Friday, September 9, 2016

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

We had to have a movie in the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise (the second longest running movie franchise after James Bond). It's fast-paced, the story is Trekkie-friendly (I guess), but it doesn't invoke any feelings in you.

The Enterprise crew returned for the third outing in the rebooted franchise - well, everybody except for JJ Abrams whose absence was visibly apparent. I do not consider myself a Trekkie by any stretch of imagination. I have seen a few episodes of the original show from the 60's, and also the first two movies in the rebooted franchise. I found myself caring for the characters in the 2009 movie; they were well-developed, and the movie spent time introducing them to the audience. Into the Darkness (2013) had good performances and exhilaration action. Beyond (2016), however, lacks both.

Justin Lin (the director) jumps right in to the action with little time spent on the characters themselves. Maybe he's not to blame. People are expected to be familiar with these characters. I, of course, remembered them all and their roles, but had forgotten why I should care for them. The movie did little to remind me why. There are many action sequences, but the green-screen effects were distracting, and I did not get excited or thrilled even for one second.

I saw it on the Barco screen format. More specifically, there were three screens at the auditorium, and they were supposed to give the audience a much wider field of view. Almost 1/3 of the movie utilized the wider screen. It was obviously a different and also pleasant experience; but at the same time, constant switching from one screen to three disrupted my immersion into the movie.

Star Trek Beyond ends with what felt like a backdoor pilot to a new TV show. I actually felt the last 20 seconds of the movie did more damage than good... Anyhow, Trekkies have probably seen it. Non-Trekkies won't lose anything if they skip this one. Overall, I'd give it a 6.5/10.

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