Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

When I came out of the theater after watching this film I came out saying this was a good Star Trek adventure. In fact, I would say calling it an adventure would be the right way to sum it up as a whole. This isn't to say that the last to reboot films weren't adventures, but while the first one was basically about bringing the crew together and the second one was basically a rebooted version of The Wrath of Khan, here it felt more like this was an exciting journey where the crew of the Enterprise finally just go on in the rescue missions and explore unknown territory while still facing off an evil villain.

The characters as a whole are still enjoyable to watch. The best humor comes from the moments between Spock and Bones. I also like the more serious moments like how Spock is deal with Spock Prime's death (rest in peace, Leanord Nimoy) or when Kirk is reflecting on his life. I liked how these moments focused more on the characters and their relationships with one another because they give that feel that this movie is trying to act more like the original Star Trek series. The only problem I have with the characters that I didn't know until after I saw the movie is when they suddenly added that Sulu is actually gay with a boyfriend/ husband and an adopted daughter. I didn't realize that when I was watching the film, but then my brother explained to me how this is actually a thing where they decided to add more support to the gay community or something like that after gay marriage became legal. While I don't have a problem with supporting the legal community, you can tell it was very shoehorned in and it added nothing to the plot or even much of Sulu's character.

The action is not memorable, but it has some good moments. The shooting scenes are exciting, and the force they were up against were legitimately threatening. I won't give away the climax, but the action scene where they play the song Sabotage by the Beastie Boys is fun to watch. Some of the effects had some good moments as well, particularly with the makeup for some of the aliens were impressive to see. In fact, I'm curious as to how this film will fare against Suicide Squad for best makeup at the Oscars.

The only real major problem I have with the movie was the villain, Krall. On one hand, he started off good with his intimidating presence, his cool design and how easily his army can destroy the Enterprise. Krall is played by Idris Elba and the way he's been in so many movies these days you can't really go wrong with him. Unfortunately, when we do find out what's Krall's backstory it's not only bland, but it's actually very confusing. Like maybe this would be better explained if I saw this movie again with subtitles or something, but at the same time, I don't even understand what specifically happened that gave him his motivation or give him his ability to drain energy from people or anything else he does. In fact is goal is pretty dull; it's just trying to destroy the Federation which we've already had in the past two films with Nero and Kahn, but at least for those two villains we have a clear understanding as to why they wanted to have anything to do with the Federation let alone want to destroy it. Here, I didn't catch a thing as to why this guy wants to harm a fly let alone the Federation, so really you could have left out all of the details about his real identity or how he got his powers and you potentially would have lost nothing. Even his secret weapon isn't all that intimidating. You get that it's dangerous and you worry about Kirk and Spock in the Enterprise and the Federation well enough, but the same time it's not really clear what exactly the weapon does- at least not in the way that gives an identity like the red matter in the first reboot movie. It's like Incubus' tentacle ability in Suicide Squad or that execution room in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them; you don't really know what is happening, so there is no emotion or investment to what is happening.

And that's my review for Star Trek Beyond. Its villain is very weak, but it otherwise delivers in being a fun Star Trek adventure with cool action and enjoyable moments between the enterprise crew that makes it feel more like the original series while still being its own thing. It's not the strongest Star Trek film, but it's a nice time.

Rating: 70%

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