Star Trek Beyond
Year: 2016
Rating: PG-13
Length: 122 minutes / 2.03 hours

First off, I want to admit that I am more of a Star Wars fan than a Star Trek fan. As a result, I have enjoyed the first two of the Star Trek reboot titles because they are structured more like a Star Wars film than a Star Trek one. Of course, this may also be due to my bias toward J.J. Abrams and everything that he directs. For this third installment in the reboot series, we no longer have Abrams, but rather Justin Lin (known for the Fast & Furious franchise). Maybe because of this, I didn’t really think this film stood up to the previous two.

Sure, there were segments that I thought were interesting and deep, but they were merely bookends in a confusing hodgepodge of action and “buddy up” subplots. I appreciated the beginning, with its humanizing narrative that made sense for the captain’s current state of affairs. This examination of Kirk’s (Chris Pine) doubt would have been nice to delve into, but it was interrupted by the “inciting incident” that results in the crew being split up on an alien planet with no ship to their name. Of the pairs of characters who were stranded together, Bones (Karl Urban) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) was clearly the best set, since both are polar opposites when it comes to their beliefs and worldviews (Scotty’s (Simon Pegg) sub-plot was pretty OK as well).

If I were to pinpoint the major flaw in this film, it’s that nothing really happened. Sure, there was plenty of action, a clear enemy, and a goal of survival that made sense, but it just felt like everything could have been condensed down into a thirty-minute episode instead of a 2-hour movie. Because of Kirk’s introduction, there was no twist. Everything was just kind of procedural and it lacked the excitement of anything deeper than its flashy special effects.

For a film that touts going “Beyond”, this movie ended up just being more of the same. I give Star Trek Beyond 3.0 stars out of 5.

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