Star Trek Beyond goes where many movies have gone before, still gives you a good time (But I want more)
Star Trek Beyond is brisk and efficient, with impressive set pieces and the comedy partnership of Spock (Zachary Quinto) and McCoy (Karl Urban). All that was missing was Bones saying, “He’s dead, Jim.” The big action scenes could be clearer—the geography is muddled, the lighting murky—and the evolution of the villain Krall be explained better (How did he start draining his victims?), but the writers have homed in on the essence of Star Trek: scientific thinking employed with humanity, Spock + Kirk. Also I approve of a universe in which the Beastie Boys is classical music. And appreciate the lovely tribute to Leonard Nimoy even if I’ve forgotten how there came to be two Spocks, and how the writers paid tribute to the living George Takei by revealing that Mr. Sulu is gay. I will miss Anton Yelchin.
I understand that given the cost of making special effects movies, the filmmakers have to make the product accessible to the widest audience possible. What I’m missing is the compelling, brain-bending science-fiction I took for granted when I was watching the reruns of the original Gene Rodenberry series in the late 1970s. The effects were laughable, the sets tore during the fight scenes, William Shatner was pure Roquefort, the make-up was hilarious, but the stories!
The current writers are hard-put to create storylines that boldly go where no movie has gone before, so why not do a bit of time-travel and retool some of the classic Star Trek stories? City on the Edge of Forever, Amok Time, Mirror Mirror, even The Trouble With Tribbles. They need not be slavish remakes, but tweaked, expanded, reworked. That episode where Kirk split into his good and bad halves—Chris Pine would kill in it. Amok Time, where Spock goes into heat (Vulcans do) and fights to the death for a mate—Quinto would be brilliant.