trek Scotty has always been running around the engine rooms fixing things. Plugging a jiggamatiz into a warpcore or something like that in order to save the day. In reality, a bird in a plane engine can cause the whole thing to go down. We saw that in the movie Sully about the plane that landed on the Hudson. In Star Trek Beyond it’s seemingly possible to fly a ship that has been stripped of 50% of its elements. It’s unintentionally funny to hear Scotty explain how they can do some quick fixes and get the wreck up and running again. Talking about Scotty: if you’re in need of a drinking game, just take a shot every time he calls a female character “Lassie”. Passing out drunk guaranteed.
Star Trek Beyond is an entertaining but forgettable movie. In two or three years I will probably be writing a review on the fourth Star Trek movie and will be having a hard time recollecting this one. This movie will probably only be remembered as the one with Sabotage by The Beastie Boys on the soundtrack. A shame, because this franchise has potential but the people behind have be as bold as they claim their characters to be.