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Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Movie Mania - Star Trek: Beyond

Simon Pegg, Doug Jung, and Justin Lin know what a Star Trek should be, and they gave it to us fans, both the gray-haired fogies who watched the original series fifty years ago and the kids who've picked up the tales of the Enterprise in the Kelvin Universe on the big screen.

First of all, I love this version of the movie poster because of its deliberate symmetry with the poster used for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Second, after the hash that Paramount presented us in Star Trek: Into Darkness, this story was a breath of, well, relief that the studio hadn't totally fucked up the franchise.


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SPOILERS


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PROS
1) This felt like a glorious, extended TV episode, which IS NOT a bad thing. We haven't had a chance to visit this version of the crew in their day-to-day lives. The slight glimpse during shore leave was very welcome.

2) Jim's birthday is probably a holdover tidbit from Into Darkness since Paramount was determined to remake The Wrath of Khan. But both the quiet drink with Bones and the crew's surprise party at the end established much more significance due to George's death than the glasses and book in TWoK.

3) I was a little concerned when Justin Lin was announced as the director. Don't get me wrong, I love his work on the Fast & Furious franchise. I was pleasantly surprised by his respect for the source material as well as adding his own touches.

4) Sophia Boutella as Jaylah, the crew's outside ally, totally rocked! Nor was she treated as a sex kitten. (Don't get me started on Carol Marcus in Into Darkness!)

5) The controversy over Sulu's family was blown out of proportion. (If you haven't already, re-watch the beginning of Star Trek: Generations and what is exactly said during Demora's introduction to Jim.) The shore leave scene in Beyond was handled sweetly, it gave real angst when the bad guy attacked the population of the space station, and it was clearly intended as a respectful nod to George Takei and his civil rights work.

6) Simon Pegg and Doug Jung wrote a fabulous script that added all the little touches I expect from Star Trek: humor, action, and emotional resonance.

7) The touching tributes to Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin were appropriately simple and appropriate.


CONS
1) Why the fuck aren't Simon and Doug writing the next Star Trek installment?


Overall, I give Star Trek: Beyond 10 out of 10 stars.

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