Being a massive fan of the look and feel of the way J.J. Abrams brought back the beloved Star Trek franchise, I was very excited about seeing a third instalment. Although the trailers up until its initial release did not seem to have the promise that its previous two predecessors had, I remained optimistic. There were many concerns to be had, seeing as J.J. stepped out of the directors chair to focus on Star Wars, leaving the helm to director Justin Lin, of Fast & Furious fame. With bizarre music and odd tonal vibes coming off of every trailer or tv spot for this film, I began to get a little worried that this third instalment would be a huge disappointment. I can confirm that after seeing Star Trek Beyond, it does not disappoint in any way. So, where does it rank among the trilogy? Lets dive in.
How Does Justin Lin Compare To J.J. Abrams?
To start off with the direction of the film, it is without question that director Justin Lin has more than earned his spot in directing films of this size. Turning a dead franchise in to one of the most viewed and applauded action series' of the past few years with Fast & Furious, he has proven that big budget franchises do not scare him. J.J. Abrams usually utilizes familiar storylines in a new and invigorating way in order to both capitalize on the name, as well as bring in a fresh audience who may not have heard of the franchise before.
While this style has not particularly suited Justin Lin in the past, his approach is more for entertainment purposes. Going all out in scenes that would usually be far less extravagant is how he likes to please his fans. Star Trek Beyond is the perfect example of Justin Lin's talent. Having to go big due to the film at hand, he does so, while also keep it very restrained. Taking place on almost one planet for most of the film, it allowed for tons of character interaction, which is what Star Trek has always been known for. While keeping us engaged with exciting action and very well-directed actors/actresses, Justin Lin has also created the most classic-feeling film of the trilogy so far. Hats off to Justin Lin.
The Character Moments
The plot of this film is simple. The U.S.S. Enterprise is attacked and must make a crash landing on another planet. With the attackers leader Krall at their helm, he will stop at nothing to reclaim his item taken by one of the star fleet officers and bring down Kirk's team. All landing in different locations on the planet, characters must bond together to find each other. Pitting some characters together that normally would not even talk to each other on the ship unless commanded, it was definitely the films strongest aspect.
The Dynamic between Karl Urban and Zachary Quinto as Bones and Spock was unparalleled. I found myself chuckling, being in awe, and having a blast for the entire duration of this film. While the first ten to twenty minutes of the film does include loads of character interactions, it takes a while to get moving, but that may just be my biggest complaint with the film. I truly only have good things to say about this picture. Watching a team understand what it means to be a crew and needing to work together was absolutely brilliant to see in a Star Trek motion picture. It gave the fans what they have been hoping for.
Upon landing on the planet, Scotty bumps into another life form, who he is unsure of trusting at first. Forming a bond over a deal that would benefit both of them, Scotty teams up with Jaylah, adding even more character depth to the film. Their journey may not have been the most exciting of the bunch, but hearing her try to pronounce words that she does not understand was a blast. I would love to see more of this character in the future. As far as the villain goes... Idris Elba killed it!
Although Krall (the villain) is not in the film nearly enough as I would have liked to see, he serves as a perfectly fine villain for the team, building up to a climax that you must see to fully comprehend. Idris Elba gives a terrific performance as always, and I truly believed that he was this otherworldly creature. What makes this film so real is that they stuff more creatures and aliens into this film than any of the previous two films, but it still feels the most grounded in reality, which almost makes it the best of the three right off the bat. Where does it rank among the trilogy? Here are my final thoughts.
My Final Thoughts
Is this the absolute best film of the trilogy? I would say no, but it does come dangerously close. While I still feel 2009s Star Trek to be the superior film, this comes in a very close second. Star Trek Into Darkness provided many visually stunning elements and it turned out to be a space adventure worth taking, but it borrowed far too many elements from past films. Star Trek Beyond feels classic and fresh, leaving room for further expansion. Well-written, well-directed, and trilling from beginning to end, Star Trek Beyond is far better than I believed it was going to be. If you are a Star Trek fan, an action junkie, or enjoy space settings in general, this movie is for you. Star Trek Beyond is a must see this summer.
Review By: KJ Proulx