Star Trek Beyond (2016)
July 22, 2016 7:31 AM - Subscribe

The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.
posted by Uncle (66 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I had fun. I'm not sure whether I should be mad about all of the cliches or happy. It almost felt to fan-servicey but I laughed when Kirk said he ripped his shirt in the first few minutes.
posted by Uncle at 7:35 AM on July 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Captain Kirk is riding a motorbike. Why is he riding a motorbike?
Captain Kirk is riding a motorbike. Why is he riding a motorbike?
Captain Kirk is riding a motorbike. Why is he riding a motorbike?
Captain Kirk is riding a motorbike. Why is he riding a motorbike?

Why is riding a motorbike? Because he's in love.

posted by dng at 7:59 AM on July 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


Haven't seen it yet, but I'm in no rush - interested to hear other reactions because based on everything so far, I'm in agreement with the review on rogerebert.com:
At this point it's worth asking what, if anything, this franchise is good for besides generating cash for Paramount and its above-the-line talent. Everything that made the original TV series and its follow-ups, small- and big-screen, seem so open-hearted, intelligent and playful is marginalized to make room for hyperactively edited action scenes and displays of hardware and production design. These are technically state-of-the-art but ultimately not all that different from what you see in most other CGI-driven action pictures, superhero as well as sci-fi—long, loud spectacles that are filled with people fighting, blowing up cities and planets, and crashing things into other things, instead of finding some other, more surprising way to move the plot along. What's the point of giving up pleasures that the "Star Trek" franchise is good at providing, to make more room for pleasures that most big-budget science fiction and fantasy already give us, month after month and year after year? Why boldly go where everyone else is already going?
posted by nubs at 8:03 AM on July 22, 2016 [20 favorites]


I found it enjoyable with a few caveats~ some solid character moments and substantial tributes sprinkled throughout--could have been paced more evenly.
posted by wallawallasweet at 8:23 AM on July 22, 2016


What's the point of giving up pleasures that the "Star Trek" franchise is good at providing, to make more room for pleasures that most big-budget science fiction and fantasy already give us, month after month and year after year? Why boldly go where everyone else is already going?

I'm sort of hoping that the movies will be the Next Gen and Voyager to the new show's DS9 - the flashier money-makers whose existence allows the show to do its own thing and do it well (by nerdly standards).
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:53 AM on July 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I thought it was decent. More of a souped-up episode, which I was fine with after the first two in the reboot series. (I mean that in a more positive way than when the same criticism is leveled against Insurrection.) It seemed to have more character moments, which I liked, and developed more of the Spock-McCoy relationship, whereas the first two reboot movies were more about Kirk-Spock. Putting Kirk and Chekov together for a while was nice too, although there wasn't much relationship-building there, but even so those two alone is a combination we've rarely (never?) seen in any incarnation, and is bittersweet in light of Yelchin's death.

The opening scene, where Kirk is flubbing the diplomatic attempt to broker peace between two species, seems to me to draw a (deliberate?) contrast between Kirk and Picard — I could only think, "Picard would be killing this." Even Prime!Kirk would have done a better job, although still not as good as Picard.

After all the "Sulu is gay!" advance hype, it was almost a let-down for what was pretty much a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment.

For the third time we see an Enterprise destroyed in a movie. (It hasn't happened since Generations, so I guess we were overdue.) The part of me that prefers the original timeline to the reboot takes some smug satisfaction in noting that this Kirk couldn't keep his ship together through its initial five-year mission.

Still entertaining enough, maybe even my favorite out of the reboot movies. And, I'll admit, for all the crap that people (including me) gave the preview for using the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage," I actually got into it when they used it in the film. Cheesy, but still fun.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:00 PM on July 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh Christ, they use Sabotage again? Do they also have NuKirk pop his collar while rocking some sick shades?

I am so not the audience for these movies (old school Trekkie for LIFE!) but I read a review where they were talking about how the whole first act is about Kirk and the rest of the crew being bored with the routine of life on the Enterprise and that just made me even madder about the whole damn thing. Have the people who made this movie ever actually seen Star Trek before? On the original show, Spock had to trick Kirk into taking a vacation.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:32 PM on July 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Have the people who made this movie ever actually seen Star Trek before?

