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I had my reservations about the film. It is IMO the best of the three Kelvin Timeline films. But it still isn't a groundbreaking Star Trek film. And I hope "Star Trek: Discovery" will set these things straight. Anyway, here's my review in bullet point style, with pro's and con's:
It is indeed the best of the Kelvin timeline trilogy. So it saddens me a bit that until now "Beyond" is on course to become the least succesful Kelvin-film.
It's a real teamplayer movie, in which every character gets a worthy role. The writers did a good thing by dropping the crew in duo's on the planet Altamid. By doing so there are more heftier, deeper conversations taking place between all of them. For instance, Kirk and Bones drinking some powerful brandy together works, talking about Kirk's father George. Furthermore, you can see some 'George Kirk' in James Tiberius once he makes sure he's the very last person to abandon the ship...or what's left of it.
The theme of the film, basically Hillary Clinton's 'Stronger Together', is being used in here. Unity and cooperation eventually achieve more good, as opposed to Krall's vision of dividing crews and destroying unions.
It was refreshing to see the Enterprise crew for the most part on a true alien planet. Altamid looked different from many of the alien planets and moons the previous 12 films focused on. Altamid has exotic forests, yet also dangerous rocky environments.
Sofia Boutella as Jaylah was a real nice addition to the film. She was really spicy and shook up things a bit once the crew members came together with her help. In a way she reminded me of Lily from "Star Trek: First Contact".
I am a big fan of actress Shohreh Aghdashloo. She currently plays a lovely Clinton-esque power-politician in "The Expanse" (worthwhile watching it). In here she plays Commodore Paris, the commander of Federation Station Yorktown, with her own lovely charisma and smokey vocals.
The film had some nice, positive references to Prime Spock and his own senior crew he was part of.
Nice to finally see Sulu being revealed as a gay husband with a kid (Demora Sulu??). It actually gave me a warm feeling, seeing two men with kids. It's what I dream off, and will probably never get or achieve. But, I found it a missed opportunity to do a bit more with gay characters, story-wise.
From the viewpoint of technical continuity "Beyond" is a big party. The USS Franklin to me always looked like a slightly cleaner, leaner version of Captain Archer's NX-Class USS Enterprise. And now we understand why. The USS Franklin NX-326 (2161) was commissioned 10 years after the launch of the USS Enterprise NX-01 (2151).
There are many little references to "Star Trek: Enterprise", of which season 3 and especially season 4 were really good. The uniforms of Captain Balthazar Edison's crew really looked like a streamlined combination of Captain Archer's crew and the Kelvin timeline Captain Kirk. Captain Edison also shortly mentioned The Xindi. Make no mistake, "Star Trek: Enterprise" now serves as a bridge between the Kelvin Timeline and the Prime Timeline. "Enterprise" in a way is part of both timelines.
A comparison between the USS (M.A.C.O.-ship) Franklin and the first USS Enterprise:
And there are some nice comparisons already with the saucer section of the USS Franklin and the upcoming USS Discovery from the new series "Star Trek: Discovery". You see this fishbone-like array? It could very well be the predecessor of 24th century phaser arrays. But both the USS Franklin and the USS Discovery -both Prime Timeline ships- have it:
"Star Trek Beyond" still is what it is: A fairly OK Trek-blockbuster, but by no means a groundbreaking "Star Trek"-adventure. It touches a lot of moral and ethical dilemma's, but it only stays with 'touching'. It doesn't go into detail with such dilemma's. I find that a missed opportunity. And I do think the Trek-franchise needs a more groundbreaking Sci-Fi epic. Similar to what 'Skyfall' and 'Casino Royale' did to the Bond franchise.
A lot of events that occured in "Beyond" deserved to be on the forefront if you ask me. There was the mention of 'New Vulcan'. You see some other Vulcans wandering on that wonderful space station Yorktown. But as we are facing our own immigrant crisis in Europe, then why did no writer stand up and asked themselves: "We need to tailor a story around those Vulcans who are now desparate immigrants themselves". Why couldn't there be at least a bit more conversation about this? It could have fitted perfectly in the theme of 'Stronger Together'.
