Star Trek Beyond: The Bradscribe Review

Going Where Most Sequels Go, But Sadly Not So Boldly Either…

And… Beyond What, Exactly?!

star-trek-beyond

“We got no ship, no crew – how’re we going to get out of this one?” – Captain James T. Kirk. 

In the 50th Anniversary year of Star Trek, insurmountable pressure gnawed at the thirteenth film in one of the all-time revered franchises. 

Luckily, Star Trek: Beyond certainly turns out to be an enjoyable outing. It’s bright, energetic and – dare one say it – fast and furious. Yes, it IS quite good, and whenever it appears on TV, a second viewing won’t hurt. But in honouring this franchise’s half-century, it falls well short. 

Stardate 2263.2. On their 966th day in deep space – a little under three years into that five year mission – and an alien threat never encountered before attacks the USS Enterprise and splinters it in  spectacular fashion. Yeah, this starship is the most ridiculous and LEAST aerodynamic design in SF history, but watching it destroyed in increasingly diverse and dramatic ways is quickly becoming tedious. 

Actually, Beyond’s strongest aspect has to be the visuals, and the conceptualization and realization of Starbase Yorktown is especially mesmerising. A few more gliding and panning shots of that would have sufficed, thank you very much. 

Sure, the sfx is top notch, but in SF cinema these days, ironically, complicated visuals seem to be the simplest feat to achieve

Star-Trek-Beyond-Movie-Wallpaper-09

Krall

“Unity is not your strength. It is a weakness” – Krall. 

Star Trek: Beyond… what, exactly?

Not only does this title not signify anything specific, but this whole exercise (released now to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the franchise) does not really recapture the rather sedate – and not too furious – spirit of the original series.  

The villain: Krall is your typical ho-hum nasty Trek alien: prosthetically-challenged? Trek! Glowers at all the good guys (and gals)? Trek! And spouts incomprehensible, yet coolly sinister, galactic lingo in his deepest and most menacing voice (this time by Idris Elba)? Trek! Great entrance, but subsequently doesn’t do anything dastardly distinctive. 

Let’s face it – “Damn it Jim!” – if this was the 60’s, Idris would have to parade around in a loincloth and sport a pink candy-floss wig (to accentuate his extra-terrestrialness, you see…)

Sure, the cast do recreate (re-energize?) the original characters with gusto, particularly Chris Pine (as Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (as Spock) who fit better than ever into their iconic characters. After all the kerfuffle over “outing” Sulu, his relationship is merely implied – nothing sordidly frightful enough to vex the Chinese censors.

Of course, it’s a shame to watch Anton Yelchin knowing that it is his final appearance as Chekov…

My personal fave is Karl Urban as “Bones” McCoy. The interaction between him and Spock is particularly commendable (the closest you can get to recapturing the essence of the original show).

STAR TREK BEYOND

jaylah

“Ah, he likes that chair…” – Montgomery “Scotty” Scott.

Now – more than any time before: “Damn it Jim!” – my heart BLEEDS for Zoe Saldana, poor girl, underused YET AGAIN. At least she didn’t have to get her face painted for nothing…

But really…

What’s the point of her showing up on set at all if she is not going to get to do anything of any consequence?!

Lt. Uhura was one of the ground-breaking, progressive womens’ roles in early TV SF, so – with this Anniversary strongly in mind Saldana should at least have got the opp to turn in what most people call: “a career-defining performance,” with the main crux of the plot hinging on her, but… no…

And, talking of significant females in Star Trek, the grooviest intro to the ranks here is Jaylah (bold and boisterously portrayed by Sofia Boutella) but, there again, as is increasingly frustrating in modern SF cinema, she gets all made-up to do precious little…

So what? Tough gal with a staff = cue obvious favourable comparisons with Rey, from that other legendary franchise beginning with ‘Star’…

Well, Montgomery “Scotty” Scott had more to do this time, but – no surprise – he is played by the co-writer: Simon Pegg. Amazed he didn’t add a little romance between the engineer and the staff-wielder…

Oh, by the way: why the blazes did THAT BLOODY BIKE have to be on the Franklin, apart from allowing Kirk to look cool (and feel-young-again-annoying-cliche-alert)?

