Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Simon Pegg, Doug Jung
Cast: Chris Pine (James T. Kirk), Zachary Quinto(Spock), Karl Urban (Leonard McCoy), Zoe Saldana (Nyota Uhura), Simon Pegg (Montgomery Scott), John Cho (Hikaru Sulu), Anton Yelchin (Pavel Chekov), Idris Elba (Krall), and Sofia Boutella (Jaylah)
Running Time: 122 Minutes
Star Trek Beyond is the third installment of the rebooted franchise. While a majority of the cast and production remained the same, it is different from the previous two movies. The most notable difference is the change in directors. Instead of JJ Abrams and his lens flares, Justin Lin from the Fast and Furious Franchise took over. I was worried that this change would bring over the top action sequences and lacks multidimensional characters. While these flaws were apparent in Beyond, it does not bring down the movie too much.
The second biggest change is the script and writing team. Simon Pegg brings a new approach to the films as he tries to create a completely original story. Star Trek was introducing characters we already know in a modern context/alternate reality, while Into Darkness clearly is based off of Wrath of Khan. I overall applaud his risk taking. On the 50th Anniversary of the Original series, Pegg wanted to make a film that focused on the characters. He nailed that part. Nearly every conversation felt authentic and gave the characters justice.
As for the acting, by now we all know how the main cast is going to perform. Every character seems to be developing as the series progresses I personally think all of the actors are exceptional and perfectly cast, although I get the complaints about Karl Urban. I do not mind it because I feel like he tries to be corny in his delivery. Since he has acknowledged that he was a fan for the original series, it is logical to assume he would be the actor that would do more of an impersonation than his peers. While I did say no actor remained similar, Urban did step up. I don’t know if this was an improvement in writing or developed chemistry, but he made the movie feel like an ensemble cast. It wasn’t the Kirk and Spock show; every character pulled their weight. John Cho is a standout as his role continues to expand and really impressed me. He is becoming more of an independent character instead of an assistant. Sofia Boutella as Jaylah is clearly the breakout star and continues to bring excitement through action sequences in future films.
The downside of the film is the villain, but that is okay. This film is not about the villain, it is about the crew and captain’s responsibilities. It is a reoccurring theme that captains will go to great lengths to protect their crew, but Kirk tends to risk his own well-being while others deflect the consequences. Let me be clear, I am in no way blaming Idris Elba for the movie. He was great as always. The problem was that Krall’s motives were not clear throughout the movie. They appear to be complex and evolving but are not clear. The purpose of Krall is to be a threat and that is what he is. The problem is that why would you waste a actor like Idris Elba on a character not worthy of his abilities. If he wants to do a Star Trek film then save him for another one, this was not the time or place.
I really liked this movie and accomplished what it wanted, pay tribute to the characters. The stakes were high but a film can only get so high of a grade without a legitimate threat in a villain. This is probably the worst of the rebooted trilogy, Into Darkness was a little bit better. I am hoping the next adventure rivals the exceptional first film that debuted in 2009. Justin Lin delivered and feel completely comfortable if he directs future projects in the franchise. Would I prefer Abrams return? Yes. But, the cast and crew proved that the new Star Trek is more than just one man.
I give Star Trek Beyond,
3 out of 4