Star Trek Beyond
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Simon Pegg, Doug Jung, Roberto Orci, Patrick McKay, John D. Payne
Based on: Gene Roddenberry‘s TV show
Sequel to: Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella, Joe Taslim, Lydia Wilson, Danny Pudi, Greg Grunberg, Shea Whigham
Seen on: 26.7.2016
The Enterprise is about halfway through their five year mission of exploring uncharted space. But five years is a long time and Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) starts wondering about other career options. Before things get very far, though, they all land at Starbase Yorketown. The base has recently rescued Kalara (Lydia Wilson), a scientist whose ship was attacked. The Enterprise is sent off to rescue the rest of Kalara’s crew, but things don’t go as planned: instead the Enterprise is destroyed and the crew is stranded on the planet Altamid.
Star Trek Beyond was an entertaining film again and – to a non-Trekkie like me – it felt like the trekkiest of the new films so far. There are still a whole lot of plot holes and not everything worked flawlessly for me, but I had fun watching it.
One of the most consistent complaints about the new Star Trek movies is that they value the action over the very serious political ideas at the heart of the franchise. Star Trek Beyond is no exception to that. Nevertheless it did feel more true to what came before in the franchise. I think that’s partly because they are at a point now, plotwise, where the Enterprise crew actually gets to do its intended mission. But more than that it’s the characters and their interactions that work better. By now they really feel like a team and that’s kind of what I expect from the Enterprise crew.
There were still things that bugged me about the film. There were some really gigantic plot holes and general logical inconsistencies (“UNITY IS A WEAKNESS”, bellows the villain who created a hive-mind). There was the fact that Scotty was incredibly condescending towards Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) and I wanted to kick him in the shin for every time he called her “lassie.” And while I loved that it was revealed that Sulu (John Cho) has a husband and an adorable kid, it felt like the movie skirted around featuring a kiss between the two men (in a scene where every other couple would get a kiss, the two have to make do with a hug).
But despite the weaknesses, Star Trek Beyond is a thoroughly enjoyable film. It may not always make sense, but there is not a boring moment to it. There is a scene where they use Sabotage by the Beasty Boys to incapacitate the enemy that pretty much epitomizes that mix: if you think about it for longer than a second, it makes absolutely no sense that this should work they way it does, but as I watched the scene I didn’t really mind – I’d rather headbanged to the song. (Although it doesn’t quite reach the height of the musical explosions in Kingsman.)
The action was satisfying, the dialogues often very funny and the pacing fast enough that the bits full of wholes don’t make themselves felt that much. I didn’t expect more of the film – though I could understand that you’d feel disappointed if you wanted it to be more like the original series.