Wednesday, February 22, 2017
"You were the chosen one! It was said that you would lift the curse, not strengthen it! Bring video game movies out of the hole, not dig it deeper!"
- quote from Michael Kaye. Check out his review for the movie here: http://www.geeksgamers.com/movies/648-assassin-s-creed-film-review.html
Plot: Callum Lynch is a murderer who is sentenced to be executed but is rescued by Abstergo Industries. He is told that the Templars are searching for the Apple of Eden, which contains the genetic code for free will, in order to subjugate the human race and they need the memories of his ancestors back in the time of the Spanish Inquisition to do it. There Callum finds out that he comes from a line of Assassins who fight the Templars with the goal to free people from the Templars' tyrrany and the Assassins must find a way to obtain the Apple of Eden before the Templars do.
In my opinion, making a good video game is not impossible. All it takes is giving it to the right people who won't pretend to be anything else or talk down to their audience and above all will stick to the source material and what makes it good. Assassin's Creed by its concept alone is a great example of that. The movie got so much hype long before it hit theaters because the idea was perfect for an interesting movie. It's a story about a battle between good and evil and going back in time with the genetic code of your ancestors with all these different weapons, gadgets, mythology and unique opportunities to be both violent and educational at the same time. So with all of this material available, Assassin's Creed was deemed as the one video game film to finally destroy the curse of bad video games movies once and for all. Now I came to see this in theaters slightly nervous about it just from seeing the cover for Jeremy Jahns' review of the movie where he is pinching his temples while standing right next to the poster for the film. I was hoping that I would find a movie that somewhat similar to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in that this would be a misunderstood film that has a few notable flaws but has good ideas that make it an all-around enjoyable movie. When I left the theater, I and the guy I saw the movie with, Kevin thought that it was a mixed bag at best, but the more I thought about it later, the more I realized that this film is deep down another film where they almost completely dismiss the heart of the source material.
Let's start with the good stuff. First of all, I liked Michael Fassbender's character even though his backstory felt very generic. The action scenes - while surprisingly lacking in blood which is one of the most notable aspects of the video games, has some really cool moments. Some of the costumes and sets look are good and faithful to the time period of the Spanish Inquisition and the faithful design of the Abstergo Industries building was nice to see. The visual effects had some noticeably good moments too. I saw this movie in 3D and for the most part, the 3D in this movie was neat to see. It wasn't blow-me-away fantastic like the 3D for movies like Avatar, Titanic 3D or Pacific Rim, but I appreciate that it wasn't supposed to be something as big as the 3D in those films. It's mostly there to be used for extreme wide shots of the locations or specific points of view that looked really neat to see making it a good way of incorporating the 3D without making it a theme. I also really appreciate that the film does give us the basic idea of what Assassin's Creed is about. Could they have done better? Absolutely, but I appreciate that it didn't waver from the general story and mythology as a whole.
Okay so with all the good stuff by the way, what's really bad about this movie? Well, I'd say the biggest complaint for me is that there are a lot of things that are left unexplained. For one thing, we don't quite understand what is happening during the time of Callum's ancestor. We get the gist that they're trying to protect this young prince from being used to get the Apple of Eden, but we don't really dive into why the apple is so important. In fact, when I was talking to Kevin after the movie was over, he made a really good point that they don't really explain what the Apple of Eden even does. All we get is Sophia and her father saying that it's going to rid the world of violence and things like that, but we never see it happen. In the video games, you see people use the Apple of Eden to control people, making the danger behind the artifact real, but in the movie, nobody uses it. If they showed the Templars using the Apple of Eden against other people to show how important it is to keep it away from them, then the audience would be on board with what is happening. In fact, there were moments where I thought a character was going to use it on another person to get what they want, but for whatever reason, they decided not to. In a way, the lack of establishing the danger is right up there with the execution seen in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Incubus' tentacle attack in Suicide Squad and Krall's weapon in Star Trek Beyond; meaning the characters are expressing how serious the problem is, but not in a way where the audience can connect to what is happening.
