The shorthand version: If you enjoy the Abrams Star Trek universe, you will be thrilled with “Beyond”. All the actors do good work. The sets, cinematography, and special effects are good. The direction is a little wonky at times, but good overall. The score fits the movie. The 3D is not particularly striking – you will not miss much by seeing it in 2D.
Thank goodness, there were not too many lens flares.
Worth the ticket – I guess. Depends on what sort of Trekkie, Trekker, Trekist you are. See rant below.
Now for a personal rant. I cannot promise there will not be any spoilers, but I will tread carefully.
I am sick and tired of the Enterprise being blown up in every Abrams motion picture. Bad enough it is blown up, in “Beyond” they do not waste any time getting around to it. The Enterprise is part of the heart and soul of “Star Trek”. Yes, yes – character and human connection. I get all that. However, the Enterprise is the physical manifestation of hope. Hope for the future. It is humanity’s wings. Okay, they rebuild. As quickly as they rebuild this massive starship, you think there would be a fleet of millions of them. Nope. Every time, there is only the Enterprise available and it has to be blown up. Stop shooting us out of the future sky.
The Enterprise does not have engines, jets, rockets, or what-have-you on the underside of the saucer section. Get your heads out of 19th century rocketry and try some forward thinking. Likewise, there is not one single aerodynamic quality to the Enterprise, or the Franklin, or any “Star Trek” starship. Falling to terminal velocity is not going to make your propeller work any better. Additionally, even if you cannot escape a gravity well, you can control your descent – especially if you can get some of those silly under-the-saucer engines to fire after you have crash-landed. You sure as hell could have used them before you crashed.
How is it the little dog creatures did not require the universal translator – or at least, I assumed we could understand them because of the universal translator – but then the next alien we see requires the translator? The universal translator should be either invisible or visible across the board. Okay, I guess those little dog creatures learned English quickly.
No graduate of Star Fleet would ever refer to The Beastie Boys as Classical music. That is not a knock on the Beastie Boys. It is just that Classical refers to a specific period. Educated future folk will have some knowledge of this, though it may be shaky, just as you might mistake Baroque for Classical. However, there is too big of a gulf between Classical and Hip Hop / Pop, Pop-Rock, or whatever category you might lump the Beasties. McCoy might not know, but the Spock I grew up with would have, or at least would have known the Beastie Boys are not Classical.
How terrifying are your enemy’s minions if Uhura, unarmed, in a skirt and pantyhose, can take out two armed and fully armored sentries? Strangely enough, no one else seems to be able to do this.
The Spock I grew up with did not show sadness. He did not smile. He talked about logic, how the good for the many outweighs the needs of the one. How diversity creates strength. He did not put his faith in hope. If he had faith, it was in science and logic. To jump to another franchise (“Mad Max”), hope is not a strategy. Spock believed in strategies. Without that cold, calculating Spock, there is no mirror to reflect the emotional quality of his counterparts. It is merely a sea of varying emotions, without counterbalance or anchor. His monotone replies become pedantic snipes, rather than deep insights.
Star Fleet would not allow massive warp engine devices and millions ordinary citizens to be within a stone’s throw of each other. Just as they would not build a secret experimental weapons lab in the basement of a library in the middle of downtown London, they would not allow starships to zip through airlocks in a giant geodesic sphere housing millions. The Star Fleet I grew up with was not that dumb, nor that frivolous with lives.
Considering all the hard times we, the people of the early 21st century, are going through, you would think Starbase Earhart’s defense systems would be a bit quicker, and a bit more complete.
How does a planet in uncharted space have a name?