The third and most recent entry into the new Star Trek franchise. A decent film with a very dangerous and determined villain who can only be defeated in true Captain James T. Kirk fashion.
As with my other reviews the main characters were on point and I saw a considerable improvement in Simon Pegg’s performance in relation to the original Scotty. Still can’t see the original Sulu or Uhura but I will just have to live with that and get over it. Could have been the casting or just me not making the connection. Nevertheless, a superb performance by all.
With that out of the way let me say that this film only seems to pick up towards the end. The others delivered heroic moments and imagery that got the senses going throughout where this one does not. It doesn’t really have character development as the characters are already well established both in the new trilogy and pulling elements from the classics. It is there, but only in small amounts. They do however give you some history into the villain, Krall, which is really the only character who receives some sort of development and you as the viewer, can begin to understand his viewpoint. Abandoned by those he fought to protect only to feel betrayed and want to destroy them. I get it. There is a small moment where you think he may have changed his mind to save humanity at the end before Kirk kills him. A shame he didn’t want to help, but I truly don’t think it would have ended well for Krall.
Some scenes that really delivered an emotional punch was when the U.S.S. Enterprise falls from grace and crashes while getting destroyed by Krall’s drones. Nearly gut wrenching to watch the heroic ship go down fighting. The moment Kirk jumps in and surrounds the last remaining crew with Jaylah’s crystallizing gas to protect them from enemy fire. Truly a Kirk move. The Jaylah and Manas fight, even though she is unable to kill him, she is brave to go after her father’s killer. The fight was rewarding to watch even for a moment. And finally, in true Kirk-like fashion, when he crashes the U.S.S. Franklin through a giant lake at Yorktown to intercept Krall. I mean they have you thinking what he is going to do to stop him with an old starship and then boom, it comes crashing up through the ground. Gotcha.
You’re probably thinking what about when they destroyed the swarm with “classical music”. I love the fact that that music is considered classical, but the scene was just a bunch of music and explosions. Like a giant visual equalizer. It does however play true to the unorthodox methods of Captain Kirk but just seemed a bit lacking. Probably needed to see it on the silver screen with the massive stereo to really feel it (which I did when the movie came out).
Something that some may not realize but the movie did have Pavel Chekov on screen a lot more than I remember in previous films. This would have provided Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov, with valuable screen time for his career. Unfortunately, he passed away before the film was released. I do hope, if they decide to continue with more big screen Star Trek movies, they find an ample replacement for Yelchin/Chekov or do something different to honor him. It is very sad to lose someone so early in their career like that.
If you’ve seen the other two movies, then I would recommend this one if you haven’t seen it already. It is already two years old by the date of this review but there were plenty of movies I wanted to see in theaters and never made it.
I’d give them film three stars because it feels like it is losing steam compared to the first and second installment. It was produced by J. J. Abrams and not directed by him so maybe that has something to do with why it is partially different. It was also written by Simon Pegg as well.
Interesting little fact, Jeff Bezos was in the film as an alien in Starfleet. Given it had something to do with Alibaba Pictures as an investor in the film I find that funny. I see Alibaba as Amazon’s biggest global competitor so it’s a bit of business humor. I think anyway.