Angel’s Review of ‘Star Trek Beyond’ (NON SPOILER)

Movie Description:

“The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.”

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I absolutely love the 2009 Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness films. They execute everything  I need in an amazing movie: great characters, performances, music, themes, visuals, villains, and most importantly story. The third installment had me so excited because it offered an opportunity to complete and become one of my favorite trilogies ever.

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When the first trailer was released I was absolutely worried because the tone seemed to have shifted with the choice of music and light-fun hearted nature.

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It almost felt like it was an attempt from director Justin Lin to recapture the magic that Guardians Of The Galaxy had, but my friend Julius reminded me that the song Sabotage by The Beastie Boys was used in the car chase scene when Jim Tiberius Kirk was a kid. That scene was freaking awesome, such a great introduction of Kirk being a rebellious character, someone who doesn’t pertain to rules. Being reminded of what I already loved restored my faith in the film and that song is amazing, especially when in context of the movie.  Let’s get started! 🙂

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The Story:

I thought the story for Star Trek Beyond was nothing beyond average. The basic premise is something we’ve seen before in the previous films, the enterprise encounters an unknown enemy which destroys the enterprise every time in which the crew has to counter and survive. As a result in this one, the crew gets separated and have to regroup, which I actually enjoyed because it gave us amazing character interactions. It felt like the previous films, only I thought the previous films handled the use of a villain as the focus for the narrative much better.

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I do wish they took the direction of actually exploring and exploiting new galaxies with new species because that’s what makes Star Trek so amazing, the idea of exploration and discovering the depths of the entire infinite universe. They have the ability to give us so many different and intriguing narratives with everything and anything they encounter. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed with this story.

Characters/Performances:

All the characters are incredible and filled with great performances except for Jaylah played by Sofia Boutella and Krall played by Idris Elba. Sofia Boutella was in Kingsman: The Secret Service and played an intimidating enjoyable assassin. All she was in that movie I felt was the same in Star Trek Beyond which was to fill space in with cool fights scenes. It works really well in Kingsman, but in Star Trek she doesn’t really add anything, she’s just there to fight.

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Idris Elba is a beast. Beasts of No Nation, Pacific Rim, Luther… Idris Elba is legit. Him being the villain was an aspect I was looking forward to most because whenever he’s on screen he is such a presence with intimidation and charisma. Surprisingly, Idris Elba wasn’t given enough to be a good villain.

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A good villain is someone intimidating, threatening, unpredictable, someone you could possibly empathize with, and believes what they are doing is completely right even when it’s very wrong.

Krall didn’t accomplish any of those standards for me, I understand what they were trying to go for with the twist, but I thought he was a weak villain and there wasn’t enough for Idris to show his powerhouse talent as an actor. He was much more interesting, like-able, intimidating in Pacific Rim and he was a good guy there! I do like the choice of speech he gave to the character for Krall, but his biology as a character was very vague and not thoroughly explained.

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The standouts for me in this order were Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban. Pine does such an amazing job as Kirk, he feels a lot like William Shatner’s Kirk but still unique enough to not come off as an impersonation. His character development comes full circle, striving to mirror the accomplishments of his father. The development for each character makes this installment and trilogy so rewarding. I really wished they casted him as Green Lantern for The DC Cinematic Universe, he would have been fantastic.

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While Kirk is trying to deal with finding his purpose in this film, Spock deals with the struggle of accepting his mortality. Zachary Quinto was and is perfect casting as Spock. It was so awesome to know that Sylar from Heroes, the sadistic supervillain who wanted to see how everything worked was playing one of the most iconic characters and managed to pull it off magnificently. His look, performance, and dialogue are perfection.

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Karl Urban is the Law. He’s so awesome and is perfect as Bones. I’m so glad they gave him more screen time because his metaphors are hilarious and the interactions he has with other characters are the best. You get plenty more of all of that which they teased in the trailers!

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Music:

The Star Trek music gives me chills. I love it so much because it inspires me to want to explore, not only physically, but in my thoughts as well. If music can make me feel something emotionally and mentally in a positive way, then I love it. One of my favorite scores was in Star Trek Into Darkness. The music for Star Trek Beyond wasn’t as great, but was still serviceable.

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Themes:

I love the theme of this movie because it’s about unity and how important it is to work with one another as a team. Star Trek isn’t just about Kirk, it’s not just about Spock, it’s not just about the crew, it’s not just about the enterprise, it’s not just about the Federation, it’s about what they all stand for, and what they do to accomplish their ongoing missions, together. A huge part of what makes Star Trek great is the relationship between the characters as individuals and as a unit. This theme is also relevant with the villains motivation which I appreciated.

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Homage:

Something I really loved about this installment is that it gave incredible clever references to the orignal Star Trek series and films. First Contact gave us rich information about the Federation just like this one was elaborating to us.

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My friend and other goat memeber Julius was telling me all this enlightening information about the subtle homage that was contained in Star Trek Beyond. For example, one of the major tributes was that of ‘The One with The Whales’ because both have a light hearted tone with the similar structure of splitting each of the officers into pairs making us join them on their own journeys while they travel the surface of the planet.

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We can’t have a Star Trek film without the Enterprise being wrecked! History continues to repeat itself with the ship being demolished and remade for the next final frontier for our Starfleet.

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There are just so many more references that I won’t reveal because it’ll take away from the moment for you Star Trek fans, so enjoy when you watch!

I do love that J.J. Abrams wanted to break away from Star Treks history in the first two installments because there’s so much that can be told, but I also did love the reminder for film fans and Star Trek fans as to what made this franchise great.

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Negatives:

Honestly my only negative is the villain Krall. I just wish they used Idris Elba to his full potential and gave us an amazing villain because this franchise deserved it. Because the majority of the film was focused on his actions, it diminished the love I could have had for this individual movie as a whole.

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Before I end this, I just wanted to say that I dedicate this review to Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin. They were so special. They shared a piece of who they were to the rest of the world through the power of filmmaking, acting, and being great human beings and I’m privileged to have the opportunity to even be exposed to an aspect of who they were, what they meant to the world. It really hurt to see them in this film because of all the lives they have touched positively during their time on this earth. May they rest in piece and may we celebrate their work, their legacy as it lives long and prospers.

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Overall:

I was underwhelmed with the story, I’m fascinated with the entire concept of exploration, loved all of the characters and performances except a couple, captivated by the music, adore the themes, appreciated the homage it paid to the original source material, and did not like the villain at all. My rating for this film is 8/10! 🙂 

My experience was great and I definitely recommend seeing this right away at the theaters because it’s a spectacle, if tears of joy where coming from the audience members I saw, maybe it can do that same exact thing for you. Don’t miss your chance, boldly go where no man has gone before and enjoy your time. Thanks for reading!

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