Star Trek Beyond is Worthy of Its Two Predecessors
I’m sure just like me, you were a bit worried about the third entry of the new Star Trek series after seeing its first trailer. Gone was the majestic music, now replaced with a Beastie Boys song. It lacked any hint of plot and story, and seemed as if they were just trying to put Fast and Furious into space. All seemed lost thanks to Justin Lin at the helm.
Thankfully, after some reshoots, the 2nd and 3rd trailers were leaps and bounds better and it looked like we finally had a Star Trek movie worthy of the first two. And as much as it shocks me to say this… it is actually the best entry of all three Star Trek films in this new series.
The newest entry into the Star Trek series is directed by Justin Lin, known for his four Fast and Furious installments. I have to admit, I was quite worried when the reins of this hugely successful JJ Abrams series was handed over to him, but the risk paid off! The film stars Chris Pine again as Captain James T. Kirk and all of our favorites have also returned: Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin (RIP), and of course, Simon Pegg who also co-wrote this script. (Honestly, he might have been the saving grace for this film. The script is really tight.)
The cast is what really makes these films. They are fantastic in every way and work together better than we could ever hope for. But a surprise casting (don’t worry, it’s not so secret) really shines in this film. The villain Krall is played by none other than Idris Elba! I learned this only last week or so and thought it was perfect. Each of the three Star Trek films all has a strong villain. However, Krall, I think, really wins out. Without giving anything away, he has some of the most unique characteristics, such as his fleet of ships and how they operate, as well has his weapon(s) of choice. As for the plot/conflict, I’m keeping my mouth shut because saying pretty much anything will tell a spoiler or two. I went in blind to this film and so should you! Let it take you on its journey.
It was clear from the trailers Justin Lin was trying to differentiate his film from the first two; with the music in the trailer and heavy focus on action. Plus, they completely destroyed the SS Enterprise in the trailers, which got a lot of negative feedback from fans claiming, “How can you do a Star Trek film without the ship?” A bold move on their part.
In the end, they succeeded at standing apart from the first two films, but not how everyone was worried about. Surprisingly enough, Beyond actually has a very similar tone to the first two films in almost every aspect. They even brought back Michael Giachhino to score the film and he did a marvelous job. And yes, even the Beastie Boys song is in the film, however, it is in it for what I thought was actually a good reason. Sure, maybe it was a cheap way of getting some rock music into this classic sci-fi series, but honestly, it worked for what it was (and it could’ve been a whole lot worse!)
What sets Beyond apart from the other films even more so is how much more action and sci-fi aspects are in this installment! JJ Abrams is a great director and I love most of his work, but Justin Lin really brought his A-game for Beyond. It is packed with action, and yet not over the top like some other action films he may or may not have directed. There are even a few good suspenseful scenes as well. As for the sci-fi aspects, for what I now realize is the first time, it felt like I really got a bigger sense of the Star Trek universe. There is just so many more details in this film that the others seemed to lack, from creatures to characters, and even plant life. They really tried to incorporate it all. There is
even a touching homage to Leonard Nemoy and a few other references to previous Star Trek entries, but I won’t spoil anything. I’ll just say that if I was a hardcore Trekky, it probably would’ve made me tear up.
Overall, Justin Lin was clearly the perfect choice to helm the third installment in this rebooted franchise. He breathed fresh life into the series while still keeping it consistent and retaining what makes the first two films so great. The film really sucks you in from start to finish with its excellent balance of humor, action, and emotion. And although I was surprised when Star Trek 4 was announced, I have to say, I’m 100% on board with it. My only request? Please let Simon Pegg co-write again!