**Spoiler Free Review
I was worried. Really nervous after I saw all the trailers. The freaking movie had a motorcycle, and it was directed by the Fast and Furious guy. This thing could be a cinematic black hole, sucking all the life out of the galaxy. It wasn’t.
This movie jumped to the top of my Star Trek movie rankings, just….like…that. It also cemented for me that Chris Pine is Captain Kirk. He is way better at it than William Shatner ever was, and I am a Shat fan.
Before I sat to write this, I thought I should read through Sam and Josiah’s recent post about the 7 Things They Love About Star Trek Reboots, just to see if this film covered those things. Yeah baby, it did.
The film starts with a tad of humor that is just a warm up. A theatrical appetizer if you will, and Pine is brilliant in s decidedly un-Kirk-like situation. He plays it as wonderfully as he does the action packed scenes that fill this movie and are a completely different animal for actors.
After we get a chuckle or two from the first scene, we see the best part of the new J.J. Abrams Trek franchise. The visual elements of this film are stunning. I am particularly impressed with the attention to detail. I remember being excited in the first film that actually showed people inside the windows of the ship as the camera did its trademark flyby of the ship. Each film got a little better at those flybys. This one did it so much better than every before. I really felt the scale of that ship.
The second place in the film that this was evident was in the newly introduced deep space station Yorktown. Did you know that Yorktown was the name of the ship that Gene Roddenberry proposed to NBC for the original Star Trek, and before production it was changed to The Enterprise? In Star Trek Beyond, Starbase Yorktown is a gyroscopic mega city in space, that is a series of rings that interconnect and look like the gyroscope toys I played with in the 1970’s. The detail was again spectacular. So many buildings and walkways and trees on top of the skyscrapers. The best part of all was the space docks through which the starships entered were actually tunnels under water, so the as the ships made their way through the tunnels, the people standing on the edge of the water filled canals could watch the ships pass beneath them. I was giddy like a little kid at the imagination put into the Yorktown’s design.
The other visual effects that are notable are things like the ship from a distance when it is at warp. Particularly if you understand warp theory and why they even call it Warp….because it warps the space around the ship to move it. Watch for it, it’s awesome.
The film kicks into warp speed pretty quickly, and it was heart-poundingly, painful to watch. I love the Enterprise like it is my own ship, as I have seen every single episode of every single TV franchise and every single movie..multiple times. So, when the Enterprise is taking a beating, and that happens often, I feel it as surely as someone kicked my dog. This particular scene is incredibly hard to watch as it really drives the adrenaline to new levels. I was red-lining from beginning to end. You’ll know what I am talking about.
The characters that I love so much, continue to be played brilliantly by this cast, and I am so happy that Star Trek 4, with this cast was just announced. I hope that we can get another few films out of them because they are so good.
Simon Pegg’s writing is also spectacular. He continues to capture the spirit of the old characters and drops that right into the hands of the new cast. I mentioned just how good Chris Pine is, but it is ridiculous how good the all are. Karl Urban is my next favorite, really recreating the character of Bones McCoy, as created by DeForest Kelley. Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, John Cho and the late Anton Yeltsin also charmed with their great performances. Pegg also created two new characters in Jaylah, played by Sofia Boutella and the movie’s villain Krall, played by the very talented Idris Elba.
Action, humor, great characters (old and new), an edge of the seat story line and some stunning visual elements really made this a great film for me. Any film that can make me forget Shatner, well that says a lot. This holds the spot of my favorite film of 2016 and Spiderman wasn’t even in it.
Final Score 9.5/10
+ I love the original crew of The USS Enterprise
+ Chris Pine gets better with each adventure
+ Justin Lin didn’t really Fast and Furious it
+ Great story with a great villain
+ The visuals are absolutely stunning
– Motorcycle. The film had a damn motorcycle
– The ending. You’ll have to see it, or wait for the spoilers to see why.
– Oh, Anton. I miss you already. RIP, good man. Your last performance on the Enterprise was excellent.
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Pete Herr is the author of “10 Things We Should Teach You In High School and Usually Don’t”. He is the oldest geek in the Geekiverse by a factor of two. Follow Pete Herr on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram . If you don’t he gets Grumpy. You don’t want to see him Grumpy.