What disturbs me the most about this is that Simon Pegg is one of the writers. I think pretty highly of Simon and his "geek" cred, and it sounds like there's some great character touches in this film, but not the full weight of the philosophy/ethos. Which might just be because the franchise has been captured by the system of creating the biggest, loudest, broadest appeal films possible.
posted by nubs at 3:29 PM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've been very curious about the behind-the-scenes machinations here. Some elements of this film make it seem like they think it's the last one they're going to do with this crew, and a lot of the prepromotion has seem to be apologetic, inept, or desperate in nature (no press screenings; making a big deal about the Sulu thing; suddenly announcing that the fourth one will be a time travel movie to get people excited again; last TV trailer which gives away the main twist; etc).

But then the film wasn't that bad! When I tried to make a ranking afterwards it seemed to me it was exactly in the middle, worse than all the good ones but better than STID and the other bad ones (TMP, FF, GEN, NEM, INS). If they hadn't bothered with the big, dumb, incoherent twist it actually would have been an okay Trek story...
posted by gerryblog at 4:37 PM on July 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Peeping out of the film was something potentially interesting: the inexplicable gap between how Roddenberry's universe moved from warfare, intergalactic and otherwise, to harmonious Federation utopia. DS9 pushed at the problem of utopia a bit; this film gives us a veteran career soldier who was simply transformed into a explorer, with no apparent attempt on the Federation's part to think through what that might mean at a psychological level. The plot twist comes across as pretty silly in its execution, but there clearly was supposed to be a point about soldiers being effectively abandoned once their use in war is over.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:47 PM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, there was definitely the potential for a deeper, more thoughtful story there... but the same was true of Into Darkness. It's why I continue to maintain that ST is better suited to the small screen than the large, and I'm very much looking forward to the 2017 TV series.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:52 PM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


As I've opted out of seeing this movie, can someone tell me all about gay Sulu? What do we learn in the film? How?
posted by crossoverman at 9:05 PM on July 22, 2016


Wait, they want to do an episode with time travel to get people excited? Aren't time travel stories generally regarded as groaners nowadays?

I have an idea... maybe they could actually just give us that "deeper story" in a movie instead of another lazilly meta exercise in extracting value from the brand without doing anything to replenish it.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:18 PM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


As I've opted out of seeing this movie, can someone tell me all about gay Sulu? What do we learn in the film? How?

We see Sulu greeting his partner and their daughter on the Yorktown, and then see them together again at the end.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:24 PM on July 22, 2016


We see Sulu smile. The camera doesn't show it, but he's thinking gay thoughts.
posted by nom de poop at 8:58 AM on July 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


I read a review where they were talking about how the whole first act is about Kirk and the rest of the crew being bored with the routine of life on the Enterprise

Nah, it was just Kirk. As to why, it actually underlines why I actually enjoyed this reboot sequel over STID: for the first time, they got writers (Pegg; Jung; even Lin) who broke down what it would mean for Kirk's characterisation if, unlike TOS!Kirk, Nu!Kirk joined because he was dared to so he could live up to his dad's legacy (I mean, literally that was the character's thoroughline) instead of actually being invested in the Federation itself.

I enjoyed it! It's a slight story, and truly did feel like a rebooted TOS ep, which is the point I think. It did feel like a massive narrative course correction (thank god!) after taking over from Truther Bad Robot dude, and in a genuine way, was shining a light on how these reboot characters were at heart, the same TOS characters. The callbacks felt more true? Certainly it can be read more like echoes across parallel realities than the flashy-yet-ultimately-soulless Abrams style we had so far. This even includes the climax which was basically Kirk engaging in a philosophical defence of the Federation.

I mean it was also interspersed with punching, but we are talking about the reboot movies.

I was really looking forward to it when I heard Justin Lin was taking over the director's chair, and I'm not disappointed. He brought in some new-to-the-franchise visual ideas which I really appreciated, and killed the whole stupid light flares reboot trope. I especially liked the way artificial gravity is used on Yorktown, it was like the folding city in Inception, except this was meant to be reality.

