At the Movies: Star Trek Beyond

Happy Monday, guys and gals!

After a weekend of new trailers and footage, cast announcements, and news from San Diego Comic-Con, fans and media alike are buzzing about what’s to come. But what about a movie that’s already here?

New to theaters this weekend was the release of the newest addition to the revamped  Star Trek cinematic saga, Star Trek Beyond. Being raised by a Trekkie, we of course had to go the day it came out. With Star Trek shirts ironed and tickets bought, we sat down to enjoy the film with excitement and somewhat heavy hearts in regards to the late Anton Yelchin, and the thought of some kind of tribute or storyline regarding the late Leonard Nimoy’s role as Spock Prime. There are spoilers ahead!

As usual, I’ll start with what I liked about the film.

1. Focus on the whole crew

In Into Darkness, the story gave us how far Kirk would go for his crew and how far they’d go for their captain. This time around that trust and determination to save each other felt more genuine; frantic but like a natural instinct. Each core member of Kirk’s crew and even a minor character or two were given plenty of screen time, character development, and a good bit of dialogue. This felt reminiscent of the old shows where nobody was put on the back burner. We got to see Sulu be not only as a badass pilot, but a family man, and someone who cares greatly for his crew.

star trek beyond with sulu

Zoe Saldana and John Cho as Lieutenant Nyota Uhara and Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek Beyond. Photo from Fandango.

We saw Uhura use more of her skills with xenolinguistics and hold her own fairly well in the presence of the film’s villain, Krall. We were able to see Anton Yelchin do more than run around yelling, “I can do zhat!” In his last appearance as Chekov, Yelchin fully came into his own as the youngest member of the crew who was by Captain Kirk’s side for quite a bit in this film.

2. Cinematography

The film gave us some cool shots from Director Justin Lin who typically gives us car chase sequences and a few shots of foreign landmarks and landscapes with the Fast and Furious series. From a cloudy mountain range to a wide view of the Yorktown base, Justin Lin’s work fit nicely into the Star Trek visuals we’ve seen before.

3. Nostalgia

The writers and director created great scenes and plot points that brought us back, not only to the 2009 Star Trek, but also to the original series. We were treated to Beastie Boys’ Sabotage and everyone around me chuckled at the light-hearted moment featuring the recognizable song.

Another moment that was memorable in a different way is when Spock goes through Spock Prime’s belongings and finds the photograph of the Enterprise crew from his universe. This is not only a nod to the original cast but Spock’s motivation for remaining Kirk’s First officer. While I’m not as well versed in every aspect of Star Trek culture, I recognized the U.S.S. Franklin. I’m sure older Trekkies recognized the ship’s name. For more Easter eggs  and recognizable moments check out this article from Inverse.

4. Humor

Once again, Karl Urban has us both humming at his words of wisdom and chuckling with his comebacks, metaphors, and grumpy disposition. Most of my favorite moments from the film involve Bones. One of my favorites is when Spock convinces Jim to send Bones along with him to the fly an enemy ship and we get the line, “Dammit, Jim! I’m a doctor not a (insert whatever ridiculous thing the crew wants him to do)!

The scenes between Bones and Spock were great, but we also once again found humor from Scotty. His interactions with Jaylah, played by Sofia Boutella, were amusing and heartwarming when he took on a parental like approach to encourage her.

There wasn’t much I didn’t like in this film, although there were few things that I thought were cheesy, or some things I would have liked to see but didn’t.

1. The explosion “wave”

When the enemy ships were blowing up surrounding the Enterprise crew as they flew in the Franklin it looked like they were riding a wave of fire. It was a cool visual but the “riding the wave” thing made me snort.

2. Jim calling his mom

Winona Kirk is mentioned and he tells Bones that he will call her sometime around his birthday, but we never actually see Jim calling her. We haven’t seen her since the birth scene in the first film, so I think it would have been nice to see how he connects with his remaining parent.

3. The weapon

I would have liked more details about the weapon Krall was trying to use to destroy Yorktown. Yes, we get to see what it can do and we find out that it’s an ancient weapon, but what about the people who made it. What kind of civilization created it and apparently a system to prolong their lives? I can’t really do much research onstartrekgraphic the weapon because its name is only mentioned twice in the film and it wasn’t even something memorable.

I’m giving the film an A+ because I enjoyed it and there wasn’t anything that I really disliked. We’ll see if Simon Pegg will return as a writer for the fourth film that is rumored to star Chris Hemsworth. Do you think they should have Justin Lin direct again? Chime in and let me know what you thought of the film. I love talking about movies and television if you couldn’t tell.

Kira Elise



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