Star Trek Beyond is the worst title out of the reboots so far as it has no bearing on anything whatsoever and has always felt like a working title, yet is the best of those films.
‘Star Trek‘ was a bit bland, but was one way to do a reboot moniker – especially since that exact title had never been used before, although the film, itself, was quite lame. Star Trek Into Darkness was the best title for what became a disappointment after bringing in the man I call BenCum, since it was a very poor rip-off of ‘Khan’. Hence, I hoped Star Trek Beyond wouldn’t incur my Wrath…
Before I get to that, may the 4th be with them? With the death of Anton Yelchin, a rebooted TV series next year, and the fact that Into Darkness didn’t exactly set the box office alight (compared to the budget and promotion costs), I wasn’t so sure. However, according to IMDB, it’s in the planning, JJ Abrams has already said that Chekov won’t be recast and Chris Hemsworth is returning as George Kirk, although it’s not yet known whether it’ll be a flashback or some ridonculous intertwining timey-wimey bizarreness a la X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
‘Beyond‘ opens with an outstanding opening half-hour or so that makes for the most well-paced section of any of the new movies. There’s an amusing opener, before moving on softly as, at 966 days into their five-year mission, James T Kirk (Chris Pine) is about to have a birthday. That’s normally something to celebrate, but for him, that’s also the day his father died. Plus, this year marks the moment where he became one year older than his father would ever be. Before long, Krall (Idris Elba) turns up to wreak havoc, everyone crash lands on Yorktown (which I thought they kept calling ‘Your town’ for a while, making it feel like a KYTV sketch) and gets separated, after which they have to meet up and then deal with the foe in question. However, it’s the second act, where they have to find ways to reunite, which is the low point of this film as it seems to take forever to get there. Some are partnered up, while Scotty (Simon Pegg) is on his lonesome, yet soon pairs up with alien Jaylah (Sofia Boutella).
And before he leaves the Enterprise, why is Chekov constantly detailing everything that’s failing on the ship? I know that’s generally his job, but we can see it’s ‘game over’ for it, so just get the hell off it! Hearing his commentary is akin to being stuck in a traffic jam as the traffic news comes on and tells you that you might get stuck in a traffic jam.
Oh, and since Justin Lin (who directed Fast and Furious 3-6) is in the hot seat, he borrows from Furious 7‘s Paul Walker truck-going-over-cliff-leap-onto-a-car moment by recreating that in this film. Personally, I’ve yet to see one of those car-based movies, and I tried to watch No.6 when it was on TV but gave up after about 20 minutes. Fast 8 is released in April next year and I’m thinking I might still check it out in the cinema, since on the big screen, I get the impression that it’ll make more sense in terms of realising why they make these films.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts about this film…
Elba largely phones in his performance, sounding like he’s just walked off the set of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, stuck on a rubber mask and was told to ‘nastify’ his South African accent, while channelling the ANC-era Nelson and his sabotage activities against the government in 1961, which led to his life imprisonment sentence. Here, in the part of Krall, Elba’s character is also disgruntled for a reason that’ll come out later, but his space-age idea of ‘might is right’, in ‘Beyond’, is to invade the Enterprise, kill everyone, snatch a priceless artefact, kill everyone he missed first time, and blow the ship apart. And then kill any stragglers.
And, at one point, Krall looked very much like an elderly Robert Loggia.
However, one thing present in this movie is what was missing from X-Men Apocalpyse and Independence Day Resurgence – a decent amount of humour. There’s a fair number of amusing lines, including one that refers to a (cue spoiler heading) tracking device I very nearly burst out laughing at that one, but as it was otherwise quiet onscreen I could hear that no-one else was, so I ended up stifling a big laugh. Later on, when noisy battles etc were going on, a couple of laughs could flow more easily. In fact, it’s probably better that I didn’t let out a big laugh as, when I’m at home, I tend to emit a singular, Edna Krabappel-type “HA!”
In addition, there’s another case of there being a difference between how a line is delivered in the trailer and the film. I recently mentioned Chris Hemsworth answering the phone in Ghostbusters, and how it was much better in the trailer. In this film, you know Idris Elba’s “I-am-coun-ting-on-it” line? Well, the trailer has a definitive stop, there, but in the film, it carries on slightly, watering it down in the process.
I’ve never been a fan of Chris Pine as his acting has been very wooden (Pine… wooden… geddit?) but this time, things actually seem to have come together and he’s settled into the role reasonably well. For me, no-one can be the real Kirk other than William Shatner, but he’s alright in this one. The rest are as good or bad as they have been previously. Most are fine (and mostly, what I remember about the film is Zoe Saldana running around in knee-high boots and a mini-skirt), But Simon Pegg‘s Scots accent is still appalling.
Oh, and I loved hearing Sabotage by The Beastie Boys, but I didn’t like that they had a truncated version of it. Now, if that had run for the entire length of the song like a pop video… 😀
Now, who to replace Chekov, since Anton Yelchin has sadly passed away? Well, JJ Abrams said before this film’s release that they will not recast him. My thought is… (and I’ll have to add a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t seen ‘Beyond‘)
A few things about the end credits as well as a late moment (big spoiler)
On the aspect of the lights over the end credits, which I last detailed when I saw Ghostbusters, this is something they’re reviewing, since following a discussion I had there afterwards, I understand the lights should be morelike they way they are during the trailers (which in my experience is the same as with the trailers that follow) and the lights that are on allow people to enter and use stairs without any health and safety issues, whilst not intruding upon the screen and obliterating the credits. As for the cleaners coming in at the end while audience members are still present, while it happened again today and I had to ask for those overbright lights to be switched off, I also understand that is something the staff have been told not to do and it will be re-communicated to them again shortly.
Running time: 122 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Cinema: Vue Lowry
Format: 2.35:1 (ARRIRAW (3.4K), Anamorphic Master Scope, Redcode RAW (6K) – some shots)
Released: July 22nd 2016
Director: Justin Lin
Producers: JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk and Roberto Orci
Screenplay: Simon Pegg, Doug Jung, Roberto Orci, Patrick McKay and John D Payne (based on the Star Trek TV series created by Gene Roddenberry)
Music: Michael Giacchino
Captain James T. Kirk: Chris Pine
Commander Spock: Zachary Quinto
Doctor ‘Bones’ McCoy: Karl Urban
Lieutenant Uhura: Zoe Saldana
Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott: Simon Pegg
Sulu: John Cho
Chekov: Anton Yelchin
Krall: Idris Elba
Jaylah: Sofia Boutella
Manas: Joe Taslim
Kalara: Lydia Wilson
Keenser: Deep Roy
Ensign Syl: Melissa Roxburgh
Tyvanna: Anita Brown
Ben: Doug Jung
Fi’Ja: Danny Pudi
Zavanko: Kim Kold
Hider: Fraser Aitcheson
Blue Shirt: Matthew MacCaull
Blue Shirt: Emy Aneke
Commodore Paris: Shohreh Aghdashloo
Commander Finnegan: Greg Grunberg
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
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