So, I finally went out and saw Star Trek: Beyond. Why did a life long Trekkie like me wait so long…well.
To be honest the first two films in the reboot series left me wanting. I thought JJ Abrams’ first Star Trek was a pretty good ride. And by that, I mean that it was a roller coaster with a Star Trek theme. There were twists and turns to excite and plenty of action but no real substance in the plot or storytelling. Now, on the plus side, I thought JJ put together an amazing cast of very talented people who captured the characters perfectly. I also liked the production design, special effects, and loved the music.
But like I said, it was only a ride with a Star Trek theme. I hoped Star Trek: Into Darkness would provide a more nourishing meal but was sadly disappointed. The plot was garbage, and I felt the new film did not pay proper respect to the original Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. So, yes, I was weary of this newest movie.
After reading a lot of positive reviews, however, I decided to give it a chance. And I’m glad I did. As in the last two films, the acting was spot on and the production design, special effects, and music were wonderful. This time, however, somebody decided to give it a decent plot! Although not overly complicated, the plot fit well into the two-hour movie format and remained internally consistent throughout. Also, kudos again to the writer for giving every character several moments to shine (this was not the Kirk and Kirk alone show). I also felt that they did a fine job showing respect to the original Trek, even integrating Lenord Nimoy’s passing in a tasteful way.
Movies need to tell a story visually and have about two hours to unfold the plot. Star Trek was intended to be a TV show, requiring each episode visually to tell a short story with a fairly simple plot. Novels, naturally, can take their time and explore a plot in depth but have to work harder to allow the reader to visualize the story. The first Star Trek was a TV episode stretched too long. The second was a novel crammed too short. Star Trek: Beyond…is just right.