By Christian DiMartino
I’m a few days behind on reviewing Star Trek Beyond, considering I saw it Thursday. But to go even further, I haven’t really reviewed anything since The BFG, which felt like a long time ago. So… I’m back. There’s that.
Well, actually, a few more days have gone by since I wrote that. And I really have no excuse. I’m currently out of work, so I guess I can put myself to use. But enough about me. Let’s talk Trek.
J.J. Abrams really got things cookin’ with these revamped Star Trek films. He did just what every reboot should do: he converted non-believers, like myself. I’m a dork, yes, but at the time that first film came out, I was against it because it’s for dorks. Make any sense? Nah. But then I saw it, and ya know, it made me want more.
Abrams stepped out of the captain’s seat for Star Trek Beyond though, because he did a little movie called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Maybe you heard about it. Filling in this time is Justin Lin, best known for the later Fast and the Furious films. The result is the weakest of the three films, but still a fun, solid outing, bringing out the best from this great cast.
Things begin business as usual. Kirk (Chris Pine) is line for a promotion. Spock (Zachary Quinto) is having relationship troubles with Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and is mourning the loss of a fellow Spock (that being, of course, the late Leonard Nimoy. The film pays lovely tribute to both him and the late Anton Yelchin, who, in one of his final roles, returns as Chekov).
It kinda plays like an episode of The Office, but in space. That is, until their ship is seriously attacked and pretty much destroyed. Who’s doing the destroying? His name is Krall, and, underneath heavy, awesome make-up, he is played by Idris Elba, who can really sell the hell out of any role. Why did he attack? Good question. I really don’t know. Maybe I blinked and missed it. Maybe you could tell me.
But anyways, the main crew members (aka, the ones that we care about) make it out of the ship. They land on an island, and do their best to get back up in the air. While there, Scotty (Simon Pegg, a co-writer this time) meets an alien woman named Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), and of the new additions, Jaylah is the scene stealer.
This film works for the same reasons that the previous three did. The cast members have a very good rapport. It’s great fun to see Spock and Bones (Karl Urban) playing off of each other. Visually, it’s a stunner. In terms of production value, it’s a wonder (also, an early contender for the Best Make-Up Oscar. Seriously). There’s plenty of funny moments, showing that the gang isn’t taking anything too seriously. And most of all, it’s funny.
Yet, it’s sort of dragged down by the plot. Which is fine, but it feels a bit thin and redundant. It’s only two hours, but at times, it feels a little more than that. I’m also, again, not confident in what Krall’s deal is.
But hey, any movie including an action sequence set to The Beastie Boys is fine by me.