Star Trek: Beyond is the latest in the ‘rebooted’ Star Trek movie series. In place of J.J Abrams who went off to do Star Wars we have Justin Lin, famous for the Fast and the Furious movies.
Obvious confession time; I’m not a Trek fan at all. I’ve seen 2 of the classic movies, 2009 Star Trek in cinemas and ‘Into Darkness’ on a plane. I never saw any of the TV series, and my overall knowledge is minimal. I am very much a newbie to this series, though I know the cultural touchstones of the universe well enough.
With that in mind I went into Star Trek: Beyond with average anticipation. It’s fair enough to say that I only went because I had a free ticket and there was nothing else on this week worth seeing.
Rather than breaking down the plot (mainly because there isn’t really a proper one), I’ll go through what worked for me, and what didn’t.
The Good:
  • The crew of this ship is all around solid. Each of them either does a good job imitating their 60s counterparts or adds something to the role. Of special note is Karl Urban as Scotty who steals every scene he’s in.
  • The movie and the script is funny. I laughed more in this than I did in Ghostbusters…though I’m not sure what movie that says more about!
  • The visuals are spectacular and awe inspiring. This director knows how to direct action and movement, and the CGI is truly impressive. Some parts later on in the station are a little less so, but overall it’s impressive.
  • Sofia Boutella as Jaylah is a lot of fun, and is a solid female foil, even if her arc feels a little truncated.
  • The nods to the old crew and the passing of Leonard Nemoy is nicely handled in a sweet but not annoying way. There is also a nice message about the passing of Anton Yelchin before the release of this film.
The Bad:
  • The villain continues the procession of exceptionally poor antagonists in Star Trek films. Only Wrath of Khan had a really inspiring bad guy and the rest have been of very limited quality. All three of the new Trek movies have lacked a great villain and Krall is the weakest of the three. Idris Elba is wasted in the role.
  • The plot is weak. Not only are the villain’s motivations weak but there is so much coincidence in this plot and the resolution to the big threat is just irritating. The end reveal of the villain seems forced and the reason for all this highly convenient.
  • This is the movie series’ 4[sup]th[/sup] Enterprise. It seems that whenever they want to show something dramatic happening, they blow up the ship. After a while it loses impact because they literally get another one at the end of the movie.
  • Of all the crew I find Kirk to oddly be the weakest one. He just didn’t strike me as charismatic or commanding this time.
Overall I was entertained by this movie, and so long as you don’t think about the pants plot you’ll be fine. For a non-Trek fan I thought it was a lot of fun, so I’d recommend it.