I'm not like, particularly into wanting to sell this movie or whatever, but my comment is for those who's commented but not yet seen due to some very valid reservations based on past experience. I think it's worth watching once.
posted by cendawanita at 11:47 AM on July 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


Reboot!Spock also had his own unity-with-TOS character thoroughline as well, since him and Kirk honestly had the biggest divergence thanks to Nero's interference, so he also had to find his way back to why his passion lies with the Enterprise, instead of the very-much-in-character concerns over the continuation of New Vulcan and the still-recovering Vulcan diaspora.
posted by cendawanita at 11:51 AM on July 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I thought it was an empty, depressing movie. No soul, no heart, just noise. You open with Kirk suffering from ennui, then destroy the Enterprise? Great job sucking all the fun out of a movie immediately. All the resulting action sequences just felt stressful or perfunctory (Sabotage again? Really? That song was used to great effect once... in the music video for Sabotage). Plot felt like they had a rejected script for a SyFy movie and decided to use Star Trek theme to save a few bucks on costumes and props. The effect was grotesque, like watching a sociopath dancing around wearing the skin of one of your dead parents, not understanding why you're appalled instead of entertained.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 12:23 PM on July 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


It was a pretty standard sci-fi extravaganza. It was definitely better than two, in the nu-series. However, it was not as good, plot-wise as the first reboot movie. I too was excited Simon Pegg was co-writer but it was missing a resonant emotional center. The set design was delightful in playing with Escher-like angles and the variant gravity. There were some good character moments with Spock and McCoy. Some good humor.

About the Kirk and all the destroyed Enterprises -- he is like the John McCain of the Federation, crashing his vehicles all the time... Really, I think he should run for Federation president.
posted by jadepearl at 12:36 PM on July 23, 2016


I liked it fine. It's flirting with damnation with faint praise to say that it's better than the last one (the thing with Into Darkness is that it's not just a bad remake of The Wrath Of Khan, it's not even the first bad remake of TWOK in the franchise; that would be Nemesis.), but it was quite enjoyable, both in its little callbacks to TOS but also Enterprise, of all the things.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:19 PM on July 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


What's the Enterprise reference?
posted by crossoverman at 5:52 PM on July 23, 2016


What's the Enterprise reference?

The captain of the Franklin is arguing with Kirk about the purpose of the Federation, and he brings up the conflict with the Xindi. This kind of threw me a bit, when I thought about it. Kirk said that the Franklin was designed as the first Warp 4 starship. However, in Enterprise, Archer says that the Enterprise was built as the first Warp 5 starship - someone either got their continuity mixed up, or this is another quirk of the reboot timeline.
posted by Roger Pittman at 7:41 PM on July 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


How about a cast-attrition thriller where the Enterprise gains sentience and offs the crew one by one because of the existential threat they pose to the ship?

I mean Thunderbirds Are Go already had a similar plot, but...
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:25 PM on July 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Huh. In the first movie they referenced how Scotty screwed up somehow and trapped Admiral Archer's dog in some sort of vortex for decades, which was just about the nastiest inside joke I'd ever seen. (Porthos wasn't Jar-Jar Binks or some shit. He was just a sweet little beagle! What kind of creep gets off on the idea of sending Scott Bakula's dog into a lonesome void for decades?) I took it as the screenwriters making it clear that they had contempt for every aspect of the original franchise. If they couldn't erase the Enterprise timeline, they'd screw over the lead's dog. I wasn't even a big Enterprise fan, but that gag was so specific and mean-spirited it made me hate the movie even more.

The effect was grotesque, like watching a sociopath dancing around wearing the skin of one of your dead parents, not understanding why you're appalled instead of entertained.

That is a great, almost nauseatingly vivid line.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:45 PM on July 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Those same screenwriters are nowhere near this production (though the darkest timeline seemed likely when Orci was really gunning for the director's chair for this one), so that's a big big big plus for this move.
posted by cendawanita at 5:40 AM on July 24, 2016


The captain of the Franklin is arguing with Kirk about the purpose of the Federation, and he brings up the conflict with the Xindi.

I believe he also said he served with the MACOs.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:04 AM on July 24, 2016


I believe he also said he served with the MACOs.

That's right, he did. And there were MACOs on the NX-01, if I remember right. They were later disbanded.
posted by Roger Pittman at 7:14 AM on July 24, 2016


I liked it okay (I LOVE the first reboot, so I am the target audience, I guess). For me the shaky cam action stuff is just lazy IMO, I feel like someone's grandma but I can't follow what's going on and it's just dull to watch (comparing the shaky cam to the awesomeness of the action in the Wonder Woman trailer just makes it so much more obvious how effective well-shot and well-paced action scenes can be, and how INeffective overused shaky cam is). It felt like there was a kernel of a really good movie in there but it never really came together for me like the first one did (I liked it more than the second one, though), although the last half was quite good. There was lots of McCoy snark, which was sadly missing from the second one, but some of it didn't really work, which made me sad. So....it was just okay. Enjoyable enough, some really fun scenes, but could have been much better. I very much liked the farewell to Ambassador Spock/Leonard Nimoy bit.
posted by biscotti at 7:30 AM on July 24, 2016


I really enjoyed this one, and I took my dad, who is a ST:TOS devotee, and he really liked it too (he said it was his favorite of the three reboot movies). Lots of loving nudges gesturing toward TOS and the attendant movies (the photo Quinto Spock found in Nimoy Spock's belongings made me tear up a little), and I thought it was very intentional about taking a more hopeful "we are stronger together" tone.

