Friday, July 21, 2017

Star Trek Beyond

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!   The Enterprise doesn't even bother with infinity, they just go to the beyond part.

Star Trek Beyond – 4 out of 5

I’m going to preface this review by saying I’m a Star Wars guy and not really a Star Trek fan.  I find it odd that, within geek culture, we have to divide ourselves into camps and endlessly debate which one is better.  I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong with Trek, I’m just not a fan of it because it doesn’t capture my imagination the way it does its fans.  I don’t hate it, I don’t think people that like it are “wrong,” and I don’t obnoxiously think that my opinion of it is the “right” one.  That being said, I am a fan of this movie's timeline that has been established.  I find them to be great sci-fi fun mixed with some excellent popcorn action.  How does Star Trek Beyond, the third in this series, compare to the others?  Fairly well, actually!

Look at that thing, all boldly going and stuff.

To think, I used to not like this guy.  What a fool I was.
After finding his mission on the USS Enterprise to be unfulfilling, Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pines) puts in for a promotion and to have Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto) take his place.  However, after the crew decides to answer a distress call, the ship is attacked and crippled by a man named Krall (Idris Elba) and the crew is left alone on a derelict planet.  Kirk soon learns that Krall is in possession of a dangerous weapon and the man plans on using it against the Federation.  Now, with the help of the alien fighter; Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), (who has also been marooned on the same planet as the crew) Kirk must find a way to escape and stop the madman.

Sofia Boutella always plays the coolest characters...and may that continue!

One thing about this latest adventure of the crew of the Enterprise is it never really feels like a movie quality mission but rather something you’d see on the show over the course of a several episode arc.  Now, that sounds like a bad thing but it’s far from it.  The thing I really enjoyed about it is that this story feels like it was just part of their mission.  It begins with Kirk getting bored with the things he is doing and maybe wanting to move on and then they go on what is believed to be just another part of this mundane journey and they are slammed headlong into saving the day.  The whole film feels like you are just thrown into the daily mix of routines that goes on for the crew and were lucky enough to witness them at their best.  The story never inflates itself with delusions of grandeur or tries to come off like overly cinematic.  It comes off like a filler film but it’s a fun one that delivers on a solid adventure with a very threatening antagonist.

"We're fine, this will buff right out!"

Oh yeah, and this movie mentions that this timeline's
Sulu is gay.  The fanboy reactions was exactly as
you would predict them to take that.
Another segment of the story this film does very well is character development.  Alongside the mission to stop Krall, we get to learn a little more about our characters and it's delivered in a very organic feeling way and not in a forced "let's stop the flow for development purposes" way.  We get to see Kirk learn his devotion to the mission all over again, we watch as the relationship between Lieutenant Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Spock grows and has some rockiness, and much more.  There’s even a fantastic arc for the villain Krall as we learn about his mysterious past and why he is so desperate for revenge.  Finally, I really liked how cool Jaylah was.  All of this really makes the characters even more endearing and that much more fun to watch.  And speaking of fun, I swear Karl Urban gets more and more amusing as Doctor McCoy with every movie.

I'll be honest, out of context, this image looks like Bones is crawling out of
an alien toilet.

Other elements, such as the action and performances, are top notch.  All the actors in the film are continuing to provide charm with the characters they are portraying and making the whole crew an enjoyable band.  Additionally, with its great special effects, the film really delivers on some exciting action scenes.  For example, when the Enterprise is being ripped to shreds by Krall’s fleet of ships, it looks absolutely stunning!  Even the final conflict with Krall is very engaging and very satisfying.  One thing that is worth nothing about the action is the film uses Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” in order to solve one of its main conflicts.  I know that sounds weird and that’s because it is.  When it first began, I found myself chuckling at the idea of it because it comes off super silly and kinda forced but, as the action unfolds, I found myself being sucked into the madness of it and kinda enjoying it.

Idris Elba, a man seemingly incapable of not being completely awesome
at all times.

Star Trek Beyond is a mighty fine continuation of the previous two films and delivers on a great premise and entertaining and exciting action.  It’s sad that, because of his passing, this is the final film for Anton Yelchin as Chekov (he was so fun as him) and we won’t get to see him portray the character again but it’s still a very fun film.

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