Star Trek: Beyond brings the franchise back to its roots

Star Trek: Beyond, however, is well-written, paced well to keep the viewer’s attention and in the Roddenberry style, prods the viewer to do a little soul-searching as well.

I admit to betraying my hometown theater and sneaking off to the Mall of Georgia to catch Star Trek: Beyond in IMAX 3D. IMAX is not cheap, so there are not many movies I will hand over the extra money for ($18 for an IMAX ticket compared to $7.50 for a ticket at The Historic Elbert Theater.)

I saw the first Star Trek reboot movie and Avatar in IMAX 3D and I also saw one of the Spider-Man movies there as well. But this isn’t about IMAX. It’s about Star Trek: Beyond, so let’s get back to the review.

In doing so, I must say a word about the first two reboot movies- Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness. I am a pretty big fan of the first one but loathed the second one due to J.J. Abram’s disastrous handling of the Kahn storyline. We’ll just leave it with that.

In my humble opinion, Star Trek: Beyond goes back to what Gene Roddenberry wanted the franchise to be, in more ways than one.

This movie is, for the most, part true to the original characters. To any Trekkie/Trekkor or simply fan, this is a very important detail. We must be able to believe these actors are the same characters originally created by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takai, Nichelle Nichols and Walter Keonig.

I must say Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Zoe Saldana and Anton Yelchin do exactly that to a large degree.

Of course, this isn’t really news since all seven have been in all three of the reboot movies, but it’s still worth saying again.

Of course, it does no good to have “heroes” if we do not have equally captivating villains. Beyond should once again be applauded for introducing bold, formidable villains as well as interesting new species/allies to the Trek canon.

Idris Elba commands attention as Krall while Sofia Boutella adds punch and humor to the role of Jaylah.

Since we already had a solid foundation with the cast and the newest additions proved to be up to the task as well, the next biggest piece would be the plot. As briefly mentioned above, a series can go from boon to bust in one short movie. Trek fans are passionate and it doesn’t really take a lot to have them demanding heads roll over things not nearly as bad as the Into Darkness plot.

Star Trek: Beyond, however, is well-written, paced well to keep the viewer’s attention and in the Roddenberry style, prods the viewer to do a little soul-searching as well.

As one would expect, the movie pays respect regarding the passing of Star Trek’s legendary Vulcan, Leonard Nimoy, aka “Ambassador Spock” (Nimoy’s iteration of the character who appeared briefly in the first movie). In doing so, they manage to give a nod to the entire original cast as well.

So, was this a perfect Star Trek movie? The answer would have to be “no.”

Director Justin Lin used way too many rotating screens (at least in the IMAX version- not sure about the regular screen) and at times the action was so fast it was somewhat blurry. Both effects missed the mark pretty badly, doing more harm than good as far as quality of the movie.

 

As you can clearly see, I shied away from giving any real spoilers that might cause your movie experience to be less than it should be. I did however, want those who intended to go to the theater and shell out hard-earned money for a ticket to know whether this movie was worth what they would spend. In my opinion, Star Trek: Beyond is worth “Beyond” whatever you had to pay for the ticket, even an IMAX ticket. 

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