Star Trek Beyond (2016) – From Shakespeare to Beastie Boys

cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, Sofia Boutella, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba

director: Justin Lin

“This is where it begins, Captain. This is where the frontier pushes back!” (Krall)

Another week and another sequel hits our cinemas. This time it’s “Star Trek Beyond”. Three years ago, the hardcore fans were bitching about the retooled tale of Khan, minus the whole Benedict Cumberbatch appeal (he did an awesome job). Can’t win everyone over but Simon Pegg listened to the woes and wrote a bittersweet tribute. This is the latest trend hitting and scoring at the box-office. You take a movie with a cult-following, if its close to the release anniversary, even better, and you reboot the shit out of it. Just take a look at what you can find in the cinemas right now, original scripts are a sight for sore eyes.

When you go with the whole tribute and fan-service spiel you might miss a few markers. Simon Pegg went full throttle to give one liners, cheeky replies, great action scenes and struggled to give enough screen-time to the cast but fails when it comes to create a remarkable villain.

Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of this movie: Idris Elba as Krall. His characters fails to take of and deliver those charismatic moments meant to put him in the same league as…yes, I dare say it, Khan.  Erica Bana’s Nero was a villain you can easily dismiss, Cumberbatch’ Khan worked with ease the trend of the Brits delegated to sophisticated baddies, with a smooth tongue and a piercing glare. Idris Elba, on top of his game and (almost) everyone’s favorite for the James Bond role managed to play it hard but Krall’s motivation, his whole big speech doesn’t resonate with the audience, audience who heard the same speech from previous Star Trek baddies. It doesn’t compel you to like him or hate him and sadly he becomes ones of those villain with great potential but little to show for. It’s not Elba’s fault, the man chews his lines and gives all he has, it’s the script Simon Pegg put together.

Left to right: Chris Pine plays Kirk and Idris Elba plays Crowl in Star Trek Beyond from Paramount Pictures, Skydance, Bad Robot, Sneaky Shark and Perfect Storm Entertainment
Left to right: Chris Pine plays Kirk and Idris Elba plays Crowl in Star Trek Beyond from Paramount Pictures, Skydance, Bad Robot, Sneaky Shark and Perfect Storm Entertainment

I get what Pegg wanted from this movie, aside from the fan-service and tribute to the franchise. He wanted to infuse Kirk (Chris Pine) with responsibility regarding his crew and his position. Nice move together with the father-son bond. Knowing that Chris Hemsworth is set to return for the next movie, we can all assume the whole mantle of responsibility will make a comeback. I had hoped for a few hints, here and there about a Klingon war but no such luck.

Leonard Nimoy receives a couple of emotional scenes, complete with Zachary Quinto’s making a good show of tear-jerking acting without exaggerating. These three movies live and breathe on the legacy they’ve inherited. It’s thoug to follow a coherent vision when you fear of what the previous cast will say or how will the fans react to a certain scene or detail concerning a character. Pegg listened to what the fan said and tried. He constructed a tale in which the crew is separated and must fight against the odd to survive and save the day/Yorktown. This is a good premise for a special Star Trek episode.

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Besides Krall, in the same league of wasted characters fall Chekov, Spock, Cho and Uhura, the actors being unable to stretch their wings and own the said characters. Pine’s Kirk is the same as the brash soldier of fortune we’ve seen for the past two “episodes”, nothing is changed even though Pegg wants us to swallow the maturity pill he forced Kirk to take. Quinto continues his path as the awe struck figure while Karl Urban and Simon Pegg seem the only natural characters with awesome flowing lines from the whole bunch. Yup, you get Sofia Boutella as the bad-ass white alien who joins the team but I’ve seen this trope to many times to care or bond with her character. And that is another big issue with the script, the following to a T of tropes. Pegg assimilated the critiques and made sure to give everyone what they wanted. Fan-service is good sometimes but it doesn’t need to become a second nature for the writers.

Stark Trek Beyond is a fun-campy-summerish experience fit for IMAX, oozing good time, nostalgia and some decent acting moments. You also get some awesome tunes, some Shakespeare lines and delivers on what we already knew by now, that the Enterprise crew are a family and they try their best to save the galaxy and explore the unknown.

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Yup, this review needed a good gif.

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Fine…two sexy gifs.

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