Same Star Trek Different Shovel – 2.5/5
Captain Kirk and his merry band of explorers are back once again to go where they always go; space and do what they always do; not die. The mission this time is to rescue a team of scientists whose ship has crash landed in uncharted space. However it’s a trap (copyright Admiral Ackbar) that has been laid by the evil Krall who is hell bent on destroying all the federation hold dear. This causes the team to look deep within themselves and wonder just what is it they are fighting for.
Idris Elba as Krall gets to have the most fun as his character is new and comes without any baggage. However hiding behind all that make-up makes him lose some of that Elba intensity we’ve come to expect from his role in T.V. show “Luther”. Much was made of Sulu being revealed as gay, a plotline that didn’t sit well with the original actor George Takei. John Cho said he hopes Takei will be able to find peace with the decision seeing it more so that Sulu was always gay and it wasn’t a coming out as such. This isn’t really true as when a character so long in existence is then revealed to be gay it means there is always an element of coming out.
In the returning acting department Karl Urban as Doctor Bones McCoy steals every scene perfectly capturing the essence and sense of fun of the original character. Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock have a much tougher task in trying to put their own stamp on characters so engrained in people’s psyche. Ultimately they fail, simply carrying out impressions. Especially true of Quinto as at least Pine doesn’t have to emulate Shatner’s rhythmic speech. This is not the fault of the actors but more so the tight character constraints in which they find themselves. Simon Pegg turns the Scotty up to 11 and it is surprising he doesn’t appear on screen playing the bagpipes or eating some haggis.
Like any franchise; McDonalds, Penneys or Star Wars, there is a formula to follow and protocol to be adhered to ensuring the continuation of the brand. While this is fine for food and clothes it makes for some very boring film-making. Battle scenes are finely orchestrated but stir no sense of drama as we realise no one is in real danger. Due to the ever baffling popularity of The Big Bang Theory all the jokes feel like they could have been lifted straight from the show.
The Star Trek franchise should really start applying its tag line – to boldly go where no man has gone before, to itself in terms of character development and plot lines. Don’t fans want more than the same predictable storylines? Probably not, so bring on the Klingons.
Star Trek: Beyond was in cinemas from Friday 22nd of July