Movie Review: Star Trek Beyond

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Review written by Ken Carman

EONMovieSimon Pegg and Doug Jung have gone where no Star Trek reboot has gone before: decent: actual Trek-like, writing. Yes, it could be better. But after two versions of wham, BIG BAM, thank you ma’am and man, they deliver. I am unfamiliar with Mr. Jung, but Simon Pegg not only knows how to act, but knows how to put character, personality and personal interactions into his scripts. If you’ve seen Shaun of the Dead and Paul you have an idea what I mean about great character development.

Instead of starting with yet more big booms and bangs, Beyond starts with the Kirk of this timeline trying to do diplomacy, with predictable results. The Kirk character’s strongest suit was never diplomacy. The third offering in this reboot of Trek also starts with his monologue about the drollness, the monotony, of space travel: even on a ship with so many on board. We are a few years into the mission now.

There are many twists, turns and changes, and I won’t play spoiler. Let’s just say: nothing unexpected that might not have happened with this set of Trek characters, this timeline. The new Kirk has learned to dampen down his libido for obvious reasons: much like how he had to quell his rebellious spirit, or how he had to soften his impulsive nature, this Kirk went where the other Kirk didn’t go: a lonely, almost sad, isolated leader… as some have to be in real life. He had to balance duty with his wild nature, whereas the original had a less contested, challenged, rise to the top. Both have the talent, obviously, just one more difficulties due to a murdered father and a strict stepfather. I suspect, due to his father’s influence, Kirk 1 didn’t have as many problems with “management” when he cheated on this no win scenario: The Kobayashi Maru. Kirk 2 had to find his way to the captain’s chair due to not having a father to back him up. I’m sure that toughened him up in ways Kirk 1 didn’t benefit from.

Mild criticism: the villain’s motives seem unclear until the end. Then you wonder how he physically transformed into what he became. A mild annoyance, at best, though a tad bothersome for sure.

OK, one spoiler. The deep space station: Yorktown, makes Deep Space 9 tiny and insignificant in comparison. This is a city in space. Let your eyes feast on the overwhelming vision. I promise you won’t be disappointed. No knock intended: I loved DS9 and I wish they’d do something with that property more than any of the other untouched Trek TV shows.

Three last notes…
See it in 3D.
See it in 3D.
SEE IT IN 3D.

Best on the big screen, obviously. The vision Yorktown offers is worth the stupid, sometimes awkward, glasses. It’s well worth the higher ticket price.

5

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Welcome to Our End of the New movie reviews. One poster: don’t bother. Two posters: eh, OK, but a lot of problems here. Three: Good movie, just at least one problem. Four: very good. Five: if you don’t go you’re missing out. Added comments at the end: “you could wait for it to come on TV,” “best seen on the big screen” and “good for all screens,” unless other comments are added, refer mainly to the nature of the movie such as special effects, incredible sound or scenery that might make it best seen in a movie theater depending on your set up at home.