Disappointing --- hugely disappointing --- is my opinion of the latest in a way-too-long line of "Star Trek" films. ALL of these movies in this genre have the same theme: maniacal overlord wants to either rule the world --- or destroy it. It's extremely tiresome and, quite frankly, "Star Trek Beyond" doesn't measure up to other space fantasy offerings.
Chris Pine returns as Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise, along with his crew: Zachary Quinto as Commander Spock, Karl Urban as Dr. 'Bones' McCoy, Zoe Saldana as Lt. Uhura, Simon Pegg as Montgomery Scott, John Cho as Sulu, and recently deceased Anton Yelchin as Chekov. Idris Elba plays the crazy antagonist Krall and Sofia Boutella is cast as Jaylah, the newest member of Kirk's fierce band of protectors.
I have no complaints regarding the cast. They really give 100 percent to their roles --- it's the writing that stinks. The screenplay credits go to six men , whom I will not list. Perhaps had a woman been involved, the dialogue would have been less inane. There are a few very amusing moments, but a film such as this requires more than a few.
Obviously, the special effects are grandiose --- our screening was in IMAX/3D --- but even those, after a while, become mundane. A good action adventure sci-fi can only rely upon such qualities for so long --- a better, more inventive plot would actually help.
Though I must admit the scene of the Enterprise splitting up and crash landing is rather daunting and spectacular. But when the ship does finally come to rest on some unknown planet, it looks a little bit too much like North America --- really??
Alas, it does not matter what I think --- nor what David thinks, because I KNOW he didn't like it. Fans will flock to theaters for
another "Star Trek"
fix --- it's addictive, I get that. I simply wish director Justin Lin and his crew had done the franchise justice.
Opinion: Wait for DVD
Maybe it's because I was a devotee of the original "Star Trek" TV show. You see, in my mind, William Shatner will always be Capt. James T. Kirk, and of course, the late Leonard Nimoy will always be the definitive Mr. Spock.
But more likely it's because our screening of "Star Trek Beyond", the third installment of the current franchise, was held at 10 p.m. and ended just short of midnight. At the risk of inciting a riot, I found the movie to be a crashing bore. Try as he may, Chris Pine (Kirk) is no Shatner, and while his remarkable makeup is well done, Zachary Quinto (Spock) is only a barely adequate facsimile of Nimoy.
"Star Trek Beyond" has its moments of levity, especially from Spock's interaction with Dr. 'Bones' McCoy (Karl Urban), and Scotty (Simon Pegg) interacting with everyone in the Enterprise crew. Newbie to the franchise is Jaylah (Algerian actress Sofia Boutella), sporting some interesting facial makeup. And Spock --- SPOILER ALERT --- even smiles at one point.
Kudos to Lin MacDonald for fabulous set designs which look remarkable on an IMAX screen. And the 27-member makeup department has created some memorable characters --- cosmetically, at least --- most notably the evil Krall (Idris Elba).
There is a brief tribute to the original cast in the form of a group photograph. But most distracting is the appearance of Anton Yelchin as Chekov. The up-and-coming Russian-born actor died tragically in a freak accident this past June. He was only 27 years old.
"Star Trek Beyond" doesn't break any new ground, and I didn't find the crew's current crisis particularly enthralling or involving. As Jeanne would say, "it's the writing, stupid".
Opinion: Wait for DVD