Same goes with the very essence of the United Federation of Planets. Commodore Paris had a small role, but why couldn't her role be made bigger? In which she more fiercefully supported the need of a United Federation of Planets?
The more grotesque bits of humours to me felt a bit flat. The opening sequence, a diplomatic mission, was funny. But when can we see Captain Kirk more competent during diplomatic missions? God, I do miss Captain Picard.
Krall/Captain Edison to me felt like the biggest flaw of the film. Perhaps the Kelvin films needed a less dominant villain this time. But at least Krall's reasoning to me was vague. He was just 'there' to make revenge. I would have loved to see a dinner table sequence in which Kirk and Krall had a fierce intellectual discussion about the need of the Federation. This is why Silva in 'Skyfall' is a good villain, and Krall a badly written villain.
The story to me was too simple. Yes, I loved the buddy-esque storyline, but it lacked mystery and intrige. If only Christopher Nolan was there to write a more complex story for a future Trek-film. And, he actually made his own 'Trek-film' already: "Interstellar".
The action of the film, especially those swarm ships, to me didn't really do it. It all looks great visually, but I'm actually a bit tired of too much destruction.
And that brings me to the destruction of the USS Enterprise. It has been done before, in "Star Trek: Generations" and "Star Trek: The Search For Spock", and even in the episode "Timeless" from "Star Trek: Voyager".
Still, "Star Trek Beyond" left a bigger smile on my face than the previous two Kelvin-films. Yet, I do hope "Star Trek: Discovery" becomes more groundbreaking as a TV Series when it comes to moral and ethical dilemma's and real exploration.
So, here's my new ranking of the Star Trek movie franchise:
01. "Star Trek IX: Insurrection" (1998)
02. "Star Trek VIII: First Contact" (1996)
03. "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" (1991)
04. "Star Trek VII: Generations" (1994)
05. "Star Trek I: The Motion Picture" (1979)
06. "Star Trek XIII: Beyond" (2016)
07. "Star Trek III: The Search For Spock" (1984)
08. "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan" (1982)
09. "Star Trek XII: Into Darkness" (2013)
10. "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986)
11. "Star Trek XI" (2009)
12. "Star Trek X: Nemesis" (2002)
13. "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (1989)
And here are my overall ratings from the entire Kelvin-trilogy:
7.0/10: "Star Trek XIII: Beyond" (2016)
6.5/10: "Star Trek XII: Into Darkness" (2013)
5.0/10: "Star Trek XI" (2009)
Make it so...
Quite sad about it, because it means that "Star Trek: Discovery" will be moved away from the primetime season (September until May). It means that it will run mainly during summer. At least for season 1........
On the other hand, it shows that the creators actually asked CBS Television for the extension, which means that the creators simply want to really make it a damn good series.
That's why Enterprise failed, no matter how good the show got.
Discovery is already as good as cancelled.
Sooner or later...Bond fans will say the same of the next Bond film.
Sorry, but I am very happy to witness a new Star Trek incarnation again.
Enterprise failed, because it had a bunch of crap writers who came up with unoriginal standalone episodes. Brannon Braga, one of the co-creators at that time (who's facing similar destructive criticism like Sam Mendes for his Bond films) really didn't bring anything new to the franchise. It was until Many Coto was brought onboard during season 3 of Enterprise that the show started improving. But, it wasn't 1986 at the time, it was 2001, and tv channels demanded much more from the series.
For me personally timelines haven't got anything to o with it either. You love the rebooted Trek films no? Despite the fact that's set in a rebooted century, J.J. Abrams made the 'capital' mistake as well to bring back a rebooted The Original Series-cast. I tell you, financially the last Trek-film "Beyond" is close to a flop, despite the fact that you love the film.
