Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Star Trek Beyond – A Review

Image result for star trek beyond

We finally got out to see the new Star Trek movie, and frankly, I was impressed.  Full disclosure: I am not as much a fan of the new (Bravo) timeline as I am of the original (Alpha) timeline, with TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY.  That said, I have been entertained by all three new Star Trek films to date.  In fact, I found Beyond to be the best of the three.

There will be some spoilers ahead.  You were warned.

Firstly, about Beyond it and of itself. This one seemed to have the best balance between activities for all the crew.  No one was neglected, and no one stole more spotlight than normal (let's face it, Kirk, Spock and McCoy are still the big three).  I liked Scotty's scenes and the guest stars were really good in their roles.  Jayla in particular I thought was a really fun character.  The action was well paced and neither too fast (such as in the first one) nor was there any dragging parts.  Well done to the writers, director and editor on this one.  I also found that each character started coming into their own, rather than being a slight caricature of the previous incarnation in the original series and films.  While they can't seem to go a single movie without showing some emotion on Spock, it was well handled.

The film itself gave some serious fanservice to the timeline that wasn't erased by the first film.  The USS Franklin is the same class of ship as the NX-01 Enterprise, captained by Capt. Archer.  They even talk about polarizing the hull plating and using phased array cannons.  Very nice to see, and it ties the movie into the greater Star Trek multiverse.

This one also had a pleasantly independent storyline.  It wasn't a less-effective remake of The Wrath of Khan (looking at you Into Darkness), and also wasn't loaded with heaps of backstory like Star Trek (2009).

Another good point is that J.J. Abrams was only a producer on this one.  While he's a decent director (not as hot as he's made out to be), he shows no respect for the established milieu of a world he goes to play in.  This showed in his blatant disregard of even the most basic treknology, and was also apparent in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  This film was much more true to the Star Trek milieu and felt much more like a Star Trek story.

While Star Trek's place is better served on television, this film was a solid addition to the new timeline and really set them on their own course into the new unknown being created in this film series.  While there might be some quibbles,  I recommend it highly to fans and casual fans alike.

It will be interesting to see the adventures of the new Enterprise-A.  (Though at this rate they'll need more of the alphabet.)

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