Although many traditionalists consider the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek universe to be too much of a detraction of the Original Series, it’s difficult to deny that that the first 2 instalments of this franchise has offered a beautiful combination of heart-racing action and elegantly developed characters considering how old these names are to general public.
However, with Abrams taking on the unenviable position of high chief of the new Star Wars trilogy, the door was left open for a new director to step in and inject a fresh impetus to this already impressive series. That person, as luck would have it, is the man responsible for the current resurgence in the Fast and Furious movies: Justin Lin. Would he be able to improve on Abrams’ vision? Or will the Nacelles fall off the Starship once and for all?
Round 1 – The Plot
Much like what was mentioned in the opening monologue of Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk, sci-fi adventure movies rarely offer anything new or interesting that will break new ground within the genre. Although at its core the story is quite formulaic, this somehow seemed a much fresher take on the typically recycled narrative.
What sets “Star Trek Beyond” apart from the other Films of this current generation is the ease in which the story develops through it’s brilliantly crafted run-time. If the story needed to present exposition it did so respectfully, if action was needed, it was provided cleverly without being unnecessary and if the characters needed to share an intimate moment, they did so carefully and meaningfully.
From a perfect 1st act to a heart-stopping finale, this story of unity and survival during insurmountable odds makes for incredible viewing and, dare it be said so soon, real enjoyment throughout.
ROUND 1 SCORE – 9/10
Round 2 – The Characters
It seems to be said a lot about films that succeed in contests like this, but effectively developed characters are the real reason Blockbusters succeed or fail with the general public these days, much like the disgrace that is Alice: Through The Looking Glass.
From the opening exchanges it was clear to see that the crew of the USS Enterprise are the main set piece of this current contest. From speeches of Unity to the feeling of desolution amongst the major members of the cast, it is impossible not to feel invested in every interaction between any character. When deaths occur, and they occur in abundance at one point, you are as devastated at the loss as the people you are watching.
Round 2 was easily won by the great performances of Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana and Sofia Boutella. However special mention must go to Idris Elba. Not only does Elba manage to continue the trend of British actors playing villains with relative ease, but he also managed to create a villain that deserves to be talked about for a long time to come.
ROUND 2 SCORE – 9/10
Round 3 – Overall Enjoyment
By the time Round 3 began, “Star Trek Beyond” was on the cusp of claiming a resounding victory in what has been a relatively woeful Summer for the movie industry. By the time Round 3 ended, “Star Trek Beyond” was stood tall and proud above any of its competition.
In terms of enjoyment, this is a perfect movie for those gloomy rainy afternoons. The action utilises the stakes of the characters enough to engage its audience brilliantly, the wave of events steadily flows throughout leaving very little time for the audience to become bored.
ROUND 3 SCORE – 10/10
An absolutely perfect tonic to a fairly grim Summer Movie Season. “Star Trek Beyond” offers incredible action, intimate character development and a subtle level of comedy that deserves a lot more credit than it will probably receive.
A film that is definitely worth watching during these colder Autumn nights. You’ll laugh, you’ll gasp and you’ll choke at the realisation of Anton Yelchin and Leonard Nimoy’s shocking death.
FINAL SCORE: STAR TREK BEYOND WINS 28/30