I also liked having the crew split up into little teams working to reunite.

Oh, and for anyone who doesn't want to see it, but wants to know about the Sulu family arc, it breaks down like this:

-at the beginning, when flying the Enterprise, Sulu has a picture of his daughter on his console.
-the plot has the crew/Enterprise stopping for repairs/restocking at a Federation space station/utopia called Yorktown. When the crew is disembarking, Sulu suddenly breaks out in a smile and starts running (while other crew member head off in different directions). Sulu picks up his daughter and hugs her while his husband smiles down at them, and then he hugs his husband. The camera cuts back to Kirk watching them with a semi-wistful, "hey that's a nice family" type smile. Then Sulu heads off, still carrying his daughter, his arm around his husband's waist and his husband's arm around his.
-Later, when there is an eeeeevil attack on Yorktown happening (I kept hearing the Hamilton intro in my mind and I was waiting for someone to say "The Battle of Yorktown" but no one ever did), and everyone in the space station is being urged to get into shelters of some kind, and Sulu's husband is looking up at the sky panicked while running, his daughter in his arms.
-There are a few moments where Sulu, back in the bad place, hears about the planned attack on Yorktown, and later tells Kirk about the planned attack on Yorktown, and he gets the clenched jaw "oh no my family is in danger" face that we all know so well.
-At the very end, there is a party for [reasons], and Sulu is there with his husband beside him. They are both holding glasses of Space Beer.

Also, in Kirk's defense, he isn't the one who chooses to play Sabotage during the climactic fight (although it is obviously a callback). The new character Jayla picks it because of [science reasons that will cause it to help them win the battle], everyone is like "why are we listening to classical music?", and Kirk gets a smile on his face because it was a song his dad loved (thing we learned in the 2009 movie), and a huge portion of the movie is him figuring out how to cope with his father's legacy/death. The "songs of the 1990s" theme is covered earlier, when they discover that the ship that contains the music was stranded hundreds of years ago, and Jayla plays some Public Enemy for Scotty and he goes on about how ancient her music is.

I mean, yes, it is pretty hokey. But I recently rewatched the TOS episode where Kirk gives a dramatic reading of The Constitution to a crowd of half naked people wrapped in fuzzy bathmats, so, you know. Hokey seems apropos.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 2:58 PM on July 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


In Enterprise, the "warp 5" starship only ever actually got to warp 5 once if at all, and spent most of its time cruising around in the warp mid-4 range. I thought it was a cool shout-out that the Franklin was essentially the Enterprise of the series, and they wrapped in a little of the canon, with allowances for different timeline yo.

It was a much better movie than STID if only because it didn't tell the same fucking story a third time with the same FX set pieces and giving shout outs to one of the best previous movies without setting up any of the tension that made that original movie work so well. In ST:TWoK Kirk and Khan had history, Khan had serious reasons to hate Kirk and his ship and his crew. In STID, well, um, there's this guy, see, and whatever. KHAAAAAAN! It didn't play.

To me Beyond felt almost like a post-season Enterprise episode, being TOS era but with much better FX and some retconning. It felt a lot like the Enterprise Mirror World story, which portrayed a TOS-era non-Mirror-world ship that had gone back in time, original costumes and consoles and all but with 2000's era FX technology.

The starbase Yorktown was magnificent, and I loved that they finally showed gravity plates can fail and do weird things even in normal practice. Even got a bit misty eyed when Spock found TOS Timeline Spock's photo of the crew from the TOS timeline, portrayed by the TOS actors, much older and obvious colleagues and friends.

And two remembrances for dead actors before the credits. Fuck you, 2016.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:34 PM on July 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think I may end up being the curmudgeon of the thread, but other than the allowance that yes, it was great to see an original story, I really didn't enjoy the movie.

