While Star Wars is more science fantasy and focuses on the conflict between good and evil, Star Trek is definitely a sci-fi hiking trip through interstellar space. As my father told me, ‘Everybody can get behind Star Wars, but Star Trek is for the nerds’ (Disclaimer: My dad loves Star Trek, so he’s not hating). If you didn’t know, the stories of the U.S.S. Enterprise are mainly about the exploration (or trekking, hence the name) of deep space, discovering planets and their species, forming alliances and kicking alien ass. And the latest sequel does just that; celebrating its themes and lore while creating a story sure to entertain everyone–not just nerds.
Set in the crash-landing of the Enterprise on an unexplored world, the stranded Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew go toe-to-toe with a lizard-like dictator named Krall (Idris Elba) whose plan is to destroy and rule over the universe with a biological weapon. While the plot sounds a bit too cliche and overused, the film does quite the opposite. It manages to turn every minute of the film filled with enough excitement & plot twists to keep the audience guessing for what could happen next. Star Trek: Beyond, directed by Justin Lin (Fast & Furious) was fast enough, but not too furious either, as it maintains its pace and doesn’t overload the film with too much action.
The script was nothing short of wonderful either, as one minute was full of quips and the next was tense and dramatic. The subplots created to explore the main characters’ personality and story were tightly knit with the main plot, not making it look unimportant nor emphasized too much.
The cast is as talented as usual, with the late Anton Yelchin, (who died this June 19, 2016) reprising his role as Chekov, Chris Pine as Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, John Cho as Sulu, and Simon Pegg as Scotty. My favorites from the film are newcomers Sofia Boutella as Jaylah, the alien who helps the stranded crew, and Idris Elba as Krall, the main baddie. I am sure that Boutella’s Jaylah will become a fan favorite, and will no doubt appear appear in another Star Trek flick. Idris Elba’s Krall, was one of the best villains of this year in my book, as he portrayed a scheming villain who, when fleshed out, only made him more of a threat than he already was. He was a villain who had no heroic urges or patriotic desires; just a mad man riddled with vengeance, nothing more and nothing less.
CGI and the makeup was definitely well done; nothing looked fake. The costume designs were impressive as well. The soundtrack was nothing but thrilling to listen to.
There isn’t much to rant about over this movie, mainly because the 2 hour flick ain’t bad. There’s no lens flare to cringe at, no rehash of plot to think about. It’s an enjoyable, original movie that was as geeky as it could get. What else do you need?
Overall, Star Trek: Beyond was definitely better than the previous installment, Into Darkness. As I said in the first paragraph, it’s a celebration of what Star Trek is about. It touches themes on conflict and peace but keeps the story light enough for it to prance on lasers, witty humor, and space fights.
If that doesn’t convince you to watch, I don’t know what will.