The return of the Enterprise and the Starfleet crew are back, this time going “beyond” into darkness for the latest entry in the ‘Star Trek’ saga. So Trekkies, set phasers to stun… stunning that is, because that’s a word I felt most of the time watching this next installment of ‘Star Trek’, even though the film must trek on with the tragic passing of Anton Yelchin who passed away a month before the film’s premiere.
In this entry, the Star Fleet crew are 3 years into their 5 year journey into their voyage of the unknown. However, they find meaning as they enter the nebula to find a stranded ship of a runaway pilot. However, it is not what it seems as the Enterprise is facing towards a swarm of ships hurdling towards them.
I’m not a hard-core Trekkie as I’ve never watched the past incarnations of the television series or the countless feature films produced. However, I’ve seen the first two rebooted ‘Trek’ films from director J.J. Abrams and was a big fan of them. I was excited for the third entry of the reboot series, but when that first trailer came out with that “Sabotage” song… it got me worried (trailer seen below).
However, the film is a surprising ride of action, spectacle and humour. And yes, that “Sabotage” song from the trailers is in the film, although the context of the scene is spectacularly fun to watch, and a nice change of the usual score based finales that you would normally hear. Usually I would complain using songs that don’t normally fit its universe, and while it is odd hearing these more 80’s-90’s songs in a ‘Star Trek’ film, the context they appear in makes sense and doesn’t feel quite as odd if they were just using it that’s non-diegetic (not in the film’s story world – but it is, so it worked for me). Although, sadly this would have been such a nice surprise if it wasn’t in the film’s trailer and marketing promotions, so while the surprise factor was gone and predictable for using the song, it was still a ton of fun, just wished it wasn’t in the trailer – making that trailer even more disappointing now.
Moving on from the song choice, the movie also serve as a nice homage to the original series and incorporating a classic character as part of the film’s subplot and dilemma for one of the Starfleet members which was appropriate and heart-warming over a sad scene that gave respect for a passing icon in the ‘Star Trek’ franchise.
The film has many things that worked; the opening sequence of Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine) detailing his life on the Enterprise was good to see this ship more like a home, than just a ship, newcomer Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) was a nice addition to the cast, offering some humour and a badass action hero. Did I mention that the film is pretty funny? Some of the most laughs I’ve seen from any other movie this year. And while at times the film did get a tad bit repetitive over using some set pieces again (involving the Enterprise) and the film’s villain’s actions sometimes a bit unclear, still the film is a great addition to the reboot ‘Star Trek’ trilogy that is a good fun time at the cinema this year.
‘Star Trek Beyond’ is a loud action sci-fi journey that is exhilaratingly fun and clever.