Star Trek Beyond Screen 70 of 11 reviews

Star Trek Beyond

2016

Star Trek Beyond Poster
  • Star Trek Beyond is designed to dazzle. Its effects—including the sight of a ravaged Starship Enterprise hurtling toward the surface of a mystery planet like a colossal flaming space pie—are sometimes beautiful, and sometimes so elaborate that they obscure the action rather than make it more thrilling. Even so, Lin keeps this tense adventure from stumbling over its own excess: he knows that any good Star Trek needs wit as well as spectacle.

  • Star Trek Beyond is *fine*. It’s mostly enjoyable. I’m sure I’ll watch it again, more than once. In my own mental power rankings of the Star Trek movies it seems to me to fall squarely in the middle, exactly where the film’s limited ambition would want to place it

  • Personal and public legacies ultimately unite to bring about the unambiguous triumph of good over evil and preserve the Republic. The self-celebration of a legacy property’s sequel has rarely been framed in such starkly civic terms: the link between the historical continuity of the American federation and the personal continuity of family is the cultural continuity of “Star Trek” and pop music—and, for that matter, of classic Hollywood. Buy a ticket, keep America safe and free.

  • Importing director Justin Lin from the Fast & Furious franchise turns out to be a very mixed blessing. This has well-realised outer-space environments which feel like photorealistic versions of the matte paintings from the 1960s show and manages some spectacular crash-and-battle action. But jittery, swooping camerawork ill-serves many action sequences – chopping things up and looking from odd angles means it’s hard to tell what heroes and villains are actually doing.

  • This particular script direction plays right to new director Justin Lin's established strengths: Like the Fast and the Furious films, Stark Trek Beyond emphasizes the inter-personal dynamics of the Enterprise's crew, and functions best as an extended team-building exercise.

  • With Lin at the helm, and the Enterprise crew reimagined as a family unit in the mold of Dom Toretto’s gang, the movie bounces along, hurtling its heroes over colliding wreckage and into currents of artificial gravity, pausing just long enough for a punchline or a knowing exchange of looks.

  • A lighter, funnier effort than the previous installments, “Star Trek Beyond” reflects a changing of the guard. With JJ Abrams passing the baton to Justin Lin, the latest entry plays like a CGI-heavy “Fast and the Furious” movie set in the future, with fancy gadgetry and fast-paced showdowns taking prominence over plot.

  • Might be the Star Trekkiest film of the new, J.J. Abrams–ified Trek era. That is to say, it's the one that feels the most like a turbo-loaded episode of the original series, and has at least some of that classic spirit of exploration and derring-do... This one still falls heavily on action-adventure, as Hollywood demands of all modern blockbusters. But somewhere in there, you can sense a template taking shape for how this series might proceed — and it's a familiar, welcome one.

  • Lightning fails to strike three times in Star Trek Beyond, the sub-par third entry in the rebooted Star Trek franchise launched by J.J. Abrams in 2009. Abrams is a producer this time, doubtless burned out by The Force Awakens, and his hand on the tiller is sorely missed. The problem lies mostly in bitty, inconsequential rhythm (especially in the middle section) and an absence of the clear, precise staging of the first two instalments.

  • That the good guys will triumph is never in doubt, so there’s a sense through much of Star Trek Beyond that everyone is just going through the space opera motions. It’s therefore up to the cast, with their undeniably well-oiled chemistry, to stand out amid the prevized sturm und drang, and to forward the humane optimism of Star Trek‘s creator Gene Roddenberry. Yet even on that level the film is an extremely mixed bag.

  • There are suggestions of classic "Star Trek" style action-plus-characterization-plus-cleverness, and pleasing performances by a cast that has settled into each others' rhythms, as a real-world naval crew would after years of sailing together. But the movie never delivers on its considerable promise because it's always in such a hurry to get to the next action scene. And aside from three magnificent setpieces, the action is not good enough to be the film's main course.

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