The biggest problem with many fans is the fact that they focus too much on Callum, Sophia and her father in the real world and not nearly on Callum's ancestor. Not to be fair, I get why they made this decision. From a storytelling standpoint, I can see how it made more sense to the filmmakers to focus more on what's happening in the present than in the past because the general plot line is about who gets the Apple of Eden in the present. But the fact is part of what made the Assassin's Creed games so good is the fact that we are focusing on the past. We get to know all these fictional characters who interact with these famous people in history and have their own adventures that tie into specific moments in history, because like I said before, one of the strengths of the Assassin's Creed games is how they're violent but also educational in they're own special way. But here, we get so little of what takes place in Spain that I hardly got to know any of the characters that were in that time period. I had a general gist of who they were and their relationships with one another but I wanted much more than that. I wanted to get to know them more than I know Callun or anyone else from the present but instead, I know so little that I don't know who their names are or even if the movie told us who they are. This is a particular problem because it's this kind of information that's where I thought this movie could have been the one to break the curse of bad video game movies. It's set during the Spanish Inquisition, there's bound to be plenty of people both fictional and non-fictional that Callum's ancestor could interact with, and we could have gotten a fictional, action-packed version of some notable points in history. By all accounts, substance like this I think would have secured in this movie becoming good, but instead, they left it out to focus more on Callum, which - while not horrible, is boring by comparison.
Show me the biggest let down in this movie is the ending. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen the movie yet, but while I do understand why they made this choice, it still led to an anticlimatic ending with a forced 180 on Sophia's character. Obviously they were hoping that this was going to lead to sequels, but given all the other problems I already listed, that isn't happening any time soon.
And that's my review for Assassin's Creed. I think I understand why they made the decision to focus more on the present then in the past, but it's the past that gives Assassin's Creed as a video game franchise its meat and what we really wanted to see. When we do see the Spanish Inquisiton and all the action that goes with it, the film is good, but since it's not as much of a focus as it should have been, Assassin's Creed has sadly fallen victim to the video game movie curse like so many before it. There are more insulting adaptations to video games than this, but sadly this is another film to prove that the curse is going to stay for a little while longer.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Plot: It's been a year since Tarzan and Jane have gotten married. Jane wants to secretly surprise Tarzan with a party to celebrate their marriage, but Tantor and Terk, try to convince her otherwise by reminding her of some of the adventures she and Tarzan have experienced. The first is a story about Jane's friends from London coming to the jungle and wanting to make Tarzan act civilized, the second is about two men convince Tarzan to lead them to a cave of diamond, and the third one is about Tarzan getting jealous when a childhood friend visits Jane.
Tarzan and Jane might be one of the cheesiest direct to DVD Disney sequels I have ever seen. There are one or two things I do like about it and it did start the Tarzan animated series which was a decent show, but for what it is, it's so cheesy and so boring that is probably one of the least interesting Disney sequels that I have seen.
What makes this sequel so unbearably corny are the stories themselves. It probably goes without saying that it's clearly not even really a coherent story worthy of a full length movie given that it's just three stories of together just like with Cinderella II and Atlantis 2: Milo's Return which I'll get more into with those two some other time, but man are the stories themselves cliche. At first I couldn't even get past the first 10 minutes of this movie just because I could tell very quickly what was going to happen in the first story and I really did not want to go through that. The other two stories fell pretty hard into the line of being boring and predictable - especially the third story which has a big misunderstanding thing going on between Tarzan and Jane and it's as dumb as it sounds. I think the most annoying thing about all three stories is that the one thing they all have in common is there is always a conflict between Tarzan and Jane over how much Tarzan should try to give up or try to adapt into the ways of Jane's old life. Now don't get me wrong, the concept of that is good and I'm sure somewhere there's some interesting stories that Disney could have done, but the way they do it here is so predictable and uninteresting that it's hard to really pay attention.
The animation is obviously a major downgrade from the first film. The first movie was so creative with Tarzan swinging and surfing vines and has all these quick moves, but here, you can tell that they're trying to keep into the spirit of it, but it's just not the same. This is also a shame because some of the stunts that Tarzan pulls in this movie like escaping an erupted volcano could have come out really cool to see if they had the right budget.
Speaking of the original film some more, I'm just going to say it; where in the world is Kala? I mean yes, she briefly appears without a line at the very end of the movie, but why does she not have a leading role in this movie? Or even the show for that matter? I know that the title is Tarzan and Jane, but I get the feeling both this film and the TV show make Karla completely disappear along with the rest of the Apes. I guess that's kind of a bother for me because in my mind, I often viewed the first movie as partly a mother and son story. It did have all the adventures with Tarzan being conflicted with being half man and half ape and things like that, but it always seemed to come back also being a story about a mother and a son and what they're going through together. So with that in mind, I find it a little concerning that Kala has almost no part whatsoever in Tarzan and Jane or the show. I'm not saying that the focus shouldn't still be on primarily Tarzan, Jane, the professor, Tantor and Terk, but shouldn't we see Kala every now and then? Isn't he supposed to take care of the apes after Kerchak's death? I also say this because when I was a kid, I remember seeing music videos advertising this movie that lead me to believe that it was going to be about Kala and the apes accepting Jane as part of the family. I guess to me that is so much more interesting than anything this film gave instead.
