Sunday, August 28, 2016

Star Trek Beyond

This is a FANTASTIC poster. If you don't know why, Google Star Trek: TMP

I saw the thirteenth Star Trek movie on opening weekend, over a month ago. I wanted to see it again before I posted about it but time hasn't allowed that. So, here are my thoughts.

First up, the non-spoiler points.

Star Trek Beyond has the same DNA as all the Abrams Trek movies. The visual effects are fantastic, the acting and production is first rate, but the story is filled with holes and goofiness.

I liked a lot about the movie, most notably that the cast continues to knock it out of the park. I really, really love these actors in these roles. I also loved that they don't visit Earth in this movie. It seems like a small thing, but while the original series never visited 23rd century Earth, the movies can't stay away. Of the 13 movies, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, and 12 all feature extended scenes on Earth, which kind of undercuts the whole "explore strange new worlds" thing. It was a huge relief that Beyond stayed away. I enjoyed the addition of more humor, thanks to writer Simon Pegg, no doubt, and the movie had a really good sense of the history of Star Trek, especially the series Enterprise.

The things I didn't like, and there are many, as well as more positive things, are dealt with below.

Spoiler Alert

I hate, hate, hate that they once again destroyed the Enterprise. This timeline's Enterprise didn't make it nearly as far as the Original Series Enterprise which was destroyed in Star Trek 3. This one was destroyed in the third year of the original five year mission. Sheesh. (Also, I'm not sure how much of a spoiler this is since they showed the ship get creamed in almost every G-D trailer!!)

I hate, hate, hate that everything is once again resolved with violence. Star Trek is supposed to be the cerebral, thinking man's science fiction. But every movie ends with Kirk and Spock in a fistfight with the bad guy. Damn. And while I appreciate that they gave some actual motivation to this villain, they didn't develop him enough to make him compelling. He's more or less just another guy who hates the Federation and is out for revenge. Sheesh.

I enjoyed them pairing off the crew while they're stranded on the planet. It allowed the characters to play off each other in a lot of fun ways, giving us some great Spock/McCoy scenes and allowed Chekov much more to do while running around with Kirk. I also really enjoyed the new alien ally, Jaylah, who helps Scott. She was pretty bad-ass and awesome.

I HATED the cruel fate that befell the majority of the Enterprise crew. The original timeline Enterprise had a crew of 430. This Enterprise is supposed to be twice as big (which is stupid) and so presumably has a bigger crew. But even if it only had 430, only a few dozen at best survive this movie. The rest are horribly killed by the initial attack, the crashing of the ship, or by having their life drained out of them by the villain in particular gruesome fashion. I DON'T want to see the crew of the Enterprise slaughtered like they're all expendable non-entities. Damn, it's really nasty and harsh.

I can believe that you could transport a guy sitting on a motorcycle. I DO NOT believe you could transport a guy riding a motorcycle very fast. How did that work? Did Kirk drive into the transporter chamber at forty miles an hour? Stupid.

I can't wait for this series to get the hell over the Beastie Boys.

The stupid brewery engineering sets are gone! Hooray!

While I liked the visual of Yorktown base, it was basically a substitute Earth for purposes of the plot, so the movie loses some points (see the point about Earth above).

If they had so much trouble getting through the nebula that they needed the Enterprise, why didn't the Enterprise (or another ship) just go around the nebula? And how did they get back through the nebula without any trouble in a much older ship?

And finally, I'm not really happy with Kirk's arc in this movie. For some really unexplained reason, he's grown tired of Captaining the Enterprise and is considering a promotion. Sure, this is a new timeline and Kirk has had very different influences shaping him, but that still seemed really out of character.

I liked this movie better than Into Darkness, and maybe on par with or slightly better than Star Trek. I really need to see it again to figure that out.

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