Team Me Up Scotty
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away was a completely different franchise.
I don’t mean that to be some sort of self-ironic play on intergalactic movie series, what I actually mean is Star Trek Beyond is almost unrecognisable from Star Trek: Into Darkness and if it wasn’t for Captain Kirk and Spock you would be forgiven for thinking they were two different franchises.
If you are one of those people who hated the second film then you’ll love Star Trek Beyond. If, like me, you are one of those emotionally inept morons who actually really liked Star Trek: Into Darkness then good news! you’ll still really like this film.
Beyond is a solid film. As solid as the USS Enterprise. Actually, scrap that. The Enterprise gets torn open quicker and easier than a pack of Jelly Belly jelly beans in the hands of a fat kid in one of the films most visually stunning and exciting scenes that sets the tone for the rest of the film: it’s big, it’s fun, it’s what a big budget Star Trek film should be.
The destruction of the Enterprise comes at the hands of Krall (Idris Elba) who is a bit of a mixed bag. As a villain Krall is fantastic. Menacing, unforgiving and relentless. As a character he’s about as interesting as an insurance salesman because his motives and history simply don’t match up to his intent.
Krall isn’t the only disappointing character. There is too much screen-time for Scotty (Simon Pegg) who is best utilised as an exclamation mark – the odd moment of comic relief.
It’s quite funny that the script was written by Simon Pegg because I wonder how much he wrote himself in the film: a few extra lines here a bump of the paycheck there and voila!
The problem is that Scotty isn’t the enigmatic character that the camera really wants to linger on. Previously that accolade would have gone to captain Kirk (Chris Pine) or Bones (Karl Urban) but in Star Trek Beyond it’s all about Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) who is a new addition to our intrepid band of explorers.
What I loved about Jaylah is not only her instantly recognisable look that wouldn’t be out of place in a Star Wars film but also her rebellious streak which cuts right through the crew’s often stuffy dynamic yet is somehow complimentary at the same time. I would love to see her being a recurring character.
Director Justin Lin – famous for not much more than some of the Fast & Furious films – has clearly tried to bring more of a team dynamic to this latest adventure making it more than just the Kirk and Spock show. Whilst it’s not perfect it’s better than the tributes that are paid to Anton Yelchin and more specifically to Leonard Nimoy.
Ironically; Nimoy’s tribute is only marginally better than Fast & Furious’ tribute to Paul Walker because it has all the subtlety of an American on holiday. But don’t be put off by that because there is still a lot of other worthwhile things to see.
The Good, The Bad and The Outcome:
+ Visually impressive
+ Great team dynamic
– Krall’s back story
– Too much Simon Pegg