I for one am disappointed with Owen Gleiberman‘s review of Star Trek Beyond (Paramount, 7.22). Speaking as a confirmed hater/enemy of all things Justin Lin (except for the Sundance cut of Better Luck Tomorrow), I was hoping Gleiberman would vivisect with glee. Alas, he’s written a fair-minded assessment that says “not great but not too bad in a place-holding way.”
To make up for this I’ve assembled some excerpts that focus on the negative. That’s fair, no?
(a) “For all the addictive intensity of its visual flourishes, Star Trek Beyond is the most prosaic and, in many ways, the least adventurous of the Abrams-era Star Trek outings.”
(b) “It’s not until the halfway point of Star Trek Beyond when [director] Lin stages a sequence that truly seems to get his juices flowing.”
(c) “To say that the movie fails to break new ground would be putting it mildly. It truly feels like an extended [Trek TV] episode, without a single ‘Oh, wow!’ trick up its sleeve, which may be why, until the eye-popping climax, it’s more earnest than exciting.”
(d) “Star Trek Beyond might have been more accurately entitled Star Trek Contained. It’s got a very familiar, old-fangled, no-mystery structure, and that’s because it’s basically the Star Trek version of an interplanetary action film, with a plot that doesn’t take you to many new frontiers.”
(e) “Lin stages the protracted final battle there like a gladiatorial contest suspended in the air. It’s a sequence you won’t soon forget. What is forgettable, perhaps, is everything else about the movie, which doesn’t so much advance the Trek cosmology as keep it running in place.”
(f) “Star Trek Beyond is a somewhat diverting place holder, but one hopes that the next Star Trek movie will have what it takes to boldly go where no Star Trek movie has gone before.”