If I have anything legitimately positive to say about the movie, I will say that I liked Jane's role. While none of the original voice actors come back and most of their replacements sound a little off, the voice actress who replaced Minnie Driver gives her own energy to it. I also really like the moments where she shows that she's braver and more accustomed to the ways of the jungle than she was in the first film. The first story contains her and her friends ending up lost int he jungle and she just does all these things that disgust her friends but she's like "we're doing this or we're going to die. Simple as that." That was nice to see. There's also moments where she tries to be a little more like Tarzan like surfing vines or trying to help him against a panther or something.
And that's my review for Tarzan and Jane. I liked watching Jane herself, but the plot is as cheesy and predictable as you can get, the animation is not as good as the original, and I think it would've worked better if it was more about Jane and Kala more than any of the stories they're telling here. At the very least it lead to the TV series which like I said was decent, but on the whole, I would definitely skip this.
Alright I've been meaning to see this movie for a while, just happen to have enough free time before going to work, and now that I finally see and it's how was it? I would say it's pretty good. What I say it says good on par with Zootopia? No, but for what it was I had a good time.
First off the story itself is interesting. The legend that's told in the beginning was a good backstory and it let me wanting more. But what drives the movie the most is Dwayne Johnson and Auli'i Cravalho as Maui and Moana. There are aspects to the development of their other relationship that I thought were mediocre, but they still work because at the same time you can tell it's done with a sense of heart. Johnson I thought was maybe a little too cocky for my taste as Maui, but he had a few good jokes, some pretty cool powers and a backstory that I'll admit I kind of liked. His origin isn't black and white, you can understand why he did what he did and it was kind of nice. Moana was also an interesting character. She's not entirely your typical Disney princess, she wants to go out there and be her own thing, but she is also a quick thinking leader for her village. I also like how there are a couple of moments where they make fun of some of the stereotype of Disney princesses in a way that's kind of too obvious but is backed up with Moana being so passionate of what she wants, is very strong-willed and because of the journey that she goes through. If there any of the characters that I like to bring up I would say the Ocean as a character was surprisingly likeable. Even though it's supposed to be some mythical spirit, they also gave it an interesting and fun personality that led to some cute jokes.
The animation is movie is beautiful. I know that's to be expected from Disney, but it's a marvel here. There are so many moments in the film where I find myself being blown away at how beautiful everything looks. There are so many great shots that lead to a lot of breathtaking colorful imagery and some impressive effects
The music in this movie is great. There are a couple that I am not too big on namely Johnson's song You're Welcome even though it is catchy and the crab song Shiny which I also thought was the weakest part of the film. But some of the other songs I found myself enjoying so much that I bought online. The Village song, Where You Are had some fun moments, We Know The Way was a lot of fun, and I really love Moana's song How Far I'll Go. I wouldn't say it's as big as Let It Go, but as far as a Disney princess song goes I really enjoyed it. It was deep, it was powerful, it was exciting - just the chorus alone made me feel watery eyes it was so powerful. And it really plays of to an emotional and fulfilling end of the second half.
If I had any other problems apart from the scene with the crab, it would have the be the climax. On the one hand it has some amazing visuals, the villain looked cool and the twist was unexpected, but I think there could have been a better build up for how they handle the twist. They settle the twist with a moral that is good but feels a little out of nowhere and doesn't really connect to what the twist is. Maybe it's something that makes sense the more you watch the film, but as well meaning as the ending is, it felt a little forced to me.
And that's my review for Moana. The main characters are fun to watch, the side characters are likable, the music is a delight to listen to for any Disney fan and the animation is some of their best work yet with 3D animation. If they handled things like the moral at the end a little better, and maybe cut out the giant crab, it could be a little more solid, but it's still a great addition to Disney's collection of animated films. I think Zootopia is the stronger film because of the subject it was talking and had a lot more jokes, but this is still an enjoyable Disney film to check out.
Plot: George, Sedgewick, and Elliot (Pa Grape, Mr. Lunt and Larry the Cucumber respectively) are employees at a dinner theater who want to be seen as heroes by their loved ones but believe their dreams are unattainable because they are cabin boys. Suddenly, a mysterious object called the Helpseeker transports them to the kingdom of Monterria where Princess Eloise summoned them to be the heroes that will save her brother Alexander and their father the king from an evil pirate named Robert the Terrible.
