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November 29, 2017

Star Trek: Beyond (2016) --- "Don't Always Believe The Lone Survivor Because They May Lead You Into A Trap."

Plot Summary
A surprise attack in outer space forces the Enterprise to crash-land on a mysterious world. The assault came from Krall (Idris Elba), a lizard-like dictator who derives his energy by sucking the life out of his victims. Krall needs an ancient and valuable artifact that's aboard the badly damaged starship. Left stranded in a rugged wilderness, Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the crew must now battle a deadly alien race while trying to find a way off their hostile planet. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     The 21st century Star Trek reboot films have had mixed received by critics, all three have their strengths and weaknesses. Star Trek (2009) was a good origin story but the villain was one-dimensional and underdeveloped. Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) fared reasonably well as an action film and had an interesting villain but a few characters were put on the background too much. Now we have Star Trek: Beyond (2016) and I personally believe it to be the better of the three films despite being rated 7.1/10 in comparison to 2009’s 8/10 and 2013’s 7.8/10.

     Star Trek: Beyond stuns the senses, visually and auditory perception. The special effects are fantastic and the makeup is impressive, especially considering the film was nominated for an Oscar in Makeup (despite not winning this is a big accomplishment). There is a bold use of color that dazzles the eyes, some suitably moody cinematography (Stephen F. Windon), beautiful production design (Andrew Murdock & Thomas E. Sanders), and the distracting lens flares from before have finally been reigned in. The music score (Michael Giacchino) is beautiful as always and the sound effects convey a sense of realism that only further pushes you to believe that what you are seeing is real. There is nothing short of thrills, tension, and excitement in this film and the casting (April Webster and Alyssa Weisberg) works great as well.
     After reviewing all three films I noticed there was an amazing evolution of characters taking place, one that doesn’t start to come to fruition until this film...
   In Star Trek (2009) we see an origin story where all our favorite and memorable characters meet for the first time while establishing a general background on their personalities. Spock (Zachary QuintoSnowden) is trying to be full Vulcan despite being half-human, and Kirk (Chris PineWonder Woman) is an adrenaline junkie who has a problem with following orders. The rest of the cast - John Cho (Harold & Kumar), Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy), Anton Yelchin (Fright Night), Simon Pegg (Run Fat Boy, Run!), and Karl Urban (Dredd) – are great supporting characters. 
   In Star Trek: Into the Darkness (2013) Kirk is more mature but he struggles with finding a balance between following the rules and breaking them in order to protect his crew; those he cares about most. While Spock is starting to embrace his human half but still struggles with the basic understanding of human emotion. While the supporting cast of Scotty (Pegg), Sulu (Cho), Uhura (Saldana), Chekov (Yelchin), and Bones (Urban) have now started to mature into more deeply rooted characters. 
   Now in Star Trek: Beyond (2016) Kirk has found a balance between what is morally right and what is right rule-wise. Spock has also evolved more despite still struggling with human emotion and interaction, however, it is obvious that he has gradually evolved throughout the films and I believe we get to see him reach a crescendo in Beyond. Again the supporting cast is great. Sofia Boutella (The Mummy) is a great addition and it was funny to see the comical chemistry she has with Simon Pegg’s character, who starts showing bringing tricks and ideas to the screen. Karl Urban delivers a more emotional side to his character and still gets in some classic McCoy reactions, while Zoe Saldana and John Cho start to take matters into their own hands in order to protect the Enterprise crew. Know that this was Anton Yelchin last film before his untimely death is heart-wrenching but it was nice to see him take on a bigger role here; throughout the three films his character’s screen time and his dialogue starts to get bigger from one film to the next. Also, the tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy is touching. Idris Elba (Dark Tower) as the villain was pretty good, I almost didn’t recognize him with the special effect makeup

     Overall, Star Trek: Beyond (2016) is an entertaining film that is light-hearted, moving, action packed, and humorous. Personally, this is my favorite Star Trek reboot so far. One aspect of the film I liked was that like its predecessors, Beyond does not only focus on Kirk, Spock, and McCoy (Bones) but rather utilizes the nice ensemble of characters that it has. Now I know that in the second film a few characters were mainly in the background but I believe that they redeemed themselves here. Due to the untimely death of Yelchin, it is unclear whether Star Trek will return for a fourth film or not, however the new TV show – Star Trek: Discovery (2017) – looks promising.

"Fear of death is what keeps us alive."
- Bones to Spock

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4.3 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  4.3 of 5 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch Star Trek: Beyond (2016).

Movies Similar 
      After Earth (2013)
     The Fifth Element (1997)
     Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
     Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
     Interstellar (2014)
     John Carter (2012)
     Jupiter Ascending (2015)
     Power Rangers (2017)
     Prometheus (2012)
     Serenity (2005)
     Stargate (1994)
     Starshipp Troopers (1997)
     Star Trek I: The Motion Picture (1979)
     Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
     Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
     Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
     Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
     Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
     Star Trek: Generations (1994)
     Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
     Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
     Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
     Star Trek (2009)
     Star Trek: Into the Darkness (2013)
     Star Wars I: Phantom Menace (1999)
     Star Wars II: Clone Wars (2002)
     Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
     Star Wars IV: New Hope (1977)
     Star Wars V: Empire Strikes Back (1980)
     Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
     Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
     Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi (2017) 

Cast & Crew
Directed by Justin Lin    
Produced by 
     J.J. Abrams    ...    producer
     Ron Ames      ...    associate producer
     Jeffrey Chernov   ...        executive producer
     David Ellison ...    executive producer
     Dana Goldberg     ...        executive producer
     Tommy Harper    ...        executive producer
     Josh Henson ...    associate producer (as Joshua Henson)
     Justin Lin      ...    producer
     Roberto Orci  ...    producer
     Helen Pollak  ...    associate producer
     Lindsey Weber     ...        producer
Cinematography by Stephen F. Windon       
Production Design by Andrew Murdock and Thomas E. Sanders
Set Decoration by Lauri Gaffin and Lin MacDonald
Costume Design by Sanja Milkovic Hays

Chris Pine                        ...      Captain James T. Kirk
Zachary Quinto             ...      Commander Spock
Karl Urban                      ...      Doctor 'Bones' McCoy
Zoe Saldana                   ...      Lieutenant Uhura
Simon Pegg                     ...      Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott
John Cho                         ...      Sulu
Anton Yelchin               ...      Chekov
Idris Elba                        ...      Krall
Sofia Boutella                ...      Jaylah
Joe Taslim                      ...      Manas
Lydia Wilson                 ...      Kalara
Deep Roy                         ...      Keenser
Melissa Roxburgh        ...      Ensign Syl
Anita Brown                   ...      Tyvanna
Doug Jung                       ...      Ben
Danny Pudi                     ...      Fi'Ja
Kim Kold                         ...      Zavanko
Fraser Aitcheson          ...      Hider
Richard Laurence       ...      Chancellor Ambassador
Douglas Chapman       ...      Sir Olden
Dan Payne                       ...      Wadjet
Anthony Shim                ...      Jin
Andrea Yu                       ...      Jeanine
Shea Whigham              ...      Teenaxi Leader
Christian Sloan             ...      Jae
Jake Huang                    ...      Krall's Henchman 

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