Review: Star Trek Beyond (2016)

I will be honest, I am a newer Star Trek fan.  I am not afraid to tell anyone who reads this, my interests were peaked with the new series.  When Star Trek was nearly ready to be released in 2009, I put aside my petty differences with the franchise and began watching the original movies.  A good friend told me tales of the Enterprise and its crew.  I watched Star Trek: the Motion Picture and sat through a very boring movie.  They changed everything with the Wrath of Khan, but for me the Search for Spock was tops.  I made it through the first six movies and watched a few key episodes of the original TV series.  But, I a big time Star Wars fan, put away any Star Wars vs Star Trek BS and became a Star Trek fan.  Star Wars and Star Trek are so much different.  I think fans that are divided, because these are the two top Science Fiction universes.  I wonder if it is even simpler…is it because they are called STAR Wars and STAR Trek?  I am here to tell you they are different and have room for everyone!

The latest Star Trek movie was released this weekend, Star Trek Beyond.  I love the title and this series is not using numbers to identify each in entry in the series.

pine-stb-headerAt the beginning of the film, Kirk and the crew are about 3 years into their 5 year journey and he seems ready to be done with being the Captain.  He calls everyday “episodic”, which made laugh a little.  Oddly enough, I was the only one in the theater who laughed.  The opening of the movie was silly and fun.  The rest of the movie was…ok.  The story was well paced and only lasted a day or two.

After the “cold opening” the crew go to a space station called “Yorktown”.  Fans of the video game series, Mass Effect would look at the space station and think of the Citadel.  That is what I thought.  I is a space station where families lived and the Federation could have down time.  It was there we learn Kirk is thinking of becoming Vice Admiral.  At the same time Spock learns news that changes his mind about being a part of the crew of the Enterprise.  But they put that aside for at least one last mission.

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There were a couple of new characters introduced to the Star Trek, Jaylah played by Sofia Boutella.  She was very cool, I loved pretty much everything about her.  Krall is the villain of the story and while I love Idris Elba, the character was kind of blah.  In the make-up he looked very cool, but there was something about the scope of the story that made him seem smaller.  But overall, the story may have been a smaller scope, not as epic.  The space battle was pretty awesome.  I also wanted to mention, they do not go to Earth in this movie, it was set in deep space and I think that was smart.

Star Trek Beyond is good, not great.  It felt more like an episode of the TV show, in some ways that is good.  I cannot wait to watch it again when it comes to Blu Ray.  I do not think I will see it again.  My question…if we put the movies side by side.  Star Trek vs the Motion Picture, Wrath of Khan vs Into Darkness, Beyond vs Search for Spock…the old movies are winning.  I like the new series, but the older series put together a trilogy on movies that can be watched together.  These stories are single serving.  I guess that is ok and I like all three good enough.  Star Trek can continue to make movies, but to me Star Trek is better on the small screen.

I do look forward to the next installment.  I mean, they will not stop making Star Trek movies, there are 13 now over the last 37 years.  They seem to have the story ready for the next one and it will somehow include Chris Hemsworth, who played George Kirk, Jim Kirk’s father.  I don’t know anything about the script or anything, but it sounds like time travel again.  I think the movie universe should begin moving towards a different cast.  They will not replace Anton Yelchin, but they should, with a different crew member.  Each new film could feature a new crew mate, until Spock, Kirk and Bones…retire.  I don’t know.

Point of all of this, Star Trek Beyond was good, not great.  Worth seeing in the theater…so enjoy!

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