Our very own Ryan Holt reviewed Star Trek Beyond when it hit theatres in the summer and I’m here again to share my thoughts on the Blu-ray now that it’s out for all to see whether you made it to the theatre to check it out or we’re waiting for this release. I’m reviewing it again to talk about the Blu-ray and to talk about the film from the perspective of someone who didn’t grow up with Star Trek. I know, I know… make all the “NERD CARD REVOKED” jokes you’d like but I didn’t have a TV so shush. I was busy playing outside and being socialable with neighbourhood children so I could put my time in then and be antisocial now.
Right. Moving on…
I’m not too sure if this is indicative of the film or my undiagnosed but very real ADHD but I started Star Trek Beyond at 6:30pm and didn’t finish the film until close to 9:30-10:00pm. I definitely do this with other forms of media too as I get distracted watching things on my own but I paused so many damn times. I’m so sorry, filmmakers. ADHD IS A STRUGGLE.
Even writing this is apparently an ADHD struggle right now… yeesh.
With no knowledge of Star Trek other than the previous two rebooted films, I went into this pretty optimistic about my enjoyment levels and overall, I did really enjoy myself. The whole part where I paused a lot aside.
The special effects are amazing and the makeup for the alien characters is just fantastic. We’re really spoiled these days for that sort of thing and while the effects were amazing, I do still wish even MORE of what you saw was actual makeup magic and such. I’m such a fan of that old school look where you know there’s someone under the makeup. The same applies with motion capture to an extent, I suppose, but anywhoo… I’m rambling again.
I didn’t particularly love any of the characters in STB. Before I was drawn to certain characters (Bones!) and pairings (Uhura and Spock!) but this time around, I didn’t really feel a ton of emotion for any of them except for Jayla. Jayla was badasssssssssss x10000000000 and I adored her as an addition to the franchise as played by the actress Sofia Boutella who you’d probably best know as the one knife-legged assassin from Kingsman. I spent a good 20 mins of watching her on screen thinking it was Alicia Vikander (who also would’ve been pretty rad in the role, in my opinion). On the subject of mistaking actors, I had no idea Idris Elba was in this AT ALL. After I had the revelation where I was all “This voice sounds soothing and familiar to me… OH MY GOD!” I vaguely remembered hearing that he was in the film but apparently I didn’t follow the casting closely enough. Elba, as always, was goddamn great. We weren’t really meant to “recognize” Elba in the role as he spends the majority of it in a ton of alien makeup, like Lee Pace in Guardians of the Galaxy (this took me AGES to process… and by ages, I mean half of the movie while I watched it).
One small thing concerning the makeup was the work done on Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. HD is not friends with those who require a ton of makeup. Pine, as a nitpick, looked like he’d be aged quite a bit with the makeup. I’m not sure if that was the intent or if he just IS aging (well, duh) and they were trying to cover it up. This is obviously a superficial thing but Hollywood, if it is the latter, just let people age gracefully. Chris Pine is still a blue eyed superfox without enough makeup on to stick a toothpick into.
I think at this point most people who are watching Star Trek are the fans. Non-fans like myself come to it and enjoy it but obviously the franchise exists for the people devoted to the characters and the concept behind it all. For me, Star Trek Beyond had a lot of excellent things going for it but the story wasn’t an exceptional standout for me. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it felt too much like the same thing. I know a lot of people didn’t really enjoy Into Darkness but they DID enjoy Beyond and I’m not sure why they liked one and not the other. Maybe the execution? The plots are very similar and while I don’t want to go into it TOO much since I’m pretty anti-spoiler for reviews, I felt like the general plot and climax were more or less the same, with different characters thrown into the mix. I suppose when certain franchises have been around long enough, you run into quite a bit of that so it can be forgiven but I noticed some things that we’d seen before as an objective audience.
Come to think of it, maybe that was part of the reason why I paused and tuned out a bit… it felt vaguely familiar to me? I don’t know. Who am I to judge? I love all of the damn Fast and Furious movies and that has a whole lot of recycled plot stuff (and car parts! har har har) and is just generally ridiculous. Relevant sidebar: Justin Lin was the director of STB and also the Fast and Furious films so I 100% enjoyed THAT.
BRING IN VIN DIESEL, JUSTIN. BRING HIM INTO SPACE. AND ALSO JASON STATHAM. AND ALSO THE ROCK. FAST AND THE FURIOUS IN SPACE. STAR TREK AND FURIOUS. STAR FURIOUS.
I would watch that. Oh my god, I have so much ADHD.
I don’t have too much more to say about the film itself. Like many franchises that have been around a long time (and very few as long as Star Trek), anything still being made has a certain degree of fan service thrown in. Star Trek is no exception. There are hints of it that I can appreciate and enjoy knowing that my friends will be happy about certain things but those parts of the franchise are pretty lost on me, so in that way, it’s hard to just come into the whole world (or universe!) fresh. I felt like I would’ve benefited from watching Beyond with a Trekkie who could’ve explained some of the stuff going on like who certain alien races were and what their significance was to the franchise since I assume there WAS a lot of significance there that I wasn’t privy to. However, as I stated early on, regardless of these things, Beyond was a fun ride that I enjoyed. A fun ride that my ADHD riddled mind paused 600 times but to (mostly) no fault of the film itself.
The Blu-ray is loaded with a ton of special features for those who are into that. They don’t cheap out on giving you all the bang for your buck and included are the following things:
- Deleted Scenes – Go Beyond the final cut of the movie with scenes you didn’t see in theaters.
- Beyond the Darkness – Meet visionary producer J.J. Abrams, director Justin Lin and co-writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung as they discuss the inspiration for the Star Trek
- Beyond storyline and how it came to life.
- Enterprise Takedown – Experience edge-of-your-seat action and see how a shocking attack destroys the USS Enterprise.
- Divided and Conquered – Learn how filmmakers pushed the boundaries in Star Trek Beyond by forcing the Enterprise crew into their most challenging situations yet.
- A Warped Sense of Revenge – Meet Star Trek’s newest villain, Krall, as actor Idris Elba reveals the backstory behind his character’s terrifying ambitions.
- Trekking in the Desert – Go on set to Dubai and discover how its futuristic architecture became the foundation for the most innovative Starbase yet.
- Exploring Strange New Worlds – Tour the incredible production sets of Star Trek Beyond with director Justin Lin.
- New Life, New Civilizations – See how special effects designers met the challenge to create an unprecedented 50 new alien species for the film to celebrate Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary.
- To Live Long and Prosper – Journey through the past 50 years of Star Trek with J.J. Abrams and the cast as they reflect on the evolution of this iconic sci-fi series.
- For Leonard and Anton – Watch a touching tribute to the legendary Leonard Nimoy and beloved crew member Anton Yelchin.
- Gag Reel – Join in on the fun with this hilarious gag reel of on-set bloopers.
So yeah! If you’re a non-Trekkie like myself, Star Trek Beyond is fun to check out. You’ll likely enjoy it if sci-fi is your thing. If you’re a pre-established Trekkie, you’ll definitely want to pick up the film on Blu-ray.
OH LOOK, A SQUIRREL! This is my terrible sign off from this review. ADHD!!