Today I went to see Star Trek Beyond at the cinema. As I may have mentioned previously, actually physically going out to see a film requires quite a bit of expense and effort – if I wait a few months it will appear in my on-demand service in the comfort of home. But when a truly must-see movie comes out, I make the trek out of the house. I was not disappointed – it was a great film!
Star Trek Beyond is the third entry in the newly rebooted franchise which began with Star Trek (2009) and continued with Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). While I enjoyed both of those for being entertaining big budget blockbusters, as a long-term Trek fan they felt a little bit off from the vision of what the original series was. I mean, even the title of the sequel “Into Darkness” suggests they were trying to make it edgy and dark because that’s what films need to be these days, apparently. I’ve seen discussions about how director J.J. Abrams didn’t really “get” Star Trek, being a bigger Star Wars fan. Whether or not that is the case, I felt that when Abrams moved on to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that movie felt just perfect.
Star Trek Beyond’s direction seems to bring the movie back on track towards what the “essence” of Star Trek is. Themes of optimism about humanity, the family dynamics and camaraderie between the main characters, the focus on peaceful exploration and diplomacy being the Federation’s main goals, a more believable and relatable storyline and villain. So bravo to director Justin Lin. I’m looking forward to where this continues if a fourth movie does indeed arise.
Of course there are some “WTF” moments, such as the scale of the Yorktown, the Federation’s most advanced new starbase. That thing was freaking huge – it was more like an artificial planet than what you might consider a starbase. But then, scaling up seems to be a thing in the new universe Trek, with the original U.S.S. Enterprise being dwarfed by the version in this series. So it was something I just ended up glossing over and accepting as “this is how we roll now”.
Publicity for Star Trek Beyond has been hyping up the movie for several months prior to its release, with some amazing looking posters. It’s also been out for a week or two now prior to me watching it, so I’ve seen tweets from other Trek fans who have been very positive. So going into the cinema, I was quite excited.
I’m definitely glad I ventured out to see Star Trek Beyond and thoroughly recommend it for other Trek fans to go and enjoy.
Image: ©Paramount Pictures International, source: YouTube trailer.