The Flickering Myth writing team share their thoughts on Star Trek Beyond…
Yesterday Paramount Pictures unleashed the first trailer for Star Trek Beyond, the third instalment of the rebooted Trek universe, which sees Fast & Furious helmer Justin Lin taking over the reins from J.J. Abrams. What did our writing team make of the trailer? Find out in the latest Flickering Myth reaction…
Anthony Stokes: I like the idea of the crew being stranded on a hostile planet, and some funny moments. Also coming from a non Star Trek fan, it’s nice to get rid of those unnecessary references.
Chris Cooper: I’m no Trekkie, so despite that trailer probably being aimed at me I wasn’t particularly excited by it.
Villordsutch: Clearly as a Star Trek fan this trailer isn’t made for me, for I bastard hate it! Unless of course the trailer editor over at Paramount hates me then kudos to them for they’ve created everything I could possibly hate in a Star Trek film in less than 1 min 34 seconds. Considering the USS Enterprise is a flagship vessel within the Federation how come in this rebooted Universe it cannot even withstand a sqwally wind! I’m seething here, I only hope the other trailers aren’t designed to welcome in the explosion-loving Fast & Furious masses.
Tom Jolliffe: This looks like a box ticker to me. I enjoyed the first J.J. Abrams revamping. The second was okay, but I’m sensing it becoming progressively more smug and formulaic. There seems to be this new blockbuster formula, mostly popularised by the major Marvel films, that everyone has to be a wisecracking wiseguy in amongst the relentless onslaught of overly CG reliant action sequences. I find it all a bit tiresome.
Helen Murdoch: Ticked all the boxes for me. Relentless action, not too much of the plot revealed and a few jokes. Sorted.
Ricky Church: While the choice of song is kind of out of place given its Star Trek, I at least like the callback to Abrams’ first Star Trek film as young Kirk was listening to this song as he drove his step-father’s car of a cliff. I’ve been skeptical over the choice of Justin Lin, but this still looks like it has the same feel of Abrams’ films. I just hope it doesn’t go too much into Fast & Furious territory. I also like the classic Star Trek story feel of the crew trapped on a planet. My favourite part is Karl Urban’s deadpan response to Spock’s disappearance. His depiction of McCoy has always been spot on and the relationship/animosity between McCoy and Spock has been one of the funniest aspects of the original Star Trek.
Scott Davis: It looks like it COULD be fun, but not wholly convinced….
Andy Naylor: Oh look, the Enterprise takes a beating, again. It’s not Star Trek. It’s an action movie masquerading as something I love. I want it to be good, but I fear it’ll have as many plot holes as the last one. But fear not, no one can die in Star Trek now, super-blood.
Anghus Houvouras: I’m in this weird place with the Star Trek franchise. I liked both Star Trek movies when i saw them in the theater. Entertaining yarns that completely fall apart the more you apply cerebral consideration. I miss the intelligence of Star Trek. The philosophical and sociological aspects that Gene Roddenberry implemented when he launched the series in the 1960’s. Star Trek was a series that was at times corny as hell but it made you think. This trailer is a bold declaration that there ain’t much thinkin’ happenin’ round here! I mean Jesus Christ: it had Captain Kirk riding a dirt bike on an alien planet. They handed the franchise to Justin Lin who seems to have taken the baton from J.J. Abrams and used it to snort some cocaine rails off the bridge of the Enterprise before beating Gene Roddenberry’s lifeless corpse into a pulpy mess. This might end up being a fun, harmless summer movie… but don’t we have enough of those already? Can’t we have one smart science fiction franchise? Is that asking too much?
Tom Jolliffe: It seems to me like this new franchise has gradually gone from aspiring to be like Star Wars, to wanting to be like The Avengers or Fast and Furious series.
James Garcia: I honestly don’t get why people react so negatively to this new era of Trek films, and point to the heavy action as an indication that they’re somehow “Not Star Trek!” Do these films take the same slow, deeper and more thoughtful approach of The Next Generation? Absolutely not. They take the more adventurous, action packed tone of the original series, which was filled with fist fights and battles with alien forces. We just have better technology now, so we get Star Trek Beyond instead of Kirk clumsily fighting the Gorn.
I’m a huge fan of Abrams’ first Trek film, and thought that it captured the spirit of the original series brilliantly, while cementing the characters and story in a more contemporary (and, let’s be honest, approachable) light. I was less of a fan of Into Darkness, but am happy to see that the series has apparently course-corrected for this new film. I was a bit worried when Justin Lin was brought on to direct, but he seems to have done a pretty fine job and delivered a fun, action-packed Trek that also seems to “get” its characters. I’m happy that we see very little of Earth (if any), and that the crew now seems cemented in their five-year mission. I find it pretty funny that Idris Elba’s character is apparently an unrecognizable alien, and find that a fun and inspired choice.
I was let down by Into Darkness, and honestly didn’t care if we saw another film from the series. But now I’m once again on board, and am very much looking forward to Star Trek Beyond!
Ricky Church: Well said. I also really enjoyed Abrams’ first Trek film and while the new Star Trek films may be more action packed than previous films, the Original Series had a lot of action in it too. It just looks very cheap now thanks to the advances in stunt work and effects. I’d even point to previous films like Wrath of Khan, Undiscovered Country and First Contact for having some great action scenes amid their thought provoking themes.
The idea that action goes against everything that is Star Trek has never sat with me for those reasons. Star Trek was always billed as science fiction adventure. While it provided themes on society beneath its plots, it was always meant for the family go gather around the TV and see how Kirk and the Enterprise crew triumphed over evil alien forces. Even the later series, particularly Deep Space 9, achieved this. They just weren’t quite as flashy with their space battles as another huge Star franchise.
2009’s Star Trek really did capture the spirit of the characters and I feel Into Darkness continued that as well, even if it wasn’t quite as good as the first one. Even with my concerns over Justin Lin, I’m still looking forward to what this film could bring, especially as its going back to the old formula of “The Enterprise finds a planet with X problem and find a way to fix it”.
Villordsutch: In my defense I enjoyed the opening NuTrek immensely and also thought the new Khan effort was good too.
Anghus Houvouras: I have no problem with the action, but I’d love a Star Trek movie that combines bombastic action with a modicum of intelligence. I like the new Star Trek movies well enough, but they’ve stripped it for parts and I’m not in love with the new assembly.
Anthony Stokes: I like that it hasn’t given very much away. But at least there’s still Rick and Morty for sci-fi adventure think pieces.
Star Trek Beyond features returning cast members Chris Pine as James Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Simon Pegg as Scotty, Zoë Saldana as Uhura, Karl Urban as Bones, John Cho as Sulu and Anton Yelchin as Chekov alongside new additions Idris Elba (Luther), Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Joe Taslim (The Raid) and Lydia Wilson (About Time).