So how does the second VeggieTales movie holdout? Sadly it's much more childish in a way that makes it a downgrade compared not only to its predecessor but to VeggieTales in general. Jonah wasn't a phenomenal kids film, but for what it was, it still succeeded in being a fun film for both kids and adults to enjoy. It had lovable moments with everyone's favorite VeggieTales characters, fun music, and a good message about God and his love. This film, on the other hand, seems to focus more on just the kids which gives us some of the cheesiest things ever to be put into VeggieTales.
The biggest problem with this film is how unbearably cheesy the script is. The main story is about the three heroes overcoming their flaws such as not being scared of everything, being lazy and always being a "yes man." All of these flaws lead to morals that you can see from little kid shows from PBS or Discovery Kids or some really cheesy Saturday morning cartoons. You know from the first scene with all three of them what is going to happen practically step by step. It even has the horrible cliche of the liar reveal story line which, to the film's credit, they don't really get into it as long as they could have, but it's still there. I know that this is mostly meant for kids, but part of what made VeggieTales so popular was how it was something that both kids and adults can enjoy together as a family as well as delivers morals that connect to God's word. I get that this film is kind of a spin-off of sorts, but it just feels like they're not really trying when they replace important lessons about God and his love with these overused morals about not being afraid or lazy. Heck, do they even mention God in this movie?
If I had anything good to say about the movie I would say that while the villain is cheesy, his mechanical suit was kind of cool and while the songs as a whole don't really stand out, I have to admit the Jolly Joe's song was enjoyable in a silly yet fun kind of way and the TobyMac song at the end credits What We Gonna Do? was pretty catchy. I also like the moments where Elliot is brave or with his girlfriend, but that's mostly because Larry is my favorite character.
And that's my review for The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTalbes Movie. It has some little nice things about it, but it otherwise makes it clear that it's only meant for little kids. The script is cheesy, the villain is forgettable, and the morals are as overused as you can get. You'll like it fine if you are a kid, but if not, then this is one film you should skip.
Plot: Set the summer break after the first three films, the students of Canterlot High are going on a camping trip at Camp Everfree. Things go well until the camp appears to be plagued with bizarre magical circumstances relating to a local urban legend. Things get more curious when Twilight, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Applejack and Rarity appear to have somehow gained new magical powers and Twilight and Sunset Shimmer can't agree on whether or not these abilities are good or bad.
When Hasbro announced that the next Equestria Girls movie was going to take place outside of Canterlot High - saying it was either going to take place at a beach or a forest at the time, I was a little excited for it. It sounded right that we should finally have a film where it doesn't take place at the school. The first three films had scenes that took place in other sites such as Pinkie Pie's house, Sugarcube Cafe, and Crystal Prep Academy, but in the end, all the stories primarily took place in this one specific location, so it's nice to finally have a movie were we almost never see Canterlot High. When it was later announced that it was going to take place at a school Camp, I got a little nervous thinking that there's going to be a couple of clichés that might hurt the film. Granted, even with the first Equestria Girls film, Hasbro Studios and DHX Studios currently haven't let us down with giving us something good despite using some clichés, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt. After seeing it a few times now before writing this review, I can say that there are a bunch of things that are really good... and there are some things that I think are mediocre at best.
The first and foremost highlight to talk about is characters. Like the show Friendship is Magic, Legend of Everfree takes advantage of all the lovable characters that My Little Pony has to offer. Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer are still the main focus and what they do with them is done well. As a big fan of Sunset Shimmer, I really enjoy watching her grow more and more as the series goes on to the point where she has basically become the voice of reason among the rest of the main characters. There's also the storyline of Twilight Sparkle being afraid that she might become Midnight Sparkle again which was also done very well. You understand her fear that somehow she may be the cause of the magic that's happening at Camp Everfree, and it also leads to a decent conflict between Twilight and Sunset Shimmer disagreeing on whether to consider the magic at Camp Everfree as either a good thing or a bad thing. The other main characters don't have as big of individual roles in the movie as Twilight and Sunset Shimmer, but they're still enjoyable. We got a couple of good laughs with Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy as adorable as ever, we got Applejack as the other voice of reason so to speak, and Rainbow Dash is...well, Rainbow Dash. The only one I didn't enjoy was Rarity. She was kind of annoying with her constant talk about her camp fashion show. The magical abilities they gain work for all of them and they leave me wanting more for future projects.
