At the risk of being stoned to death by die-hard Trekkies, I have never sat through an entire Star Trek film due to total boredom – so you can imagine my surprise when this latest installment not only held my limited attention span but actually had me on the edge of my seat.
The Star Trek phenomenon has always felt like a secret no one let me in on; I just didn’t get it, and I certainly didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. In fact, I am just not a fan of sci-fi films generally and never have been. However I’ve often thought that if these mega-successful franchises could somehow tap into a way to include the wider audience without offending the die-hards, they could make an even bigger payday than the offensive money they already make. Well, I am pleased to announce Star Trek Beyond and its director Justin Lin seem to have come up with the recipe.
I am clearly not the best source to compare any of the past 12 Star Trek films with Beyond, but past snippets tell me this one seems to pay suitable homage to its predecessors, yet finally allows a non-Trekkie such as me to feel included. I could enjoy the trimmings of such a blockbuster without feeling deliriously out of the loop.
A stellar cast of actors, known not only for their star turns here (so to speak) but from their wider work, probably helped me to ease into the movie a little more. The cast is just so cool. Fantastic performances from Chris Pine (Captain Kirk) Zoe Saldana (Lieutenant Uhura) and newcomer Sofia Boutella as Jayla (adding a new dimension and a delight to work with, as Pine told me) made this feel more like a red-hot action film rather than a highly unbelievable sci-fi.
Of course there were spaceships, planets colliding and all the other assorted stuff that fans may relish, but for me they almost blurred into the background, superseded by a great story line, fantastic acting and some action scenes that kept the adrenaline flowing all the way through.
Some of the fight scenes seemed a little dark for me; however when I interviewed Zachary Quinto (who plays Commander Spock), he commented that he feels the film was a little lighter than the previous Trek film Into Darkness – his sarcasm wasn’t lost on me!
If you are a fan of the franchise or just a sci-fi nut, you will love this movie. However if you are like me and not yet wearing the Spock ears, the good news is you’ll also love this movie, simply as an easy-to-watch film with a solid, feelgood plot. Judging by this one, the franchise is set to live long and prosper.