Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Movie Talk - Star Trek Beyond

Nice homage to a pretty underrated Trek movie.

Well, this is a little late. I was actually planning on seeing this again and I still might, but I want to at least get my thoughts on Star Trek Beyond out. Seeing this movie ended up being a little hassle for me. I went to go see it opening weekend and it was pretty packed. I was busy earlier in the day with my family and I didn’t get to eat anything that morning or afternoon. I planned on eating something at the theatre, but that line was way too long. It was for the best though since I really need to watch what I eat. Besides, Panda Express was just a small walk away. Before you ask, I mostly got veggies.

Star Trek Beyond takes place three years after Star Trek Into Darkness. By the way, STID really doesn’t stand up on a re-watch but it is still entertaining. Anyway, they’re well on into their five-year mission. While they’re getting supplies at the Yorktown starbase, they get sent on a mission to escort a survivor from a planet in unexplored space. Unfortunately, it all turns out to be an ambush as a swarm of small ships attack the Enterprise when it reaches the planet. When the Enterprise is damaged beyond repair, Kirk and the crew must find a way to survive on the planet and stop the villain, Krall, from unleashing a deadly weapon.

Without getting into too much, I thought this was a better improvement over the last movie. The cast was at their best here. I also liked the newer characters we got. The effects and the action were on par with the previous two movies. Even the comedy worked. While I liked it, it did have some stuff that didn’t work out. It was mostly related to the villain, Krall, who didn’t get too fleshed out. Also, some of the writing could have been better. Still, I did think the movie was good in the end. If you want a better, more-spoilerish look, go on down.

I still want that jacket. Also, McCoy gets to be pretty cool here.

While it is heavy on action, I thought STB came together pretty well. When I started to see trailers and other previews about it, I was kind of worried. That first trailer was dogged on heavily and I can’t blame folk for hating it even though I did like it. I knew it wouldn’t just be full of all-out action and no plot. Thankfully, the later trailers were much better and actually showed the story may be. One thing I was glad about was that this wasn’t a re-hash or a revamp of a previous Trek story. It was more or less an original story with nice nods to the original series.

The thing that made it all work for me was the cast. I thought everyone was on their A-game this time. Everyone more or less got a moment to shine. Chris Pine was really good as Kirk here. He felt more like the Kirk of old here.  The banter between the crew was also really good especially between Spock and McCoy. There are some pretty touching moments as well. I also liked Jaylah, the alien female they meet up with on the planet. She had some great taste in music. Idris Elba was also good as the villain but there were some things about him I’ll discuss later in the CONS section.

The story was pretty decent this time as well. It felt like a spruced up episode of the classic series more so than the previous two movies did. Yeah, the ship gets blown up, but what can you do about that? I didn’t like that ship all that much anyway. It also tries to get a little messaging in which is what Star Trek is about. As usual, Kirk and Spock get some subplots in the general story and I thought they were fine. I will say Spock’s was more interesting since some of it involved Old Spock form the original universe. They actually handled Leonard Nimoy’s passing really well and there’s a moment towards the end that is a little emotional. Anton Yelchin's unfortunate passing is also given something at the end.

Ooohh... pretty.

The action is what you expect from these newer movies. It’s heavy, loud, and has many explosions. That was something that the new director, Justin Lin, excelled at here. The effects were pretty good as usual. The Yorktown especially looked pretty cool with the way it’s all laid out. It really reminded me of The Citadel from the Mass Effect series. I also thought the USS Franklin was a nice throwback to the Archer era of the franchise. Remember, that show is still kind of in continuity. The space battle scenes were pretty nice and the final space battle was one of the funniest/coolest things ever. If you’re wondering, yes, I’ll defend them using more modern music in the movies especially if it’s “classical” stuff like the Beastie Boys.

The only major downfall of the film to me.

While I did leave the theatre feeling good about the film, there were some things I didn’t like about it. The action could get a little too heavy. That’s more of a nitpick though since these movies have been really heavy on action. At least it’s good action. I did think the destruction of the Enterprise felt a little flat though that could be the fact that they spoil it the trailers. I thought some of the writing could have been better in some places. I kind of thought Kirk’s thing about leaving the Enterprise was a little vague. I may had missed something with his subplot thought. I did like that his father was mentioned.

Where I will throw glances at is with how Krall is handled. While I thought Elba did what he could with the role, his motives and backstory weren’t handled well. We find out an interesting twist about him towards the end. Don’t worry, he’s not Khan. He’s actually a long-lost captain from Archer’s era and he’s basically gone nuts. It’s kind of a staple from the series for these dudes to lose it, ain’t it? The twist is brought up and it’s executed pretty poorly. His motives on hating the Federation could have been also been handled better. I will say that Krall did leave me thinking on some stuff regarding his twist especially with the USS Franklin being involved.

You know you’re a Star Trek fan when you’re immediately wondering how this ship fits in with the timeline.

Overall, I thought this was good. If you’re a fan of the franchise and the newer movies, go see it. If you’re not a fan of the rebooted movies, at least consider it. It’s not what Trek usually is, but I did feel like the team tried to capture the feel of the original series here. Well, I gotta end it somewhere. Now, I got to go work on something a little special for the franchise. What is it? You’ll find out. Until then, Peace, God Bless, and “May The Power Protect You…”

Hey, it’s close enough.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the cast was on their A game for this one! Chris Pine felt a lot more like Kirk to me in this one, in a good way. And I totally agree that Krall was sadly undeveloped.