Star Trek Beyond Parent Review
The movie offers amazing visuals and strong performances, but the script fails to boldly explore these iconic characters in any real depth.
The Star Trek universe opens in ultimate utopia with the crew of the USS Enterprise getting a much needed, dare we say “bathroom break”, at the gigantic Starbase Yorktown. The huge space station, built on the fringe of the Federation’s jurisdiction, is the first stop in many months for the Enterprise which is now in the third year of its five-year mission. But, of course, the idyllic respite doesn’t last long before Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is approached by a damsel in distress—in this case an alien named Kalara (Lydia Wilson). She pleads for help with a rescue mission in unchartered territory. Needless to say his compassionate response will lead to a galactic mess that only the iconic James T. will be able to resolve.
In the midst of this heroic effort is an antagonist named Krall (Idris Elba). He has weaponized swarm technologies that can shred anything from a human being to an entire spacecraft. The resulting attacks, especially those that seem to sandblast the flesh and bones off humanoids, are eye popping as well as somewhat disturbing. (Both responses were probably intended.) Much of the of the film features characters in peril and facing foes that either shoot various futuristic weapons or default to the usual kicking, punching and throwing moves that are core to the defensive tactics of Kirk’s crew in the classic TV series.
And talking of the original franchise, even the feminism of those 1960s episodes can’t compete with the females of this cast. Small screen Lieutenant Uhura’s (Nichelle Nichols) demure tendencies are starkly inconsistent with the martial arts fighter represented by Zoe Saldana in this reboot. Newcomer Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) is another force to be reckoned with. She takes on attackers much larger than herself and often protects Scotty (Simon Pegg) within a storyline that almost (yet never quite) places the pair in a romantic relationship.
Review continues after the break...
That lack of emotional connection is probably the greatest flaw in this 2016 film. It’s our third outing with this great cast. (We met them in Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness.) We know who these characters are and we’ve seen how they work. Although the real world tragedy of Anton Yelchin’s untimely death makes watching his last appearance here a little difficult, we still want to be digging deeper into the motivations, aspirations and ambitions of this capable crew.
Instead, this space voyage feels like the guys and gals are just off to do their usual job. We know that no matter what the obstacles, their task is going to be completed and the future is going to be put back on the optimistic track this franchise is known for. So despite amazing visuals and strong performances, the script of Star Trek Beyond misses the star-sized opportunity to boldly explore these personalities, which might have allowed it to go where few action films have gone before.Directed by Justin Lin . Starring Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto . Running time: 122 minutes. Updated November 2, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Star Trek Beyond here.
Star Trek Beyond Parents Guide
In this movie, the antagonist’s philosophy is that until people struggle they will not know who they are. What do you think he means by this? Is there truth in this statement? In this story, Krall takes it upon himself to inflict pain and distress on others. How does this type of struggle differ from the natural struggles we encounter?
Star Trek, in general, promotes a utopian view of the future the implies human knowledge has been applied to solve societal problems. How does this contrast from other science fiction premises? Would you desire to live within the Star Trek world? If not, why?