Star Trek Beyond (2016) Review

As a movie lover, I’m often checking Fandango to see if anything new or interesting has popped up.  I consider myself lucky enough to have noticed when there was an advance screening of Star Trek Beyond available as part of a marathon event with the first two films, and I jumped on it right away.  It was definitely worth it.

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Being able to experience all three films back-to-back, I was able to see the subtle differences in J.J. Abrams’ and Justin Lin’s directing styles.  Familiar with the Fast & Furious franchise, I was expecting Star Trek Beyond to be just as fast-paced and full of action, but I was surprised to find that Lin’s approach was a lot more tame compared to that of Abrams.  It felt more like I was watching a really long TV special as opposed to a movie, which I enjoyed.

While I definitely found myself missing the constant flow of action from the first two movies, I really appreciated how there seemed to be an increase of witty one-liners from various members of the cast.  At least for those in the theater I was in, I think there was a pretty consistent flow of laughter throughout the whole film.

As with most movies, I think the story could have stood to benefit from a bit more fleshing out of certain scenes/plotlines, but at the same time I realize there were runtime restrictions to consider, not to mention there were some obstacles that apparently had to be overcome with the script writing.  (I  also can’t find the article now, but I’m sure if you look for it, somewhere floating about on Google is someone’s write-up of how Lin felt he didn’t have enough time to develop the story, or something along those lines.)

I was surprised to see the amount of negative press I’ve come across for this movie, and for once I find myself agreeing with the 84% critic / 85% audience (current rating as of the date of this entry) rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

At the marathon event, I was able to experience Star Trek Beyond in IMAX 3D.  Personally, I felt like this is one of those movies where 3D doesn’t really enhance the experience all that much.  I typically don’t feel the need to watch movies in 3D anyway, but since it happened to be included as part of the event, I thought that might be worth mentioning for anyone who might be curious.  I will say though, it got me to thinking about how I can’t wait for VR technology to improve so that maybe one day we can have a more immersive experience in theaters.  Now that is something I’d like to participate in.

Speaking of VR—I recently gave the HTC Vive a whirl at a Windows Store and I have to say, I thought it was pretty sweet, though I look forward to technology getting better so that the images look crisper and more high definition (as well as more realistic; I have faith that one day developers will make that happen).  I’ll have an entry posted about that at some point in the near future.

Also, apparently Star Trek 4 might become a thing, with J.J. Abrams returning to direct.  I’m not sure if that was always planned (for some reason I thought I read somewhere that this was supposed to be a trilogy), but I can’t say that I’m disappointed.  If anything, I’m super okay with this and can’t wait to find out what the next installment will bring, especially since time travel is being teased for the potential sequel and Chris Hemsworth might also be returning as George Kirk (which I would be especially excited about, to see Kirk and his father to meet on-screen).

Final Thoughts: I found this was worth watching in theaters, and I look forward to adding this to my home movie collection.  The last thing I’ll mention is that there are no special scenes after the credits, so unless you want to watch a few minutes of CGI at the start of the credit roll, there isn’t really a need to stay after everything’s concluded.

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