Star Trek Beyond: Film Review

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The Star Trek movies are simply not my bag and I can’t help it – I haven’t seen any of the TV series and I don’t understand the cult appeal. Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness were good but not great (to me – I know I’m in the minority) and Star Trek Beyond is exactly the same – it’s fine, I like it enough and it’s a pleasant way to spend two hours, but I wouldn’t write home about it or watch it again.

Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his USS Enterprise crew, including Spock (Zachary Quinto), Sulu (John Cho), Bones (Karl Urban), Chekov (Anton Yelchin), Scotty (Simon Pegg) and Uhuru (Zoe Saldana) are in the middle of a five-year exploratory mission when they are attacked by a pack of alien ships lead by Krall (Idris Elba) and they are forced to abandon ship onto a nearby planet while others are taken hostage. They have to find a way to get off the planet and save the rest of the crew.

The plot is pretty by-the-numbers but it’s more the dialogue and interplay between characters I enjoyed the most. Quinto and Urban have some brilliant scenes together that are both funny and touching and Quinto definitely gets the most laughs, while Scotty is just hilarious as always. He makes a new friend Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) on the unknown planet and she is great addition to the team – kick-ass and witty – which is good news for us girls since Uhuru gets sweet FA to do. She is seriously sidelined while the rest of the male cast get a decent amount – especially Urban, who I never paid much attention to before. There was also a big deal being made about Sulu being gay, but the reference is so subtle, I completely missed it.

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I usually have trouble following these films and this one is no different – they talk too fast about things I can’t understand and the action is cut together too quickly. The opening half hour was all over the place. The camera moves and the lightning fast pacing of the attack meant I had no idea what was going on. My brain couldn’t compute the information fast enough – who is punching whom? What is happening to the ship? What does Krall want? Some of the camera moves made me feel a bit weird too – far too much circling.

Things improve greatly when they are abandoned on the planet because they are spread out and you get some time for a bit of character work following scene after scene of them just yelling random space ship/engineering crap. There is still a lot of that so I didn’t love the script but it’s funny enough and the quieter moments were genuinely nice to watch. I would have liked Elba to have more to do because he was great. The way Leonard Nimoy was remembered in the movie is very sweet and I couldn’t pretend Yelchin was Chekov this time because I’m sad he’s dead.

This is an enjoyable enough adventure but not a total riot simply because the plot is messy, hard to understand and I don’t particularly care about any of the characters. I’m not too surprised tbh.

In cinemas Friday 22nd July 

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