Star Trek Beyond – REVIEW

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....'I think you're eye liner is running', said Spock....

There’s a story that a young lad who went by the name of Scott ‘Scotty’ Mc Scott, apparently of Scottish lineage, went to a rough school. So rough that when the Physics teacher asked his class what they understood about gravity they threw him off the roof. Young Scott had remonstrated with them that the teacher would plummet to the ground beneath and yet despite his school mates denial of this simple fact he told them, ‘You cannot break the laws of physics!’ In an effort to confirm this  the class threw him off the roof too. Luckily his fall was broken by the dishevelled mass of the teacher who had gone before him. One of the boys, James , shouted down to him enquiring as to whether the teacher was OK. To which Scott shouted back, ‘It’s worse than that, he’s dead Jim!’  Years later after this clearly contrived anecdote we have the latest Star Trek film featuring few if any of the show catchphrases and that’s illogical capt….(Stop it or you’re fired! Ed).

JJ Abrams was approached to do the reboot Star Trek in 2009 accepting it only if he had carte blanche. The studio told him, ‘Make it so!’ (You’re fired – Ed)  but with his commitments to ‘ The Force Awakens’ the reins have been handed over to Fast & Furious supremo Justin Lin. This third film in the franchise would have been a godsend for Bremain campaigners who still seem to be struggling with the concept of democracy and the results of a democratic vote as the core of this new film is strength in unity and the desire to destroy the federation by the latest villain Krall (Idris Elba unrecognisable underneath the prosthetic make up which makes him look like a mouldy sea shell.

Co-written by Simon Pegg this starts off with a rattlingly good first half hour and Lin is in his element as the crew battle to save the USS Enterprise from Krall and his cronies attack before they all crash land and the crew find themselves not only stranded but divided and it here that the coupling provide much of the fun especially with Spock and Dr McCoy finding themselves stuck with each other as they try to find the rest of the crew. Zachary Quinto and our own Karl Urban playing each role respectively both have really hit their stride and Urban is especially good in delivering the comic lines and Quinto continues with his superb deadline delivery of logic statement of fact that Pegg has written for them both. They’ve also added their own touches: Sulu is gay (their tribute to LGBT campaigner George Takei which has backfired since he’s outraged and what they’ve done with the character) and Spock does show emotion (he has a tear and laughs too) and the cameos by the original cast are no more.

If there is any criticism of the plot it is that it has a TV episode feel about it which dips slightly in the middle until the climatic set pieces and what may delight fans of the new franchise is the reappearance of the Beastie Boys track ‘Sabotage’ in an exhilarating sequence which admittedly does seem to have been deliberately engineered to allow the track to be played although Lin has also sneaked in Public Enemy’s old school rap favourite ‘Fight the Power’ which is appropriate in light of the plot.

Much of the attention of this latest film has focussed on Simon Pegg having co written the script with Doug Jung who also has a cameo in the film and the pair of them have written a decent story with much homage being paid to the late Leonard Nimoy and it’s unfortunate that this was Anton Yelchin’s last major film before he too tragically passed away recently because his portrayal is a little bit one note with his lines delivered at a constant level of hysteria in a Russian accent. The rest of the cast are fine too although its notable that all the aliens are humanoid in form and Scotty still seems to have a satanic walnut as a sidekick but it’s Karl Urban who is the standout and really nails his roles as the belligerent yet loyal Dr.

With Lin at home with the action set pieces, which may be too much of a blur in 3D, and the cast settled in their  roles this should ensure that the franchise will live long and prosper (‘You’re still fired!’- Ed)

Here’s the trailer:

 

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