Happy Veterans’ Day to those in the States, and TGIF for all of us! Welcome once more to Fangirl Friday, where I devote my post to anything geeky that I love. Today I’ll be reviewing 2016’s film Star Trek Beyond, directed by Justin Lin.
Join me now for a post of nerdery and fun!
Watching Star Trek episodes on TV as a kid is one of my first nerd memories. My parents loved the show, and it was one of the few shows they watched that they allowed me to watch alongside them. (They sheltered me A LOT, so there were even a lot of children’s programs I wasn’t allowed to watch…).
Any who, I’ve grown up a mild Trekkie, you could say. I’ve met Gates McFadden and Levar Burton at cons. An ex of mine met William Shatner in a urinal at the same con (wish I could have that story to tell!). I’ve seen all the shows and movies. But I’m not to the extreme that I’ve read all the spin off novels and cosplayed as a Vulcan or anything like that. (Though, full disclosure, both of those things are on my nerd bucket list!).
I’m a big J. J. Abrams fan, so going into the watch I was a tad leery of a new director, even though J. J. obviously had had his hands full with other Starry universes over the past year or two. 😉
Star Trek Beyond follows the crew of the Enterprise as they are under siege by mysterious alien microvessels. They find themselves stranded on an uncharted planet, up against an enemy who clearly holds a grudge against the Federation.
For starters, the film’s pacing is superb. Quickly paced without being overwrought with action, the plot takes us swiftly from point to point, rarely leaving us with too much downtime. Right off the bat, there is also an infusion of humor. Nothing over-the-top comedic, but funny enough for a good snort-laugh.
The interjections of subtle humor throughout were not missed on me. Dear Husband and I both found the occasional levity to be refreshing, especially in scenes that genuinely left one wondering just who might die.
The acting itself was decent. Nothing Oscar-worthy, in my opinion, but solid enough for what it was. The now deceased Anton Yelchin’s Chekhov felt like a cartoonish caricature. I felt the same way about his performance in Star Trek Into Darkness a few years ago, so I am not sure if his over-the-top comically Russian accent was at the director’s behest, or if that’s simply his mannerism. Either way, both his acting and Simon Pegg’s (Scotty Montgomery) felt farcically forced.
In contrast, Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban shone as Spock and Dr. McCoy, respectively. Their mild witted banter and playfully sharp banter gave the film a great deal of human depth — ironic, perhaps, given Quinto’s character’s half-Vulcan genetics.
Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zoe Saldana (Uhura) brought satisfactory yet unmemorable performances, though for the latter this may have been due in part on her relative lack of lines.
Despite his also relative lack of lines, John Cho’s Sulu was performed with emotional depth and a heartfelt sincerity.
My biggest complaint with the film was the conspicuous conveniences of some parts of the plot. Dear Husband thinks this is a silly complaint for me to have, but it bothered me so much that they just *happened* to CRASH LAND on a planet that supported oxygen-breathing Earth-like beings. The gravitational pull of this unknown planet was just right, the oxygen levels were just right, everything was just right for the cast to mill about easily without masks.
I honestly got so hung up on this unbelievable coincidence that I actually had a rather difficult time concentrating on the film itself. Dear Husband says I should just suspend my disbelief, but the writer in me is overly analytical of things such as this.
Regardless, at the end of the day the film was just plain fun to watch. It was a shining example of just what an escapist diversion should be. I highly recommend Star Trek Beyond to anyone looking for a lighthearted, action packed diversion for the evening.
Tell me, what did you think of the film?
Until next time,