Star Trek: Beyond turns five today, and it isn’t the gem it should’ve been.
Personally, Star Trek: Beyond is among the worst of the worst for Star Trek films that exist. To be clear, I’ve enjoyed a lot of Star Trek in my life. From the original series, all the way up to the Nu Trek that started in 2009 with the generically named “Star Trek” film. I’ve mentioned before that Into Darkness is one of my favorite movies, and while it’s not perfect, there’s enough there for to plant a flag on. It’s not the greatest, but I like it.
For Star Trek: Beyond, however? Sorry. Missed opportunities littered this film. It’s not devoid of anything enjoyable,there’s nothing wrong if you enjoyed it. It’s nowhere near Star Wars: The Last Jedi in terms of bad. It doesn’t destroy the universe or make fans turn away from the franchise.
It’s just as mentioned before, a film that missed opportunities left and right.
Star Trek: Beyond had good ideas but were poorly executed
The idea of a Starfleet captain losing his mind and becoming the villain is a slick idea. Granted, that was basically the plot of Into Darkness, where Admiral Marcus (played by Robocop himself, Peter Weller), essentially betrayed everything he stood for and tried to start a war with the Klingons. You could argue he lost his mind.
With Beyond, we’re treated to the tail of Captain Balthazar Edison, who with his two surviving crewmembers, uses alien technology that extends their life and transforms them into hideous creatures; all at the cost of innocent beings.
It’s a plotline that would’ve been better if it wasn’t so over the top. Edison becomes the alien Krall because he’s disenfranchised that the Federation couldn’t find him and his crew, so he spends his entire life hating Starfleet. When talking about Federation members betraying their oaths, we think of how well Michael Edington was portrayed and executed as a character.
Edington wasn’t given some magical MacGuffin device to turn him into a raging alien beast, but instead, he actually believed in his reasons to betray the Federation and side with the Maquis. To pull a line from Serenity, Edington was a believer. Someone devoted to his calling.
Krall was a Micahel Bay villain in makeup.
The failure of Edison/Krall is made worse by the fact they misused Idris Elba, a huge get for the franchise.
Another miss was Sofia Boutella, who played Jaylah, a rather interesting alien who the crew of the Federation meets and works with. Her character is sort of interesting but ultimately she wasn’t utilized to the best of her talents.
The film did do a nice pairing of Bones and Spock, and Kirk and Chekov, but the Kirk and Chekov pairing wasn’t given as much heart as Bones and Spock, which hurt the idea. More so, with this being the last Star Trek film before Anton Yelchin’s passing, it’s hard to watch the film back at all, least of all remember how little his character seemed to impact the events.
There’s a lot that was wrong with Beyond and maybe we’ll revisit it in a more detailed post but for now, we can boil it down to be a movie that cared more about being a blockbuster than it did about being a movie for Star Trek fans.