The biggest issue I have (other than my ongoing gripe that the reboots are generic action movies lazily using established characters, and changing personalities/character traits when convenient) is that the movie was so internally inconsistent that it pretty regularly destroyed my suspension of disbelief:

The black-cloud may affect one character in an extremely-brief moment, or another in 30-40 seconds...

A nebula (pretty far along in the accretion process, to the point that there was almost no visible gas, just an astroid field -- though one apparently devoid of angular momentum) may be completely impenetrable by comm signals, or allow for massive information transfer and electronic eavesdropping...

The Franklin may be weak, old, and impacted by dozens of years of atmospheric conditions for which it was not designed, or it may be strong enough to crash through a massive metal object with no visible damage to it or impact on ships' systems... (also, I'll hand-wave the terminal-velocity bit as "sci-fi engine magic", but for a ship not designed for atmospheric utilization, why was there, minutes later, a terminal-velocity-calculator on the viewscreen's GUI?)

A gentleman beginning a conversation with "you're going to die here" will thoughtfully pause as the other party turns to watch ::things happen:: and only continue advancing on his target (who he is alternatively much stronger than, and weaker than, depending on the level of the music) when the target turns back around to continue the fight...

That's before the (action-movie-trope/staples) of variable-speed clocks, weirdly expositionary dialogue (the worst offender was when the gentleman Captain Kirk was fighting, next to a gravitic-whosawhatsit which had already shown the audience gravity in flux, jumped into what amounts to a jet stream, and the Captain calls Mr. Sulu for an explanation (maybe Scotty? don't remember) of that-thing-that-just-happened-in-front-of-him), and a complete disregard for distance, time, and physics. I mean, it's sci-fi, I get the dissonance of accepting-warp-drive and nitpicking that you, for example, can outrun a fireball that is minimum, the radius of the Enterprise... in seconds... whereas the people immediately behind you are caught in the center of the explosion... but nearly every scene seemed to have instances of that.

Finally, there were far too many coincidences that existed only for plot convenience -- everything having to do with the motorcycle, or that every escape pod happens to land within short-walking-distance of exactly where the character either wants to, or is best suited to go...

Oh yeah. And a body count that I couldn't really keep up with, both in those killed during the attack (with bonus magical disappearing corpses for later!), and looking at the shots of the Enterprise crew walking in a straight line in various places on the planet, the ship must have thousands of people on board... though later, when clumped into groups of 20, there seem to only be 100-200 or so...

I've seen every episode of each series, all the movies dozens of times, and I enjoyed the first reboot movie (though usually with the familiar "it's a fun movie, it's just not a Star Trek movie)... but this left me grumpy. It was a visually stunning movie, but hard to watch.
posted by Seeba at 8:03 PM on July 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I liked it.
Yes there were plot holes that on could drive the Franklin throw but they were not so bad that I lost suspension of disbelief.
Also, I get off from spaceship and space station porn, so this was a win.

Side note. Got in to a minor argument with a friend about on how much of the Yorktown was SGI and how much was Dubai cropped and stuck together; him been a massive geek that needs to be always right saying everything was CGI, me being an architect and naming most of the buildings as soon as i recognised them.
Has anybody seen a good breakdown?
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 1:42 AM on July 25, 2016


I'll also be the curmudgeon. I expected to like it (approaching it as Seeba says, as a generic action movie with familiar characters, not as a real Star Trek movie). A lot of the laugh lines fell flat, the pacing was off, the technobabble explanations for all the unbelievable things were not remotely believable, the action scenes were incoherently directed, and the deus ex machina of saving the day by playing Sabotage was possibly the dumbest thing I've ever seen. I actually cringed when I realized they were going there. I liked Bones, Jaylah, and the Yorktown, and that's pretty much it.
posted by Mavri at 9:23 AM on July 25, 2016


I’ll add one more thing that I found myself liking about the movie— a huge, huge number of the choices made in this movie seem to have been made in direct response to criticisms that were made in response to ST: Into Darkness. Off the top of my head, several of the major objections to ST:ID were—

1. stop making everything about white dudes glowering at each other
2. more female characters should have actual plots, and no, making Alice Eve show off her space underwear doesn’t count
3. everyone in the future being heterosexual is stupid
4. why is a show about exploration, science, and diplomacy always turning into bigger and bigger battles and explosions and warmongering
5. stop trying to remake old plots that were done better the first time
6. there should be more about the crew being a crew, instead of them all seeming like semi-hostile strangers who still don't trust each other

And every one of these criticisms is answered (even embraced) in this movie. Maybe awkwardly at times, maybe it doesn’t all work, but I confess that I have baseline charitable feelings for blockbuster franchises that listen to calls to be more inclusive/utopian and try to make it happen.

