As you know, I’m not the biggest sci-fi fan and certainly not a Star Trek man. Not even sure I’ve ever seen a whole episode in my life. Definitely not any of that Next Generation stuff.
I have seen a few of the movies, though (Wrath of Khan was actually good) and enjoyed the JJ Abrams reboot back in 2009, which got this iteration of the cast together.
The new film, Star Trek Beyond ** has even been co-written by Simon Pegg, who is also Scottie, so I was looking for some laughs amid the bollocks about nebula, terminal velocity and warp drives.
Alas, these are not forthcoming and a serious reverence of the genre has got hold of Pegg, who instead gives himself a heap of “dinnae, cannae, lassie” dialogue that becomes tiresome if not downright patronising.
Karl Urban as Bones does try a few wry asides but the fall flat mostly, and the banter with Zachary Quinto’s Spock just isn’t there. The Russian accent of the late Anton Yelchin as Chekov is “gyetting wery seelly” now but Chris Pine as Captain Kirk, well, he’s actually pretty good – I liked his look, his hair, his performance and he rocked the outfit nicely, too.
Most disappointing is Zoe Saldana’s lack of stuff to do as Uhura – she looks a bit sad and serious all the time and, just a suggestion, I think her outfit could be a bit racier these days, especially as she and Spock are having a bit of a thing.
It should have been more fun, really. But, directed by Justin Lin who made Fast and Furious watchable, it all gets bogged down in its scale. I couldn’t work out the action sequences most of the time – there seemed no logic to them, as Spock might have said, and mainly consist of Bones or Scottie shouting instruction down a walkie talkie which Kirk then ignores but survives anyway. The main battle with these swarms of bee type things (are they spaceships? animals? aliens? what?) is long, loud and fuzzy, never getting its pace or peril right.
Is there a plot? Yes, the Enterprise is sent to save some people from a distant planet through a nebula after intercepting (and translating) a distress call…. but it’s a trap and baddy Krall (played, badly, by Idris Elba in a fishy lizardy rubbery mask) captures the ship because he wants some sort of little button thing Jim has put in a cupboard. Seriously.
There’s some decent stuff with Kirk on a motorbike and an exciting sequence where they jump start another lost ship but for the most part it was fairly ridiculous without acknowledging it, and leads to a climax that asks us to believe Chris Pine could actually beat Idris Elba in a fight…