With Chris Pine, Zachary Pinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella
Directed by Justin Lin
Reviewed by JB

     Despite Simon Pegg ("Scotty") having a hand in the screenplay, STAR TREK: BEYOND plays like a dozen other summer popcorn films, and feels especially indebted to the Marvel movies. The problem is, each one of the Marvel superheroes has a distinct personality, while, only three films into the  STAR TREK movie reboot, the Trek characters are losing their personalities. With the exception of Karl Urban as Doctor McCoy and newcomer Sofia Boutella as a new ally called Jaylah, all of the other characters could have been replaced by all new characters and it wouldn't have changed the film at all.  Urban, as always, nails the character of "Bones" McCoy and has some of the best lines, while Boutella creates a fun, sexy character that would have easily been an asset in any TREK film. The writers actually modeled her after actress Jennifer Lawrence (hence her name 'Jaylah") but for me, she's Wrangler Jane in Space (look up the TV series "F Troop" if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about) and that's a good thing.

     Two of the leads - Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock - sleepwalk through the film, showing little or no signs of the characters they inhabited so well in the first two films. After several years in space, Kirk want to move on and is hoping Spock will become Captain of the Enterprise. Meanwhile, Spock is considering leaving The Federation to follow in the footsteps of the late Spock Prime (you must see the 2009 movie if you want this to make sense). This sets up what looks like it is going to the main sub-theme of the film, but it barely registers as interesting or important so you might as well just forget about it now. The rest of the actors have so little to do, they are forgettable. The film actually makes Zoe Saldana boring. What kind of a world are we living in?

    As a summer popcorn movie, STAR TREK: BEYOND is passable CGI-driven entertainment. As a Trek film, it completely misses the mark.- 2½- JB

Star Trek     The Secret Vortex


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