Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond ★★★

"Life is getting ... episodic."

I like how much more of an actual adventure this is compared to the other rebooted Trek films, and I like the sense of joy it has. You actually feel like the characters and the creators feeling a real sense of wonder at all these wild adventures.

I just found myself not really caring about these people that much. The characterisation is weak, and the large cast only gets a moment or two each (except Kirk, to whom Chris Pine gives a strong feeling of ennui without losing the innate fun of the character) to shine, so everyone feels thinly sketched. I couldn't invest much into them, maybe because this film didn't feel like it was written for me - it felt like it was written for Trekkies, people who have grown up on versions of these characters and have a strong empathy for them, regardless of how well they work in an individual film.

Even outside of the core cast, something felt missing. Idris Elba's Krall is really really close to being a great villain (and he's much better than the nothing faux-fan service of the last movie), but his motivations only become clear in the last ten minutes, and, even then, they were just a little too vague for me to get a handle on him. I think he's so close to being a perfect villain - ideologically opposed, threatening, tragic - he's just not filled in quite enough and for too long.

This is a fine movie, and it's fun. Director Justin Lin is great with pace and he's amazing with movement. It's just a couple pieces short of something worthy of the awe of its title.

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