So this movie had:

1. Much bigger, more important, and more consistent roles for PoC characters— I especially loved having Shohreh Aghdashloo cast as the commodore Kirk is answering to, and who is overseeing his potential promotion, and who he comes to for career advice. Sulu owns the movie. Uhura has way more to do, and is shown to be a fearless badass multiple times (in one case, succeeding at a task where Kirk has failed). Oh, and John Cho gave at least one interview where he talked about how it was important to him that Sulu’s husband also be Asian, and how hard the production team worked to make that happen when the actor cast to play the role had to drop out.

2. Three of the main OCs were women, and none of them were sexualized at all. Jaylah’s plot revolved around her being a daughter (as opposed to a love interest or mom, the two usual “lady in scifi” roles), and a brilliant self-taught engineer whose scavenged tech saved everyone’s lives.

3. Sulu’s family, not enough but a good start.

4. The entire plot is about the inherent conflict between diplomacy/exploration and war, plus a lot of the explosions were about trying to minimize damage, which I thought was somewhat interesting.

5. No more reverse KHAAAAAAAAN-ing, no whales saved, the plot specifically hinges on reboot-based issues (Quinto Spock wondering how to carry on Nimoy Spock’s legacy, for example).

6. There was a whole “here is what it is like to live with your coworkers for five years at a time, in space” montage, plus multiple main character interactions/plotlines that hinge on that very issue.

I mean, I’m not saying people who hated the movie should have loved it, by any means. It is a big, dumb, loud movie, and that is not for everyone. But I like a franchise trying to correct course in response to fairly unanimous audience feedback, even if they do it hamhandedly.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:46 AM on July 25, 2016 [17 favorites]


I can link movie reviews here right? BMD: STAR TREK BEYOND Is The TREK-iest Of The NuTREKs
posted by cendawanita at 11:21 PM on July 26, 2016


Just saw this tonight. Shaky cam was annoying and the body count and ship destruction seemed excessive, but I got through it.

Really wish they would have fixed up the Franklin and given it back to Jaylah. It was her home! That would have been way cooler than enrollment in the academy.

So for the "bad guys" was it just the three surviving crew from the Franklin: the captain, his right hand man, and the woman who tricks the federation into sending the Enterprise? The rest of them were drones? Thinking back, I can't remember how many I saw without "helmets" and I'm curious.
posted by ODiV at 12:17 AM on July 27, 2016


I just want to remind everyone of the darkest timeline that we've all managed to swerve from.
posted by cendawanita at 1:48 AM on July 27, 2016


It was much better than into Darkness.
It still had way too much punching.

At the end when the guy had to put the mcguffin in the other mcguffin, he's ina known place in the middle of the most advanced thing the federation has ever built!
It's got transporters, we see those transporters.
Why no *beep* *boop* *beep*, dude's in space?

Why not do that instead of all the punching?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:10 PM on July 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well I thought the movie was Delightful, it had a lot of character scenes, lots of fun dynamics and scenes that used the spaceship/gravity weirdness well and the final villian image is literally old hatred and militarism being eaten away and only the federation badge remains. They literally save the day using art and culture! Maybe the biggest ship is FRIENDSHIP.

Also I think this is the only one of these moves where during the act 5 disaster in a big scene the medical teams are RIGHT THERE like, as soon as shit went down, boom ambulence flying trucks
posted by The Whelk at 9:39 PM on July 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


I missed the first ten minutes. Came out of the movie feeling like I saw a good summer film, but also feeling I liked the cast in this one way more than previous reboot Treks, because they had camraderie.

There were definitely flaws, and the villain could have had a much better backstory and middle story and end-story for Idris Elba to work with, but ...

After a couple of days, and watching a glowing Red Letter Media review, I realized this was the new Trek that best captured the spirit of the original series. Kirk was finally not a frat douche rebel, but a captain. Spock was spot on, and every character had something reasonable to do.

OK, niggles: why a motorcycle, and how can a starship that isn't supposed to fly in atmosphere take off with tons of rock and earth on it, and why oh why does revenge dude not get a life and do something useful with his magical warp drive spy tech, rather than plot his revenge forever and then carry through with it. (Because movie is why, but he just didn't make sense).

