Star Trek Beyond (d. Justin Lin USA 2016)

Please read On Reviews for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

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Star Trek‘s film series’ reboot franchise, starting with Star Trek (d. J. J. Abrams USA/Germany 2009), has been given a great start. Reaching out to a larger audience, which is a lot more evident as the films feel like CGI heavy entertaining films, more than necessarily just feeling like Star Trek – this departure can feel a little forced at times. That being said, for the most part this new take on Star Trek has been well received. With earlier films and the TV series (1966-69, 1987-1994, 1993-1999, 1995-2001 and 2001-2005) there was a lot more energy field and phaser fights. Star Trek (2009) gave a really good and intriguing start to the franchise but Star Trek Into Darkness (d.  J. J. Abrams USA 2013), though good, felt a lot like Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (d. Nicholas Meyer USA 1982) but perhaps not quite to the same standard. So where was Star Trek Beyond (d. Justin Lin USA 2016) going to take us?

There is actually a fairly basic storyline but done with very good scenes between the characters. The storyline, is fairly bog standard for any sequel and just feels overdone at times. However, there are some very rich scenes where characters are explored to ultimate potentials. Moments within space really get you feeling the atmosphere of the spaceship and what it’s like to be in space. Moments between the characters show a devotion to those characters to really get a sense of who they are and what they mean to each other and us. They do this so very well. But, that doesn’t stop some key plot points falling a bit flat. Almost like the sci-fi cliché of reversing the polarity there is a similar age old tricks here. SPOILER. An early danger to the ship is made too powerful and crushing, this will be overcome and we know this, but the change from such a harsh danger to a simple way through is unrealistic and also quite overdone before. END OF SPOILERS. Damage to the ship is a huge part of the reboot but I do feel takes from the tension rather than adds it. There was a magic to such damage actually happening, now it’s pretty standard.

The effects are really quite powerful in creating new worlds and space travel but don’t fare so well with some of the characters. Some are so new to being a tad out of place some are just kind of awkward in design. This gives some conflicting impressions, the feeling space gives feels very effective and the idea of new places are also a good part of the film. But, there’s not quite a good diversity to the alien races, though strangely this is conflicted by a lack of it feeling like the sameness of Star Trek. This shows an attempt to overcome, perhaps a fault with the original TV Series and Film Series, but a strange way that it also feels out of place. Perhaps it’ll get better and/or easier with future films.

All in all an entertaining film with some wonderful moments but with problems as a whole. The treatment of the ship and the depiction of some alien races are more down to personal taste than aspects of the film that could stop it being successful. This is well worth seeing and some of those scenes will really get to an emotional level and show some good attention to the characters.


For Captain Kirk, the mission to explore space seems endless and when they come across an enemy hellbent on destroying the Federation.

Further Reading

Official Site

Interview with Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine and Sofia Boutella

Interview with Justin Lin

Interview with Simon Pegg

Drink Scene

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