In a long history of Star Trek movies, going all the way back to the original Motion Picture, this was the first one that I seriously thought about skipping:
I hate to see a good franchise shoot itself in the head, and by the looks of the trailer, Star Trek Beyond was going to do exactly that. The movie was directed by Justin Lin, who is partially responsible for the never-ending Fast & Furious series. Trekkies across the globe were a little worried about the director, given his track record to date, and the trailer didn’t help: I thought I was watching Fast & Furious 15 – Romulan Drift. It looked like the film makers had missed their target audience by a light year. But rather than release the film and accuse the fanbase of being alien-hating mysognists (like the makers of the new Ghostbusters flick would have done), they revamped the trailer and tried again.
And all was right with the galaxy once again. It just shows how fixing the trailer can alter perceptions of your work; something to bear in mind when writing a synopsis.
So after all that, how was the film? Well, for me, it actually hit the spot. It wasn’t as good as the first two, but it wasn’t half bad. It didn’t go overboard on the special effects (though some of the action sequences were almost impossible to follow due to the lighting and the camera work), instead doing its very best to tell a genuine story. The acting was creditiable (with the exception of Simon Pegg’s Scottish accent of course), the dialogue was passable and there were some genuinely funny and poignant moments. There was a sentimental nod towards the old guard, and a sad goodbye to the people lost along the way. Moving stuff, even if you’re not an avid Star Trek fan.
The trick to a film like this is not to take yourself too seriously (are you listening, Justice League?); bring the action, bring the suspense, but you have to deliver on the occasional laugh. It is Star Trek after all.
Eight out of ten.