Star Trek: Beyond – Movie Review

Zafrir Grosman’s movie review of Star Trek: Beyond – A Great (not) Star Trek Movie

This year marks the 50th anniversary since the first appearance of a television show named Star Trek. 50 years have passed since the first time Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Sulu, Uhura and the rest of the brave crew members of the star ship Enterprise came into our lives. After the original TV show, which ended after only three seasons, came the animated series, four additional live action series which describe different eras and spaceships and no less than 10 movies.

But after the cancellation of Enterprise and the terrible reviews of the last two movies, any further projects in the franchise have been summarily pulled. Thus began the horrible drought of 2005. For years there have been no movies or TV shows in the franchise. But then came along director and producer J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost) and decided to take the franchise in a different direction.

The new Star Trek Movie came out in 2009, and brought the series back to the early days of Kirk and Spock. But it was not the same history we’ve watched and loved, but an alternative history, caused by a murderous alien who journeyed in time. The first movie got mixed reviews. It wasn’t that bad, but many fans wandered if it was really a “Star Trek” movie. The divide between the fans escalated further until the second movie The Enemy Within came along. This time fans of both sides agreed it was horrible. This is why when I went to see the movie, I did whatever I could to watch it objectively, ignore everything which went before it and watch it for what it is. The fact that the director is Justin Lin, known for the Fast and Furious movies didn’t help.

In Star trek: Beyond the crew of the Enterprise is on its third year of their five year mission and the routine is starting to take its toll. Kirk and Spock begin to wonder whether their choice to serve on a star ship was indeed the right one. Spock considers retiring from Starfleet and help his fellow Vulcans building their new world they migrated to, after their old one had been destroyed. And Kirk considers accepting a promotion to Vice Admiral and leaving the Enterprise. On their last mission the go to rescue ship of an alien race, which emerged from a nebula. The mission escalates out of control. While the crew members of the Enterprise are held captive by an alien military leader, Kirk and Spock try to save them and solve an ancient riddle from the early days of the federation


A Great (not) Star Trek Movie

First, I want to begin by easing your minds: the new movie is much better than the last one. It’s a good summer science fiction thriller, filled with ample action scenes, and helps its two hours runtime pass very nicely, just like the Fast and Furious movies. What it isn’t, however, is a Star Trek movie.

Seems like it’s non-Star Trek fans who are going to have a better time connecting with this movie rather than the die-hard fans. The movie mostly makes impressive connections to the Enterprise TV show, and many references to the vast mythology created by the franchise. However, it feels more like a science fiction movie which has been influenced by Star Trek and was created as a touching homage to it, rather than a real Star Trek movie.

In Star Trek, one could always find a very typical combination of philosophy and action, whereas in this movie it seems like the action completely overshadows character development. The screenplay is very problematic, and has holes so big entire star ships could fly through them, and in some of the scenes the action is much too exaggerated to be believable. Then again, what could be expected from a director which made such action scenes into his trademark?

In Conclusion

If you are sworn Trekkies and die-hard fans of the old series, there are reasonable chances you won’t enjoy the movie. The magic of exploration and the relationships between the characters do not exist here. But if you love light summer action movies, this is a movie for you. The true fans will probably turn their hopes to the new series in the making, Discovery, supposed to go on air on January 2017, while the new generation, which didn’t know Jean Luc Picard will probably enjoy this movie.

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