MY 100TH POST ON SHOTON35.COM !! DRINK A BEER/WHISKY/VODKA/LIQUOR/LEMONADE/WATER? ON ME TONIGHT !!
| The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.
If you are a devoted follower to the saga, you may observe the repetitive pattern (wherein Enterprise gets attacked by a baddie with resentment to the Federation and must stop his/her huge plans of mass destruction). “Beyond” applies the same pattern but to surprising effect. It can be lauded to Justin Lin’s effort to lend his flair for blockbusters – as seen from his Fast & Furious movies – and apply them to the Star Trek universe without sacrificing its heart and soul. And that comes from the Enterprise crew on adventure mode, for this new “Star Trek” feels like a full-length TV episode. It proves that Simon Pegg knows Trek flair when he and his co-writer wrote this down.
It can be attributed that this is a mandatory tribute for Star Trek’s 50th year anniversary, but as a stand-alone feature, it’s a lot of fun. As the visual spectacle has been consistent, the cast this time has more chemistry and screen time, with Chris Pine as Kirk striking solid, Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Dr. ‘Bones’ McCoy (Karl Urban) as an effective duo and finally Chekov (Anton Yelchin) has more time to shine. The stand-out character would be Sofia Boutella’s white-bodied Jaylah, who flowed into the character smoothly and would likely see her again in future installments. (Sofia also did an excellent job as the blade-legged lady in ‘Kingsman The Secret Service’). Idris Elba gives us an interestingly different role beneath some great prosthetic make up as main villain ‘Krall’, who, though thrilling in his own right, wasn’t as chilling a villain to me as Benedict Cumberbatch’s ‘Khan’ in the previous film.
| Spock: “Fear of death is illogical.”
| Bones: “Fear of death is what keeps us alive.”
I won’t even hesitate before recommending seeing this film in 3D (and this says something cause I actually hate it). It offered plenty of scenes that worked beautifully in all their visual depth, including action sequences and extraordinary landscape shots. It was easy enough for me to tell Lin was applying his own techniques of filming here, which I respect, as some sequels I’ve seen have had directors clearly following by example of whoever directed their predecessor and not always producing a great result.
Besides all the fun there is something I have to nitpick: The story is not that well executed. The things that are happening (especially in the finale) are very predictable. The main villain pretty much has a basic revenge plot going on. However his plans don’t make much sense if you start asking questions. There are a lot of plot holes so that the things that actually happen don’t add up.
This is certainly a good and welcome addition to the franchise, and Justin Lin did a great job handling this sequel in Abrams’ place, making this highly likely his best film to date. And it proves a touching tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin. I’m looking forward to the confirmed fourth movie, though it definitely won’t be the same without them. Enjoyable enough, nothing disappointing, but nothing to write home about either. Worth a watch!