The supporting characters are surprisingly really enjoyable as well. We get more appearances of some of our favorite background characters like Vinyl Scratch or my personal favorite background character, Octavia Melody. We also get some cute jokes from Bulk Biceps, and we even get a brief line from Derpy Hooves AKA the most beloved background character in the show. That might not sound like much for you who aren't Bronies and/or pegasisters, but believe me when I say just a mere line from Derpy Hooves even after the 100th episode: "Slice of Life" is wonderful.
There's also surprisingly a significant amount of romance in the film too. Without giving too much away (though I don't think it would mean much if I did), it seems they have made it official that Twilight Sparkle and Flash Sentry are never going to get together. For me, this is a real shame considering how I've been wanting them to work something out between these two because I believed that they could have become a likable couple. All of that being said however, I can't deny the fact that the concept of Twilight and Flash getting together has had such a terrible backlash even before the first Equestria Girls film came out and they haven't really done much with it in the past three films to begin with. So as much as I hate to admit that a ship that I have been supporting is going down the tubes, I have to reluctantly agree that at the same time it's for the best that they have. But with that out of the way, we have a new romance with Twilight's, this time with Timber Spruce. As far as a romance that was introduced in the fourth Equestria film, it's surprisingly not bad. It may not be my favorite MLP shipping, but the development of their relationship is surprisingly pleasant to watch. Timber Spruce it is smart like Twilight, he's caring for his sister Gloriosa and his interaction with Twilight somehow works. The moves he makes on her are corny but he makes them in a way where you can tell he's doing it with a good heart. I won't spoil the ending, but it indicates that maybe they could eventually go further into their relationship, and I think that's something to admire with Hasbro and DHX Studios. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is still quote-unquote "for kids," and DHX and Hasbro have a record of giving us hints of romance in general and then throw them under the rug in order to focus more on just friendship. We may have some possibilities with characters like Spike and Rarity and - as mentioned before, Twilight Sparkle and Flash Sentry, but in the long haul they usually go absolutely nowhere. Any romance we do get comes from other couples who have already fallen in love so there's little room for any real romantic stories. So with that all said and done, I feel hopeful that they're willing to take a possible romance to a deeper level with Twilight Sparkle and Timber Spruce. Who knows? Maybe if we get another Equestria Girls film, we'll get more development between the two of them. I'm open to it.
The music in this movie is good.... but not great. In the long-term, the soundtrack is very enjoyable to listen to, but I guess I just hoped there would be a couple more enjoyable songs than what we have. I guess what I mean by that is I was hoping that we would have music that's more catchy and get stuck in my head for days on end like some of the other EG songs like Academia or Under Our Spell or Help Twilight Sparkle Win The Crown. But all the songs here are still good. The Main title song is nice, I enjoy Sunset Shimmer's song Embrace The Magic, the villain song We Will Stand For Everfree is not as great as Under Our Spell or This Day Aria, but it's still enjoyable enough, Be The Legend You Were Meant To Be is a decent tune and I really enjoy the lyrics behind Hope Shines Eternal. If there's a song that I kind of like the least, it would have to be Midnight In Me. I'm sure I'm going to get a lot of the dislike for this, but to me, it was one of those Daniel Ingram song where it's really good, but I hate that it's only one verse and one chorus long. Everything about it is great from the emotion behind what Twilight Sparkle is expressing to the visuals they're using to express how she feels, but I feel like they could have done more.
If there are any major problems with the movie it would have to be the villain and the climax. To be fair, the villain is better than Sunset Shimmer and especially Principal Cinch, but while her motivations are understandable and relatable, her actions don't really matter. This is spoiler territory so I won't go into any details, but it feels like the solution to the villain's problems could easily have been fixed without Twilight, Sunset Shimmer, and the others. The final showdown between Sunset, Twilight and their friends against the villain is also a bit of a letdown. Don't get me wrong, what they do with the big reveal concerning their powers is great and it also leaves four possibilities of what they're going to do for future projects, but as far as going against the villain is concerned, it's a bit of a repeat from defeating past MLP villains. It doesn't necessarily hurt the film altogether, but it's a bit of a disappointment that they didn't try something different with the final showdown like what they did with the confrontation between Sunset Shimmer and Twilight during the end Friendship Games and I hope they're planning to avoid it in the future.
And that's my review for My Little Pony: Equestria Girls -Legend of Everfree. It's not as strong as the last two films, but it still delivers in being a nice experience with some of our favorite My Little Pony characters that leaves me wanting more. It's not great, but it's still a better film than the first Equestria Girls movie which is always a good thing. It's the weakest of the sequels, but it's still a nice time.
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.