“Star Trek Beyond”: A Sequel Worth Watching

STAR TREK BEYOND
Left to right: Anton Yelchin plays Chekov and Chris Pine plays Kirk in Star Trek Beyond from Paramount Pictures, Skydance, Bad Robot, Sneaky Shark and Perfect Storm Entertainment. Image Source: comingsoon.net

Star Trek Beyond is directed by Justin Lin and stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, and Idris Elba. The movie is the third in the new Star Trek franchise and is about the USS Enterprise getting into trouble as they explore deep space, causing the crew to encounter a new enemy (Elba) set on taking down the Federation.

The Good

I was incredibly excited to see this film, especially considering how much I seriously enjoyed the first two in this new franchise, both directed by J.J. Abrams. While Abrams may have moved back to only producing, not directing, Beyond, his footprint is still all over this movie, and that is no way a bad thing. This film is an excellent blend of relatively new ideas mixed with exactly what was so great about the first two, and I thought Justin Lin brought his expertise (Fast & Furious films) into this franchise and did a solid job directing.

Chris Pine continues to shine as Captain James Kirk, being just as charismatic and enjoyable to watch as ever. Pine may be struggling to find his footing in some of his other films, but he has perfected the lead role in this massive franchise.

All the returning cast members are great, with Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, and the late Anton Yelchin being the standouts. Quinto as Spock just feels right, and his quick comedic moments, as well as some well-done emotion just show how well he fits the character. Urban may have been the funniest character in the film, as he nails the vast majority of his jokes as Bones while also being an interesting character to watch. Seeing Yelchin on screen was a bittersweet feeling for very obvious reasons, but I’m happy to say that he is fantastic in his final chance to play as Chekov.

The action and the comedy that has worked so well in the first two films of this franchise are back and as good as any installment before it. While I enjoyed how much it stuck with what I loved, I did enjoy the new characters, especially the villain played by Idris Elba. No spoilers, but one specific scene in this movie that I will call the “Sabotage” scene, may be one of my favorite moments in a movie this year.

The Bad

While I said I liked how familiar this movie felt to its predecessor, there is a pretty constant feel of familiarity from start to finish. Not that the energy and style of these movies are getting stale, but I do feel that Justin Lin had a shot to make this series go in a much different direction, but instead he just went a little off course and stayed in Abrams’ lanes. Because of all this, sometimes Beyond just falls under the shadow of the incredible 2009 film.

The film takes quite a bit of time to pick up in pace, and I found myself pretty bored for the first fifteen to twenty minutes. Besides that, there’s just some small scenes here and there that feel like they don’t belong in the rest of the movie, either for being out of place or for being simply uninteresting.

Conclusion

Star Trek Beyond is a much-needed blast of energy in this incredibly dull summer film season. The action and visuals are a delight, as are all of the performances, and director Justin Lin does a solid job at not only keeping this film franchise moving but at making a truly entertaining film to watch. It may not be as great as the two films that came before it, and it all may seem familiar, but more of the same is perfectly fine with me when it comes to this series.

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What did you think of Star Trek Beyond?  Comment below with what you thought.


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