Sunday, July 24, 2016

Review: Star Trek Beyond

Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
"Star Trek Beyond" could possibly be the best of the reboot series of the landmark 1960s TV show and while that may not sound like the most ringing endorsement - considering, in my opinion, that the first two of the series were middling at best - this latest one is not half bad. Despite there being the typical Hollywood summer plot about the universe being threatened by a nefarious character, "Beyond" doesn't take itself too seriously and is silly, but fun.

The picture jumps right into the story as we find Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) pondering an administrative move that would take him away from his crew and Spock (Zachary Quinto) mulling a similar decision that would involve his attempting to help his own people. But the crew of the Starship Enterprise is quickly called out on a mission that involves a rescue, but they soon realize it's a trap laid by a megalomaniac known as Krall (Idris Elba, virtually unrecognizable for much of the film).

The movie, which finds director Justin Lin standing in for J.J. Abrams, may feature Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Bones, Uhura, Chekov and Sulu, but it's less a "Star Trek" movie than a semi-generic outer space action movie that happens to feature the aforementioned characters. Some of their personality traits to which we've become accustomed over the years - via various actors - are there, but "Beyond" focuses more on chase sequences, nonstop action and special effects than it does further developing these characters.

And that's fine. Some "Star Trek" pictures aim for something more - I'm thinking of the underrated "Star Trek: The Voyage Home" - while others are merely boilerplate plots with new villains and settings. "Beyond" is the latter, but it's a fairly entertaining one due to its explosions and action sequences often being alleviated by humor and, on two occasions, music (Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys) that seems out of place in a "Star Trek" film, but allows for a chuckle in terms of how it is being used.

It's often difficult to write about films such as these - franchise pictures that are on their umpteenth entry - because, honestly, what more can be said about them? "Star Trek Beyond" is a mostly enjoyable summer blockbuster that moves by quickly, is occasionally exciting, often funny and well made. It may not be one of the best of its series, but it's a solid enough addition to a very long running franchise.

No comments:

Post a Comment