Bones (Karl Urban) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) escape certain death in Star Trek: Beyond.

REEL REVIEWS: Trekkie membership not required

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe take a look at the latest in the franchise with Star Trek: Beyond

Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the Starship Enterprise are three years into their five-year mission to explore the galaxy. When an alien distress call leads them through a nebula, they discover a new enemy in the lizard-like form of Krall (Idris Elba). Surprised by Krall’s formidable technology, the Enterprise is forced to crash land on a hostile planet. The crew will have to work together, battling an army while trying to find a way off the planet.

We say, “Being a fan helps, but Beyond is still a fine film.”

TAYLOR: Not “fine” like a glass of wine, but fine like hair. Meaning that Star Trek: Beyond falls prey to two of the biggest problems in Hollywood today: it caters to a closed community and subscribes to an opinion that a film’s climax should be a prolonged action scene. Not that Trekkers are standoffish, quite the opposite really, like the members of the Federation themselves, they are peaceful, welcoming folk.

Also, it is not the case that the characters in the Star Trek universe are averse to kicking ass. I would prefer that life was more like Star Trek, not less. But this film is about fighting and killing and as such, I feel it tries too hard to be modern entertainment rather than Star Trek. It seems every movie I’ve seen so far this summer is two-part formula piece: set up interesting characters in interesting places and then have them destroy as much as possible.

HOWE: I will agree with you, there is a lot of killing. What happened to setting the phasers to stun like the good ol’ days? But I guess they have to step it up a little and make it a little more hard-core as that is the world of movie entertainment that we live in, especially when it is up against the biggest space franchise of them all.

When the new Star Trek came out a good few years back I was really very impressed with it, the second from a couple of years ago was even better I thought, this one I’m afraid felt like it was a carbon copy of that movie but with just a different bad guy.

TAYLOR: I am a fan, but I’m also a jaded movie reviewer. My wife, who is a self-admitted Trekker, enjoyed it more than I. She said she got goosebumps all over when the Enterprise crashed. I did not, but I still more or less enjoyed myself. The effects were excellent, the acting acceptable, the story was at times unbelievable, even for Star Trek, but apart from being quite like every other summer blockbuster, Beyond has characters we like to like. At least, I do. I only wish these new films went in a direction less dependent upon action.

HOWE: The Enterprise being destroyed and blown to pieces was pretty spectacular. However, isn’t the ship’s name jinxed, isn’t it now three for three movies that it has been destroyed?

— Taylor gives Star Trek: Beyond 3 reptilian traits out of 5.

— Howe gives it 3 Vulcan necklaces out of 5.

– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday.



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