Star Trek Beyond
Director: Justin Lin
Grade: B+/ A-
This is kind of weird because while I thought the plot of the movie was really basic- the crew of the Enterprise is getting restless while exploring deep space, distress call turns into a trap, everything goes to hell and we get a fight against seemingly insurmountable odds… the movie worked for me on a character level and that turned into the best part.
Splitting up the characters into smaller groups was a really good idea. Not only do you get some interesting dynamics (Sulu and Uhuru & Kirk and Chekov for example) it felt like every character and actor got a shining moment, good lines and some good development. I was really happy to see a lot more of Anton Yelchin in this movie, although of course it was very melancholy.
Bones and Spock worked really well to. It’s almost funny because I sometimes find Karl Urban’s Bones to be a little over the top and too much but Zachary Quinto playing off him as Spock it just works and evens it out. Quinto also gets a couple of nice moments to honor the passing of Leonard Nimoy and even though I’ve never been a fan of the original the nod to it near the end actually almost got me a little teary-eyed.
Also really enjoyed Jayla (Sofia Boutella). Strong, passionate, butt-kicking and able to hold her own against the crew and with them. And was it just me- but I didn’t catch even a nod to romance. Loved it. There was something about the way they did her make-up combined with the actresses work that made the fine line between edgy, cold warrior and innocent wounded and lost work.
Idris Elba was also made for a good villain. He gets some good emotional stuff at the end which is totally where his character really started to come together.
So as you can read this movie was all about the characters and I really enjoyed it on that level. Simon Pegg (Scotty) co-wrote this one with Doug Jung and I think you can totally see an actors hand in it, in a good way. There were some moments where the action felt a little too all over the place. I’m definitely a fan of action where the camera stays still and I can always see what’s going on. Though the motorcycle scene from the preview that made me dread the movie does make more sense in the movie. 🙂 I’m not sure how I felt about the use of the music but it did lead to some cute lines so I’ll give it a pass..
Recommend: Yes. A well-oiled cast and some great character moments for everyone actually puts this one into one of my top five of the summer. I’d be back for a fourth ride with this crew.