Star Trek Beyond SPOILER-FREE Review
I was never a big Star Trek fan before J.J. Abrams rebooted the franchise, but I have really enjoyed the new films that have been made. They're fun, action packed, with really good performances and interesting characters. But when Abrams left the franchise to do Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, I was apprehensive about his replacement, Justin Lin. While he did a great job with the Fast and Furious films, I didn't know if that kind of loud, over-the-top action was a good fit for Star Trek. But regardless, I was still excited for this film. I was especially excited when a fourth film was confirmed, which you can read about here. So I went into this film with very high expectations. And while Beyond fits right in with the other Star Trek films as action-packed and fun, Abrams' absence is quite noticeable.
After the survivor of an alien attack comes to the Federation pleading for help, the Enterprise sets off into space in order to rescue the missing crew. However, they are intercepted, and taken captive. Stripped of his ship and most of his crew, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his remaining friends must try to defeat the evil Krall (Idris Elba) before he obtains a deadly weapon he plans to use against the Federation.
With the first Star Trek, Abrams essentially took a dying franchise and injected a bit of Star Wars into it in order to bring it back to life. And since then, the main objective of these films have been entertainment and fun. And Beyond does not disappoint on this end. This is a really enjoyable film to watch. There is plenty of great action scenes, but never too much that it feels out of place. The crew is all back, and the performances are all top notch. Everyone brings their A-game, and the dynamic between the characters feel exactly the same as from the previous films. We get to see Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Bones (Karl Urban) together, and that's something we haven't gotten a lot of in the previous movies. It was interesting to see, even if it meant sacrificing the back and forth of Spock and Kirk in this film.
The new characters introduced are all great. Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) was fantastic in this movie, and really stole it for me. She could have been better developed as a character, but her dynamic with Scotty (Simon Pegg) and her action scenes more than made up for that. She was a really interesting character, and I hope they find a way to bring her into Star Trek 4. Idris Elba plays the villainous Krall in this film, and he does a great job with what he's given. I have some problems with the writing of the character, which I'll get into later, but none of my problems had to do with the performance. Elba was great, and really brought it as the villain.
My biggest problem with the film for me was that J.J. Abrams' absence was very noticeable. It was missing something. An energy of sorts that was prevalent in the previous two films. It's similar to what happened with the Iron Man movies for me. Iron Man 3 just did not have the same feel as the Jon Favreau-directed movies, and it really took me out. I didn't want Lin to copy Abrams at all, but he brought something to the first two films that Lin just couldn't recreate. I also think Krall could have been fleshed out more as a character, and given more to do. He doesn't do a lot in the movie except throw punches and look menacing. It has nothing to do with the performance, just the writing. I also think the story could have been better developed. Just a few more tweaks to the script could have given this film a stronger story and would have made it, in turn, a stronger film.
Overall, Star Trek Beyond is a really fun, exciting film that is of the same quality as its predecessors. The chemistry between the main cast as good as always, and the performances were all top-notch. The additions of Jaylah and Krall were really good, even if they could have been developed better in the script. The CGI and the action are all great, especially the scene that uses the Sabotage song from the first trailer. It's the best part of the movie. While this film is as good as the previous two, it's clearly missing J.J. Abrams from it, as its missing a certain energy from it. But in the end, this is just another great addition to this franchise, and I can't wait to see the next one!
What do you think? Have you seen Star Trek Beyond? Did you like it? Leave your (spoiler-free) thoughts in the comments section below.
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