I was a huge Trek fan back in the day; DS9 remains one of my all time favorite tv shows and basically created my love for sci-fi. While the first two Abrams Trek movies were very different from the existing franchise, I enjoyed them a great deal. I love the fact that they’re taking place in an alternate timeline leaving “my” Star Trek still alive and well. They’re having their cake and eating it too. For the first time in history, Trek movies felt like MOVIES rather than expensive tv episodes. They were full of big expensive action scenes, and they made Kirk, Spock, and McCoy vibrant and fun. Some might say that’s not what Trek is about, but I say that’s how you appeal to a mass audience. I thought the first two were great movies (with a few notable problems) and told important stories to the larger franchise.
I think Star Trek Beyond is about as good as those first two, but stands just a tad behind them. It’s a fun story with great pieces in it, but ultimately this is the Insurrection of the Kelvin Timeline. (that’s the new official name for the Abramsverse) It’s a standalone story about a standalone planet with standalone aliens. Nothing really attaches to a larger story the way the first two movies do. I’m not saying that’s a terrible thing, but it just makes everything feel slightly less important. The villain is definitely the weakest of the three (that’s right, worse than Nero! Come on, he wasn’t THAT bad. At least he had a good motivation!), which is a real shame because I love Idris Elba in anything.
Star Trek Beyond
- Big cinematic action sequences.
- The Federation space station was an amazing visual design.
- Solid roles for almost every character in the cast.
- The destruction of the Enterprise is a thrilling sequence, much better than the ones in 3 or 7. (that's not a spoiler it was everywhere in the marketing)
- Great ending.
- The villains are extremely underdeveloped and uninteresting.
- Idris Elba, an amazing actor, was completely wasted in a thin role buried under tons of makeup.
- The story is ultimately a random standalone adventure, rather than feeling like part of a larger arc the way the first two did.
- The extremely overpowered bad guys get conveniently easy to defeat in the third act.