AN EMPIRE OF WORDS

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

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Star Trek Beyond is the third instalment of the recently rebooted Star Trek franchise, however, this time Justin Lin (of the Fast and Furious franchise) has put his spin on this.

After the events of Star Trek Into Darkness, released three years earlier, the enterprise crew undertook a five year mission, which they are currently three years into. As expected when being cooped up on a ship, they are starting to get a little bit antsy.


As expected Spock and Jim’s (Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine, respectively) chalk and cheese chemistry continues to thrive on screen, rising a few laughs from the audience. But Star Trek Beyond sees a mix-up of the crew as they are ambushed by the villan Krall (Idris Elba) and his ‘bees’. Due to their swarming attack and the destruction of the SS Enterprise, we see Bones (Karl Urban) and Spock team up, Jim and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) together and Sulu (John Cho) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) lead the rest of the Enterprise crew.

It’s clear to see Justin Lin’s influence on the rebooted franchise of  Star Trek with the dizzying flight sequences teamed up with action-fuelled chases (in particular the bike sequence is where Justin Lin is having his fun) which is entertaining for the big-screen, but unfortunately doesn’t make up for the lack of story behind Star Trek Beyond especially the backstory of Krall and his mysterious powers. Who happens to look more like the Villian out of The Mask than an otherworldly villain. 


However, I won’t delve too much into that due to potential spoilers!

Justin Lin has seemed to create a very miss-mash film as some sections of the film are really enjoyable and other parts became frustrating to watch. Lin managed to capture the essence of the characters and continue the trend that JJ Abrams began with Spock and Kirk’s constant bickering. However, this time round the characters role are switched, as Bones and Spock are stealing the show. It all worked, creating laughs from the cinema and becoming the enjoyable scenes throughout the film.

On the surface the film is very entertaining and a good popcorn film, which helps the two hour runtime pass by with ease, unfortunately this becomes the weakest of the three instalments as there doesn’t seem to be a great deal going on underneath the flashy surface. However, the cast are still continuing with their already successful roles from the first two instalments creating that chemistry that was already established. Lin has also chosen to add Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) who could be a more than a bitpart in the future instalments. 


My immediate feeling from Star Trek Beyond is ‘meh’. Although there are some really enjoyable parts, there was that certain finesse missing from the first two. Whether JJ Abrams would have told the story different I am unsure, but considering previously Abrams developed a slight backstory to Khan and Nero, whereas Krall is left largely undiscovered and left me feeling rather underwhelmed considering the fantastic use of villains in the previous two.

P.S. During the aftermath of this film, Sulu’s sexuality seemed to become a point of reference in reviews and talk alike. I thought this was completely irrelevant and doesn’t create the controversial point the media seemed to create out of it. 

Also I realise this has been a shorter post than usual, however, I feel the film in general just chunters along without any outstanding plot points other than the splitting up of the crews and their shared irritation setting in on the SS Enterprise.

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Author: Nathan Harris

Currently studying Film & Television studies and Media Writing at Derby University. Hopefully wanting to become a film critic/journalist.

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