star trek beyond – simon pegg should’ve been writing all along

Finally got to see Star Trek Beyond. It’s directed by Justin Lin, with a screenplay from Simon Pegg and Doug Jung. This is the third film in the new franchise and it stars; Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella and the aforementioned Pegg.
This time around we’re three years into the five year mission of the USS Enterprise and its crew, while they’re re-supplying at a space station an unknown escape pod appears out of a nebula and the Enterprise is tasked for a rescue mission, or so it seems…

The good; we get an actual movie! There are characters, character arcs, character motivations, twists that aren’t contrived, story, logic, internal logic that’s consistent… wow.

Let’s start with characters. There’s a scene after the opener in the very beginning where Kirk and Bones are sharing a drink, that scene has more character and character development than that last two “movies” of this “franchise.” Color me impressed.
What’s more is that everyone in the cast serves a purpose, they’re not playing characterizations of these characters, they’re actually the characters themselves.
Then we get a villain who’s motivations are clear and understandable, with a scheme that actually makes sense, both emotionally and logically.

There are a lot of easter eggs for the Trekkies out there, here are two (there are some more, but they’re spoiler-y);
The Yorktown, this name appears all throughout the Star Trek universe, most notably for being the name of the flagship until it was changed to Enterprise.
Lots of musical cues. One in particular is when Kirk and Chekov are caught in a booby-trap, it’s a piece from the Original Series episode “Shore Leave.”

It’s really amazing what happens when the focus is spent on  writing and characters, rather than the spectacle of it all.

At the end there’s also a touching note to Nimoy and Yelchin’s passing.

The bad; the marketing was all wrong for this movie. Those trailers are horrible, Paramount needs to get rid of that marketing team.

Sabotage by the Beastie Boys in in fact not only in the trailer but it’s in the movie… if the movie hadn’t made that work, I would’ve hated it. It’s still not suited for this movie, but the writing does work up to that moment. Not hating on the Beastie Boys at all, but if you’re head banging to the music in a Star Trek movie, or if you eat with your mouth open… you need to be shot with a phaser, on kill.
This being an actual Star Trek movie and even a movie at that, Beyond gets a couple of passes.

Overall, definitely worth watching. I can’t believe we had to wait for two movies before we got the “reboot” that we were promised. So sad that Leonard Nimoy was wasted into those other two, but there a very touching moment with him in this movie. And I was not expecting Beyond to tie into all of the Star Trek franchises… even Enterprise.

I can even enjoy the amazing score by Michael Giacchino, where before I just didn’t care. The music in Beyond is amazing!

I, for one am very happy to be wrong about this movie, my initial reaction is usually right, and with the trailers (and the track record) for Beyond it was looking pretty bleak. But bravo to Simon Pegg and Justin Lin for course correcting, the best decision was not having Orci direct, let alone write, and having J.J. produce. Star Trek Beyond was the Wrath of Khan That Into Darkness (and Nemesis) strives to be. Set my face to stunned that I enjoyed this movie.
Please may I have some more?

Fade out-
Eugene

 

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