Posted Jul 22 2016

Star Trek Beyond - This Odd Numbered Movie Rocks (And That Doesn't Happen Very Often)

Dir: Justin Lin

Starring Chris Pine, Zachery Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella

Star Trek – Hollywood’s original exemplar for diversity (even if it had to take place in space) – turns 50 with this latest outing. And on the strength of Beyond, it is in robust health.

That Fast & Furious Justin Lin places his butt firmly in JJ’s director’s chair and cast member Simon Pegg offers up his fingers to the word processor to co-write the script – and both acquit themselves ably, in this latest tale which finds our recently reconstructed variation on the original series crew – it’s the Kelvin Timeline now you  know - three years into that five year mission. And a tad bored. Which is a nice touch, but even nicer, given the fact that the audience will be anything but. High octane action has been Lin’s forte to date, but here – presumably helped in part by Pegg’s fanboy knowledge and loyalty to the original  series – we get a film that is as character-based as it is action-tastic. Urban was threatening to walk on this one – but finally they give McCoy (so integral to the original) his on screen due. And everyone else is well served too, as Elba’s battle scarred (in so many ways) big bad lays waste to the Enterprise and attempts to do to same to the Federation as a whole.

Yes, they total the Enterprise again (how many times is that now in the movies??) but here they do it with more breath taking style – and beauty – than ever before. Indeed, this is a beautifully designed film – check out the utopian Federation outpost of Yorktown – possibly the place Elysium aspired to be.

What’s old here is really strong – and given room to breathe, or even be re-affirmed (the Kirk-Spock-McCoy triumvirate in particular.) What’s new is equally impressive – Idris’ complicated villain, and Sophia Boutella’s charming alien newbie – hopefully a future crew member, as implied.

The action is as action-packed as you’d like, the emotional impact of same is both felt and genuine at times. And, given its status, as the 50th anniversary flagship, there are a few moments of genuine reflection that may well require the wiping away of a tear or two (stay for the titles and not one but, sadly, two dedications.)

Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combinations. Still – after all these years. Gene Roddenbery would be proud.





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