Star Trek: Beyond

star_trek_beyond_poster
Source: wikimedia.org

Happy 50th anniversary, Star Trek! Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the Original Show’s 1966 pilot premiere. In honor of Gene Roddenberry, a visionary, creative genius, and all around awesome person (check out this Oatmeal comic if you don’t believe me), I’ve started binge-watching the original Star Trek series on the ‘flix. While I dig myself out of some blorgin’ backlog, I wanted to publish my review of the latest film installment to the Trekkie universe. I will leave this post in note form (at least for now). I’ll just leave it as a list of strengths and weaknesses, along with a solid recommendation to go view it.

As an aside, I watched the film in IMAX at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution, which is an amazing organization and well worth your time. You can sign up for membership or to donate here.

Strengths:

  • Dialogue and character development were spot-on
  • decision to split up the primary cast into pairs/ small groups was brilliant to showcase different facets of each character
  • Spock/Bones dynamic was awesome
  • humor — thank you Simon Pegg
  • Alien races looked cool and special effects were pretty exciting
  • the scale of the plot was reasonable – not about the future of the universe really, so much as saving a base
  • Kirk and Spock’s struggles to find themselves made a nice parallel
  • Tributes to Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin were very heartfelt and genuine
  • Personal touch, watching it in IMAX was definitely the way to go. Ridiculously awesome, thank you Smithsonian!

Weaknesses:

  • early combat scenes had way too much shaky camera. it was the new lens flare of the movie, really distracting especially during first contact as the Enterprise crashed
  • Despite protests from friends, I don’t think it made sense that the music magically caused the ships to explode. While the hive mentality shakeup was sufficiently plausible to further the fun plot element, I disagree with the waves of explosions making it so easy to destroy them. These are the same ships that tore through the Enterprise no problem and seemed difficult to harm, so careening into one another shouldn’t set off such massive and complete destruction. I thought it should have served as a means to rally back and give the good guys a way to blow them up (think the shields in Independence Day or any Star Wars movie…)
  • The how of Krall’s transformation was a bit thin and could have used a couple more minutes of exploration. I liked the twist as well as the why of his change, but just a nebulous “alien technology” excuse for his sudden immortality and high-tech vampiric powers seemed kind of lazy

Overall: 8 of 10, because good dialogue and character development is really more important than staging the action in my book.