The other popular Sci-Fi series J.J Abrams helped reboot and rejuvenate with the word ‘Star’ in the title, Star Trek continues to resonate with audiences young and old and coming July 21 is the next installment in the adventures of the Starship Enterprise and its crews journeys across space in; ‘Beyond’.
A real life crew reshuffle has left Justin Lin of Fast and Furious fame to take over as Director, and the script was penned by actor and fellow co-star in Simon Pegg, so naturally a shift in tone and structure is to be expected, and the film is already marred by the tragic death of Anton Yelchin a few weeks back, who plays the role of Chekov. After two surprisingly decent predecessors the stakes are high for the third installment in the Star Trek reboot.
Taking less of an approach to Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock’s (Zachary Quinto) on-off bestie friend bromance ‘Beyond’ attempts to craft a whole crew vibe, in fact the catalyst of the film’s point of no return separates the two lead characters after their ship crashes on an unknown planet in unchartered territory and they must regroup in dire circumstances.
Constantly on the backfoot, Spock is injured, luckily he crashes alongside Bones (Karl Urban), the on board medic who patches him up. Kirk is tasked with trusting an alien, who may or may not have an agenda of her own, plus Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Sule (Jon Cho) are trapped as prisoners with the rest of the crew and must find a way to rescue the non-speaking role characters. To compound their troubles, a ruthless baddie named Krall, played by an unrecognizable Idris Alba is hunting the Enterprise crew, also after a trinket of great power.
The flow of this movie is quite different to the previous films, which is to be expected with a new Director, there’s plenty of attempts at interesting canted framing and movement, frantic pace and action, however its often in a blur of special effects and daresay comes off as fake looking – obviously it is but the genius of J.J’s films before this was a sense of realism in the farcical. Additionally, the stakes feel lowered in this installment and it isn’t until almost halfway through the story you realise this is the movie, and not the epilogue to the movie.
I fear Star Trek: Beyond may have missed the mark, even swept up in the World Premiere glitz I just couldn’t give it anything beyond (hehe) a pass mark. Time will tell how audiences will respond, as maybe this is what the true passionate fans want – a film less focused on the crew’s personal misadventures and more their explorations of the final frontiers of space and the challenges that presents.