So let’s do this. I’m writing kinda «live» from the rooftop bar @ the Blue Balls Festival Lucerne. This is the place where I’m trying to find out whether I liked «Star Trek Beyond» or not or if I will just refer to the much recitet «rule» that every odd-numbered installation of the franchise is one of the bad ones and call it a day – or in this case – a review.
Well, I wrote too much about «Independence Day: Resurgence» (what an awful word to write on those tiny phone keys, gonna try to activate auto-correction now. Just give me a sec… Well that didn’t help much.)
Where were we? Right. I had just written too much about the mediocre but somehow likeable second part of ID4 to let «Beyond» just slip through. Mostly because the newest Star Trek is quite mediocre itself, I’m sad to say. I figure that Simon Pegg’s wonderful writing that I loved in the «Cornetto Trilogy» works much better when it’s brought to live on a smaller scale, taking advantage of the limitations given by a smaller budget. On the other hand: «Star Trek Beyond» sure looks better than «Independence Day: Retelling The Same Story» (as far as I could tell through those godawful 3D glasses), it sounds better, and it even has a tighter story, which doesn’t mean much. But it all remains another by-the-numbers Sci-Fi action adventure that happens to have «Star Trek» in the title. I really missed the almost perfectly written and cleverly re-introduced characters from the first one.
After the creators pulled off the seemingly impossible and rebootet one of the most iconic franchises in the known universe, they got lazy and went back to the standard handbook of cashing in on a blockbuster with «Into Darkness». (Not that «Star Trek» 2009 was especially original, but it sure as hell worked for me.)
«Beyond» is not much better. The tighter story makes more sense in a way for sure, but the characters didn’t really seem to care too much about the arcs they’re shoehorned into. With the exception of Scotty maybe, but it didn’t help that I keept thinking: «of course he would do that, he (Pegg) wrote the damn thing!». And as soon as I realized that Idris Elba was in this one (that wonderful, wonderful voice) I wanted to see more of him – sans the make up. But be careful what you wish for…
Which somehow brings us to the end of the second act of the movie: That’s some really impressive filmmaking right there and one of the most interesting sci-fi action sequences I’ve seen in a long time. And most importantly: it’s very funny. That sequence alone saves the movie from being just «the next one», highly forgettable instance of its franchise.
In the end, it sadly falls flat again and steps back onto the path which much too many movies have, not so boldly, gone before.
So let me do that, too: After writing a mediocre, hopefully tight review with the best ending possible, quoting some Star Trek, let me just keep writing on, just for the sake of a last paragraph:
No, «Star Trek» with the number 13 on its cover (or 3, depending on how you count) isn’t one of the bad ones. But it is, and always shall be, one of the not too great ones.