Sunday, August 21, 2016

Star Trek Beyond (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway

Star Trek Beyond

The gang is here yet again where "no man has gone before," this time helmed by Justin Lin of the "Fast and Furious" films.  Some will undoutably say there is nothing new between the stars in "Star Trek Beyond" as Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and the starship Enterprise battle against interstellar baddies. Yet this film greatly benefits from a screenplay by comedian Simon Pegg (Scotty) and the swift directing style of Lin.

Needless to say, the daring and handsome Tiberius Kirk is aboard and receives a distress call from an extra-terrestrial Kalara (Lydia Wilson) that her ship is in trouble. The Enterprise is instantly attacked without mercy. The confrontation puts Kirk in a sweaty reptilian struggle with the vengeful dictator Krall (Idris Elba) who is consumed by hate and lusts for a magic relic, the Abronath, which apparently can do everything in the universe.

While the story is your conventional good versus evil space opera, the narrative moves along with enough quickness and campy humor to keep one going.  Zachary Quinto's timing is excellent in his portrayal of a deadpan Spock and he shares a fun chemistry with Dr. Bones McCoy (Karl Urban). Fans will no doubt recognize the same jokes about the unemotive Vulcans but that is the fun of it.

The entrancing dancer Sofia Boutella steals the film with her authentic portrayal of an alien under duress, not to mention her combat moves. Her black and white makeup alone would put pop artist Keith Haring to shame.

One can agree that this is yet another federation mission of course, but the jokes are delivered with such time honored affection, free play and kitsch that the film deserves credit for not bogging down the story or harping on melodrama. The combat scenes are amusing and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Spock make an arresting Vulcan & Juliet along the far reaches of space. It is touching to see Uhura look at the bone white and unemotional Spock as a great Casanova with melting amber in her eyes. Star-cross'd lovers indeed.

This is a popcorn flick through and through with such beloved characters that "Star Trek Beyond" charms in spite of its predictability. After all, who can argue with the music of the Beastie Boys aiding with great results in a deep space battle?

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