Kirk and the Enterprise crew are back in Star Trek Beyond.
The rebooted Star Trek franchise has once again made the classic sci-fi adventures of James T. Kirk ‘cool’. Star Trek Beyond is no exception. It’s a thrill ride. There are numerous pulse-pounding chase and action sequences throughout the film. It’s like the crew can’t go five minutes without getting on the wrong side of someone. And in this latest instalment, that someone is Idris Elba. Although, we’re not sure if his dialogue was poorly written – but his lines felt a little wooden. It’s as if they were pulled from a ‘How To Be a Star Trek Villain in 5 Simple Steps’ book.
His physical performance however, was hugely impressive. Conveying how much of a monstrous force that Krall has become with ease. He carries this weight with him that truly shows the audience the animosity he feels for Starfleet. When we start to discover more about Krall’s character, the film shoehorns a twist in that we feel like we’ve seen before… in the previous film. And we don’t mean in a ‘it’s all connected’ way, it’s essentially the same plot as Star Trek Into Darkness. Which is a shame considering that it’s still an enjoyable film. However, the plot feels a little messy and displaced at times. It feels like they’ve already shot the film, and then tried to fit the plot around the scenes afterwards. Some of the motivation behind Krall’s attacks feel almost unfounded. And some of the more spoilery elements of his character are filled with plot holes.
But lets move onto the positives. Character wise, all of the enterprise crew are given a considerable amount of development. With both Kirk and Spock dealing with a midlife crisis, and not living up to the legacies their respective father figures have left behind. Spock’s story deals with the real life death of Leonard Nimoy. This was a genuine and beautiful touch to the movie. Anton Yelchin’s character, Chekov, becomes a more integral part of the crew – partnering up with Kirk for the majority of the film. And if they plan any more sequels, they’ll certainly feel a little emptier without him.
We also loved the partnership between Spock and Bones throughout the middle portion of the film. Their constant bantering and bickering is one of the more humorous parts of Star Trek Beyond. And whilst the plot of the film is largely predictable, it’s smaller character moments like these that really bring it into it’s own. It also manages to stand on it’s own two feet, whilst it might be helpful to have seen the previous films – it’s not entirely necessary. It’s not restricted by sprawling plots or larger ‘universe building’ elements.
We also can’t praise the special effects enough. Some of the alien make-up and creature designs are absolutely astounding. Some of them (we won’t spoil which) have some hidden aspects that we were genuinely shocked and surprised by. And the film also has to be commended for it’s use of practical set design. Whilst some of the film is obviously CGI (eg. Space) whenever they get the chance, the actors are definitely on a real set. And in our modern age of the green screen, that’s a rare treat.
Whilst Star Trek Beyond isn’t exactly the best out of the franchise so far, it’s by no means a bad film. It has some excellent character moments and character development – with a well rounded cast. It’s an enjoyable flick, but don’t go in expecting an oscar-winning sci-fi film.
Whilst it's not the best out of the three Trek films, 'Beyond' still manages to entertain with ease. Even if it's a little slow getting started.
- Over extended action sequences
- Character moments/development
- Practical effects