But this feels like a reboot of the reboot, bringing it back to the best qualities of the old. IF ONLY THEY COULD HAVE DONE THIS FOR THE BENEDICT CUMBERBUNNY KHAN movie.
posted by zippy at 12:14 AM on July 30, 2016


why oh why does revenge dude not get a life and do something useful with his magical warp drive spy tech, rather than plot his revenge forever and then carry through with it.

The short answer is that Krall isn't really out for revenge; he believes that the Federation's pro-peace stance is a mistake, and he's trying to provoke Starfleet into adopting a more aggressive war footing. (Arguably, the reboot universe is already kind of there, between the attacks by the Narada and Admiral Marcus' machinations, but whatever.)

The longer answer is that Krall is kind of a stand-in for all of the military SF fans who keep wishing that Star Trek were more of a mil-SF franchise, and simply refuse to accept that the entire basis of the franchise, hard-coded into its DNA, is that adopting the us-or-them, nature-red-in-tooth-and-claw, hardcore Starship Troopers ethos is a bad thing and humanity will not be able to grow and evolve if we don't move beyond that mindset. The MACOs, Krall's old outfit, were created in the third season of Star Trek: Enterprise in part as a piece of the show's post-9/11 Xindi/Expanse/Sphere Builders storyline, and in part to try to capture a bit of that Aliens Colonial Marines magic. Lin and Pegg are mentioning them specifically to reiterate the point that, even if it seems necessary to put Starfleet on a more military footing, it's not something that should either be done lightly or that should be maintained indefinitely. (Deep Space Nine also made this point during the Dominion War, often brilliantly.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:43 PM on July 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


Hmm. If this thing is actually refuting some of the aggro jock stuff in the first reboot movie and it kind of gets back to Trek basics, I may actually see it in a theater instead of just waiting to grudge-watch it in 3 years on FX.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:07 AM on July 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


how much of the Yorktown was SGI and how much was Dubai cropped and stuck together

Hm, I haven't seen this assertion anywhere, actually. Go find some screencaps and comparables from Dubai, it would be ironic in interesting ways. Yorktown being of course where Washington defeated the British, and also a colonial city in old Virginia. Dubai being Dubai. Both cities? Slave labor economies. Which we could then say underpins the economy of the Federation if those buildings in Dubai are the actual buildings seen onscreen portraying nuYorktown.

(There's another whole discussion here to be had about the role of slavery, let alone the use of the term and concept "race," in every iteration of Trek - The Klingon and Cardassian economies clearly have engaged in enslavement, for example, and in TOS, the Federation has trade ties with the Orions, whose best-known economic export are green-skinned dancing girls. But another time.)

So I liked the movie very much. The thing I picked up on that I wanted to point out for discussion is that Pegg and his cowriter were very deliberately introducing actual literal themes of fascism into the story in an interesting way, probably in order to reflect contemporary anxieties about the European (and now the American) right.

Krall (why do space villains randomly change their names like this? It's just pointless scriptwriter obfuscation, isn't it. V'ger, for god's sake) in his occasional moments of exposition, eschewing action for philosophy, tells us that he wants humanity to be returned to a state of endless struggle. This valorization of struggle, social darwinism, is a key component of fascism.

OK, so we have a British writer who's given us a Space Nazi as our big baddie. No big deal, right? But wait!

Throughout the film our band of doughty heroes oppose Krall's expostulations and threats with the repeated word "Unity," counterpositing that value to Krall's endless struggle.

Scotty even explains why that unity is valuable to Jaylah via the metaphor of a bundle of sticks. A bundle of sticks! The emblem of authority of the Roman state. A fasces. The symbol from which fascism takes its name. It's worth noting it's Pegg who delivers this line. He is well-aware of what he's doing with this theme.

Now, I wish I could say the same. There's a case to be made that action movies are inherently fascist. Is Pegg ironically commenting on that? Is he intentionally constructing the basis for presenting a critical view of the Federation as a fascist society?

Given that MeFi's (and my) take on the UFP appears to directly relate it to Banks' Culture, and that that view doesn't originate here, I would guess that it may be more of a cinematic irony than an attempt to lay the ground for a critique of the Federation from the left.

Still, in light of my remarks on slavery in the franchise, there is certainly ample ground for such an analysis.