Not so much Starfleet but Speedway…

Beam me up NOW, Scotty, if you please… 

lightspeed

bones

” You spent all this time trying to be your father, and now you’re wondering just what it means to be you” – Dr. “Bones” McCoy.  

Personally, my extortionate popcorn parlour ticket would have been better spent had Jaylah been the main figure (character woud be preferable but that would mean the writers having to flesh her out more), trying to save her people from the fiendish Krall. 

Replace the crew of the Enterprise with a bunch of anonymous Starfleet expendables (remember to order the RED uniforms, darling) and you might get to learn more about Krall as well.

Hey, ditch the Star Trek tag while we’re at it(!)

 It would still be visually stunning, but… deprived of all formulaic familarity, it would NOT – “Damn it Jim!” – be financially viable… 

The problem is: after 13 movies, where else can this franchise hypothetically (okay, if you will, boldly) go now?

And just as one suspected: this movie – along with the last ten – fail in comparison when placed alongside the great Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. 

This 21st century version of a 20th century vision of the 23rd century may divide critics and Trekkies alike, but it provides decent enough entertainment, and still managed to silence that gang of obstreperous younglings in the back row who kept jabbering throughout the Trailers.

On a last – and most tender – note: really appreciated the affectionate dedication to Leonard Nimoyalthough even he would have found that vague title highly illogical…  

BRADSCRIBE VERDICT:

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“I fail to see how excrement of any kind plays a part…” – Spock. 

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8 thoughts on “Star Trek Beyond: The Bradscribe Review

  1. Good review! I think it is fair to say that this movie doesn’t really tread any new ground, but it’s a nice homage to the original series. I’ve enjoyed watching this new cast of actors take on these familiar roles. I hope Simon Pegg will also be back to co-write the next one!

    • CONGRATS, ASHLEY!
      Your Comment is th 1000th to b received on this site!
      Okay, so half of all these Comments belong to me, but thank u so much for making this milestone possible.
      Have dispatched a band of my minions to deliver some special celebratory CAKE to the boxofficebuzz office forthwith!
      Now that th excitement has settled down a tad, your point concerning “new ground” in Star Trek is 1 that troubles me as well – after 50 yrs, what else can b done?
      If Peggy does return, I hope he concentrates on crafting some better dialogue; it was a struggle to find suitable lines to quote in this Post, so will b tackling th issue of film dialogue in an emoji/Instagram world: Next Post
      Cheers!

      • Yay! 🙂 I’m proud to be the one that made the 1,000th comment! I always accept cake! 😉 For the franchise, I’m hoping they will do five films with the new “original crew” (one film for each year of the five year mission), and then it would be cool to get a totally new crew doing something totally different. I’m really curious to see what they come up with for the TV show next year.

      • Impressive – most impressive!
        U are Top Commenter: 94 (and counting) What does it feel like to be Unbeatable, Ms. Buzzrider?
        Honestly, having your Gravatar on my Posts is like getting a Seal of Approval!
        Five Trek films. eh? Goodness knows what th standard of material will b like…
        Personally, I wld love th new series to b exclusively devoted to Scotty’s diminutive alien sidekick, but this is not a perfect galaxy…
        Cheers!

      • Yay! I’ll plan to keep adding to that record. 🙂 I actually wish they could take this new original series cast and have them do a TV show, but I think the budget would be way too huge. 😉 Ah well, I can still dream!

      • Another Trek TV series: whatever next? No, seriously, how can Star Trek b made fresh & original from now on? I’ll keep my eyes on developments, but will proceed w caution!
        Cheers!

  2. A nice review and I agree it doesn’t tread any new ground. I do appreciate it’s slightly lighter tone as I don’t care for the whole “the Earth/Federation is in peril” angle.

    I know what you mean on how it doesn’t bear a great deal of resemblance to the TV shows and I too could do without the fast cutting action? If they are going to spend millions doing stunts and SFX, at least let me watch them!

    I’m just grateful that they didn’t totally ruin things as IMo the prequels did in that other franchise set in space.

    • Thank u for your Comment, Stephen.
      V difficult to find new ground in SF these days – it seems like all the best ideas have already been done
      Not bearing any resemblance to th TV series is probably a tactical move to bring in new fans, so that ‘s to b expected.
      Wasn’t totally ruined, but w th Speedway & th “classical music” they were trying to mess it all up!
      Cheers!

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