Film Review – Star Trek: Beyond (2016)

Star Trek: Beyond 2016

Title – Star Trek: Beyond (2016)

Director – Justin Lin (Fast and Furious)

Cast – Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella

Plot – Captain Kirk (Pine) and the crew of the USS Enterprise run into trouble when they are marooned on a distant planet that is harbouring the human hating Krall (Elba) whose dastardly plan could threaten the lives of millions throughout the expanses of the universe.

“Unity is not your strength. It is a weakness”

Review by Eddie on 27/07/2016

For a series that was rebooted in such promising fashion with the J.J Abrams directed 2009 film, the freshly polished Star Trek franchise is slowly dying a sad death on the back of Abram’s lacking 2013 sequel Into Darkness and thanks to Justin Lin’s newest addition simply titled Beyond, this wannabe Star Wars competitor needs a mighty warp speed boost with the already announced 4th film to stay relevant and appealing to audiences who won’t likely be remembering this latest addition in the months, yet alone years to come.

Despite quite positive reviews, responsive audience reactions and far from terrible opening weekend box office figures, I found Beyond to be a thoroughly so-so experience that has neither any of the first films character strengths, humour, emotion or action memorability that made the 2009 film such a popcorn munching joy.

It’s hard to know who’s exactly at fault for such a bland overall production but the majority of Beyond’s weaknesses stem from Sean Pegg and Doug Jung’s script, which seems to have suffered from Pegg’s recent flow of average works and director Lin, whose found great successes with blockbusters from the Fast and the Furious franchise as well as a couple of rip roaring Community and True Detective episodes but can’t infuse Beyond with the spectacle it needed to go toe to toe with modern day audience expectations and with a lacking finale (complete with awkwardly included classical music) the whole narrative of Beyond feels undercooked with an equally bored looking cast.

With all the films majors players back once more, Beyond sees the continuation of the staleness that started to develop in Into Darkness from the cast and where key cast members like Chris Pine, Zoe Zaldana and Zachary Quinto all succeeded initially, it’s not hard to see that they seem tired of their roles now with only Karl Urban’s Bones improving from the 2009 original. In regards to the films newest additions, Sofia Boutella as the determined Jaylah does well with limited opportunities while Idris Elba’s Krall performance deserved more airtime with a character that feels far more interesting on paper than what we actually get here and when his plan feels as half-baked as it does, there’s never any real sense of what could be lost or gained in the fight between good and evil.

Forgoing what makes the series so appealing in theory, whether it be the varied characters, exploration of space (most of the Beyond’s runtime takes place on a dodgy looking set) or stunning spectacles, Star Trek: Beyond is a largely unmemorable experience that feels like another step backwards for a series that should now be hitting its peak. Should Star Trek’s next adventure be as mediocre as this series entry, it’s likely audiences will not be along for the ride for much longer, killing a franchise that should be living long and prosperously for many moons to come.

2 “lassies” out of 5

29 responses to “Film Review – Star Trek: Beyond (2016)

  1. It’s funny, I thought this movie was great! Just goes to show how subjective the movie going experience can be. All your points were well made though, great review!

  2. Pingback: Film Review – Star Trek: Beyond (2016) — Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys) – film critic online·

  3. Ah, shame, I was really excited for the new additions to the cast. Still, I have high hopes that Bryan Fuller’s TV series will put the franchise back on the right trek!

  4. Seen only as a summer blockbuster with all the familiar tricks, it’s enjoyable enough. But as a movie adaptation of the original TV series, it’s a watered down version. The franchise has made no intentions in going boldly where no man has gone before, so after the 2nd movie I’ve pretty much given up on expecting anything more out of this franchise.

  5. I enjoyed it more than the previous two, especially Into Darkness and the ridiculous Wrath of Khan rip off scenes. I found the movie a fun time and I enjoyed Sofia Boutella’s new character. It is nowhere near the heights of a Wrath of Khan, First Contact or The Voyage Home but it’s the best they have offered so far.

  6. Excellent review. Even as a summer blockbuster the film fell short. And finally Star Trek has been turned into a soulless-plotless-video-game with set-pieces “stolen” from other better popcorn films such as Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy. As aforementioned the formidable abilities of Idris Elba were masked under deep make-up for most of the film. Even if it was to be a latter second act Elba’s presence was given away in the trailer so why not build his character up from the beginning. Plus, the “rogue” agent storyline was done much better in Into Darkness which I actually enjoyed as a spectacle, despite its shortcomings.

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