I find myself to be in a slight conundrum because I’m looking at Star Trek in two ways. Firstly as a simple Sci-fi fan that’s just enjoyed a space exploration movie. Secondly, I’m looking at it as a self-confessed Trekkie.
The conundrum arises in the fact that I’ve come to 2 separate verdicts. It’s always good to end on a positive though so first up, here’s my Trekkie view.
The first 2 movies in the rebooted universe did extremely well with some wonderful nods to the Original Series and its accompanying movies. The beauty of that was that it was still its own entity, completely separate to what went before. That’s no mean feat considering the fan base that Star Trek has but the ratings and reviews speak for themselves.
Beyond feels a little different though. As a Star Trek movie, it feels as though it’s trying to rid itself of its ties to The Original Series. That’d be understandable if they hadn’t pegged the whole alternate universe line in the first movie. Don’t get me wrong, they haven’t abandoned it completely but anything that harked back to generations before feels wedged in to compensate.
My last point on this feels a little hypocritical seeing what Star Trek is all about. Whilst it’s nice to have a completely different enemy, I’m a little disappointed that there was no Kilngon in sight. I mean, introducing them in Into Darkness just feels a little pointless now. That disappointment doesn’t stem from just the lack of a recognisable enemy though. As a movie, Beyond feels like the trilogy wrap up. I know Abrams has said that Star Trek 4 is on the cards but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was it and if that IS the case, it’ll always be known as the reboot that didn’t quite reach its potential.
Ok, so uniform off, phaser locked back in the armoury, this is a brilliant Sunday night movie.
The set pieces look spectacular and the action is thick and fast. The ratio of humour to action is spot on and it’s one of the best executions I’ve seen in a non-Marvel movie. Not only that, but it has some really poignant moments, particularly in the beginning when Kirk is talking about life in deep space. They’ve been out there for a long time and it’s rare for Star Trek to touch upon the impact it might have.
As a captain, Kirk has really matured and that shows in his actions towards this new threat, his crew and his decision making. He’s not lost his swashbuckling nature but we’re seeing more of the James T Kirk we know from the 5 year mission in The Original Series. Don’t worry though, he’s still a fan of the Beastie Boys and we’re reminded of that in one of the best scenes in all three movies.
Kirk aside, the biggest success of this movie is the dynamic between Spock and McCoy. They deliver some of the movie’s stand out moments and without their little double act, Beyond would be a completely different animal. An animal that rips up your slippers and leaves poo everywhere even though it’d been trained.
Those little elements can’t be understated because I found myself getting bored with the storyline at points and when you compare Beyond to the previous 2 movies, it doesn’t reach the same heights.
With Kirk, Spock and McCoy however, it has enough to paper over the cracks.
3* - Set phasers to (almost) stunning.