By: Felix Felicis (Two Beers) –
Once, twice, three times a Trekkie, Star Trek Beyond has managed to overcome the curse of the sequel(s) to threepeat a Box Office victory for both fans and critics alike. Sorry, George Lucas and The Force That Fell Asleep Last Winter, I’ll forever hold dearly the memory of that one time we ran into each other and discussed mahjong, but I’ve only ever been a lukewarm fan of the lightsaber franchise at best. Kirk, and The U.S.S. Enterprise, have always set phasers on stunning entertainment for me. Even amidst production delays, script rewrites, and surviving the experience of taking my boxed-wine-drunk dad to see the film, Beyond delivered a sizzling summer slice of space you’ll want to explore over and over again while giving a touching farewell to those we’ve lost along the way.
Star Trek Beyond begins a little past the halfway mark through Captain Kirk and Co.’s five year mission into deep space, like the deepest, like, SUPER DEEP. We open with a #spacecaptainprobs semi-hipsterish-ennui filled monologue peppered with subtle humor from the roguish Kirk (Chris Pine) we’ve all come to know and love. Seems someone needs to turn that frown upside down and, as the Enterprise docks at a planet-sized Starfleet outpost to re-provision (after coming into possession of a mysterious weapon) that seems a little too easy to get to for a captain and crew supposedly exploring deeeeeeeep spaaaaaaace, the external fissures that threaten to crack apart Kirk and his No 2 dude, Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto), begin to appear. Enter a galactic damsel in distress, Idris Elba’s bad guy (Krall), and the greatest excuse to blast The Beastie Boys ever. Rinse and repeat for good times.
Try not to wear your cashmere jeggings to the theater if you go see this because Star Trek Beyond (under the action of Fast and the Furious franchise reboot wunderkin, Justin Lin) delivers slick action and an even slicker soundtrack that’ll have you slipping off the edge of your seat more often than a Kardashian after a colonic. Don’t google that. The gang’s all here and their chemistry, camaraderie, and quips carry the film alongside some new faces (all-around badass Idris Elba as Krall and Kingsman treasure Sofia Boutella as Jaylah) who blend flawlessly into the whole. The humor is evident and has Simon Pegg’s clever hand clearly in the mix as the Enterprise crew and Co. are always ready to blithely toss off a gem of a one liner in the middle of whatever proverbial ass-deep-in-alligators trouble they’ve gotten into this time around the intergalactic block (and it makes the two hour runtime practically *lowers shades* fly by).
Most film franchises begin to fail after they’ve made it this deep into the cinematic frontier (help me I can’t stop), just look at the latest Divergent franchise flop, Allegiant Part 1 (or not, really really not as I had to review it then stab an ice pick into my brain afterward as a palate cleanser), whose third film did so poorly amongst critics, fans, and financials that the contractually obligated Part 2 is allegedly being retooled into a possible made-for-TV movie. Seriously. You can google that one. But Star Trek Beyond has managed to warp past that hurdle (oh God, run for your lives the puns, the puns keep coming) with ease due to a genuinely charismatic cast that keeps you coming back for more, and bigger, adventures with classic characters we’ve always known and loved- delivered in a fresh parallel universe that’s just the gift that keeps on giving.
It took me a really long time to be able to qualify all my feels for this flick (largely, I’m assuming, to the trauma associated with trying to wrangle an intoxicated octogenarian back into his seat several times throughout the film-remember I took my boxed-wine-drunk dad to see Star Trek Beyond-and the associated therapy that went along with that) so I’m still largely uncertain as to the exact nature of the niggling doubts leaving me unable to solely Toast the film as of yet… But Beyond hit a bit of a wobble right out of the gate with a slightly lackadaisical opening montage before beating us pretty heavily over our heads with the emotional foils our fave BFF bromance would soon face (and ultimately overcome).
Add to that a whiffly, nebulous plot of dubious quality when scrutinized closely (do yourself a favor and watch all the pretty pretty action instead) and the fact that Simon Pegg pulled a coherent vision pretty much (I’m ASSuming- #punlife) out of his ass with those re-writes and I can’t even come down that hard on it. I’m not even that mad at the ridiculously obvious Bad Guy McGuffin they tried to foist off on us due to the simple fact that Idris Elba nailed the role to the floor with everything he had and then some.
Star Trek Beyond has thrusters set on full entertainment ahead and it’s gonna dock your face off. Don’t miss this threequel in theaters.
Star Trek Beyond (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Scotty goes full Scot and calls Jaylah “Lassie” or says “wee”.
Do a Shot: whenever Krall gets krunk on life (and taking it).
Take a Sip: for every illusion and trap.
Do a Shot: every time the space bees swarm.
Pour a Little Out: for Spock and Chekhov.