So give the new Trek-series a chance man, before you write it off already. I find it sad, destructive and absolutely unkind of a Trek-fan. In the end it's about good and original stories. And I do think that the creators of "Discovery" know damn well that they can't make the same mistake, commercially, as "Star Trek: Enterprise" AND the latest Trek-film "Beyond. Hence 4 months time the make the show more perfect.
Discovery has the luxury of not having Rick Berman and Brennan Braga involved. And having the likes of Nick Meyer as a writer who gave us two great Star Trek films.
Being set in the original series is great since we've already had 3 series set in the 24th century. Any more of that would be the final nail in the coffin.
Discovery has a lot of untapped potential and since this is 10 years before Kirk's mission, there is tons of potential. I for one am happy to be back in an era of Star Trek that was so sadly cut short.
It didn't help that Season one and two were mainly stand-alone episodes but that was not the main reason.
Season three is probably the best written season of any ST show but still the audience didn't want to see it.
I also find it deplorable how people speak of the geniuses that did TNG, DS9, VOY and the movies. Rick Berman is a legend and we should be thankful he was Roddenberry's successor.
Nicholas Meyer being involved in the new show is good news for sure, but it will be seen what he can do. His last involvement in Star Trek is decades ago.
My point is, once people get that Discovery is set between Archer and Kirk, many will automatically turn away.
Of course if Discovery is merely aimed at a new audience it can be successful if that audience is captured by it. But I certainly hope this is not the case.
What the general Star Trek fan needs is a new show that is set after Nemesis. The freedom the writers would have is an ideal scenario.
Anyway, I loved all 5 TV shows, I am a very big fan of Enterprise and especially Captain Archer and T'Pol, I loved all 10 movies, even Nemesis.
I'm sure I will love the new show as well. I'm just afraid most people won't.
I don't get why people want a post Nemesis series. What threats would their be? Borg are dead. Klingons and Romulans are good guys plus Romulus is gone. Federation technology is severely overpowered now, nowhere to go. At least with Discovery we can see a new side to the growing frontier.
Enterprise wasn't seen as bad because it was a prequel. It was seen as bad because of crap writing.
Brannon Braga stated Future Guy was...
Discovery will also suffer from restrictions as the Trek Universe is pretty much fully established between Archer and Kirk. Not much there that they can surprise us with.
That's why I believe it is a mistake and they even make the same mistake twice in a row which is troubling.
But as I said earlier, IF the show is mainly about the characters and not the established universe it still can work.
@chrisisall, you're going to love this! :D
I do already, I'm IN, what money do I have to part with to make it so????
Man, give the show a chance. This constant pre-destructive behavior of certain Trekkies annoys me to death. I'm actually bold enough to say that many of these die-hard core Trekkies are the reason the franchise went downhill commercially.
Again, give "Star Trek: Discovery" an honest chance and stop all this prejudiced, unfounded criticism.
And now my positive remark: I think it's absolutely GREAT that Michelle Yeoh has been cast in one of the leading roles of the series. Perhaps she will play the lead character of the series, who this time around won't be a captain or senior staff member, but a more 'lower decks', lower-ranking officer.
HA HOO HA HO!!!! Pathetic.
Well, exactly! I completely forgot about that aspect/premise of the new Trek-series. It's a bit what they do with "Fargo" and "American Horror Story". Each season (10 to 13 episodes. In the case of "Discovery" 13 eps) is set in a specific era or region. So you basically get a continuing Mini-series. I like that idea, because with that you're not milking out an entire story or crew over 4 to 7 seasons.
Here's another nice article, saying that the Series main ship won't necessarily be the USS Discovery, but could include an equally important Klingon starship:
It seems "Star Trek: Discovery" will have more in common with "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" than with other Trek TV series.
For me personally, I hope "Discovery" gives us foremost original and terrific storylines. I also think that, because of the current geopolitical environment, the world is in need of some damn good 'Star Trek' again. I cross my fingers, but I am hopeful the best writers will come up with something marvellous.
Agreed completely @Murdock ;-).