Anyway, I enjoyed the film, plot holes and all, much more than I did the prior two nuTreks. I hope Pegg continues his story involvement. I don't think there's any question that this film succeeds primarily because of his writing.
posted by mwhybark at 11:27 AM on July 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


Oh, and the obvious move for the next film is to include Jaylah as a permanent member of the crew in light of Anton Yeltsin's untimely passing.
posted by mwhybark at 11:32 AM on July 31, 2016 [3 favorites]


Some Dubai shoot info. Basically, Dubai is Yorktown.
posted by mwhybark at 11:08 AM on August 2, 2016


Bit more on SFX including the use of LIDAR scans of Dubai architecture as the basis for Yorktown's architecture. Oh, and the importance of "Star Trek Yodas." No, really.
posted by mwhybark at 11:15 AM on August 2, 2016


The captain of the Franklin is arguing with Kirk about the purpose of the Federation, and he brings up the conflict with the Xindi. This kind of threw me a bit, when I thought about it. Kirk said that the Franklin was designed as the first Warp 4 starship. However, in Enterprise, Archer says that the Enterprise was built as the first Warp 5 starship - someone either got their continuity mixed up, or this is another quirk of the reboot timeline.

So the Franklin was built, the first with warp 4 capability, though we don't know the dates, then the Enterprise NX-01 was commissioned in 2151, the first ship with warp 5 capability. Enterprise was retired in 2161 and Franklin was kept in use beyond that, disappearing in 2164. It seems a little odd that they would keep the older one and retire the newer and better model but apart from that what is the problem?
posted by biffa at 1:58 AM on August 3, 2016


Well, over most Trek iterations, registry numbers have been somewhat sequential, for one.
NX-01 and NX-326 imply that the Franklin was built and commissioned after the first Enterprise. I'm not sure when nuTrek's timeline diverges from Trek Prime.
posted by mwhybark at 8:01 AM on August 3, 2016


Production-related info at Memory Alpha confirms the Franklin as predating the Enterprise NX-01:

Regarding the vessel's origins, Dylan Highsmith said, "If you want the official explanation on the Franklin and its warp factor: it was a MACO ship (or a United Earth Starfleet ship that housed MACO personnel at times) that predates the NX-01. When the UFP Starfleet is formed, MACO was disbanded and the ship was reclassified as a Starfleet ship [with the "USS" identifier]. The ship is then 'lost' in the early 2160s. It was important to everyone that the ship, like Edison, predate the Federation; that thematically, the ship mirrored an earlier time in history and served as a bridge in design between then and the NX-01. Doug and Simon may have worked up something [on an official launch date], but if they did it never made it to script or screen. Either way it predates the NX-01, and was reclassified after the UFP is formed." [3]

The possible launch date of the Franklin as the first warp four vessel of Starfleet can be narrowed down based on information from ENT: "First Flight", which established that warp three was first achieved by the NX Delta in 2144, and that the construction of Enterprise, Starfleet's first warp five ship, began in 2149. Therefore, the launch of the Franklin should have happened in those intermittent five years between 2144 and 2149, thereby making it between fifteen and twenty years old at the time of its disappearance in 2164.


Sadly, this leaves the mystery of the fully operable motorbike unresolved.
posted by mwhybark at 8:15 AM on August 3, 2016


Saw it. I disliked the first two reboot movies. I disliked this one slightly less, but dislike it for the same reasons.
  • Action porn. Like any action movie these days, it's all action, all the time. They managed to tone that down a little for this compared to the previous two, but still. There's damn little time for character development or exposition.
  • Plot holes. OK, most movies have plot holes, but they really stand out. Why was the former crew of the Franklin not speaking English? Why did they start again? If they had (somehow) tapped into the computers on the new Yorktown space station, why did they need to wait until Kirk took the Abronath on that diplomatic mission to learn about it? After Spock got injured, where did he get that new uniform from?
  • Stuff that doesn't make sense in any Star Trek universe: Narratively, it doesn't make sense that the Federation's flagship would be so easily destroyed by the Swarm. Also, how is the Swarm warp-capable? Those tiny ships have warp drive? The way they lit up all the reaction-control thrusters on the saucer didn't make sense either. And so on.
  • Stuff that doesn't make sense in any SF universe: Holy crap that's a dumb space-station design. Starships need to travel through tubes inside the sphere to get to dock? That's a bad design. You've got skyscrapers inside a huge empty space? And don't get me started on having a single point of failure for the environmental system that has four separate handles to disable even though it's supposed to be impossible to disable.
If you're going to make a Star Trek movie, make it a Star Trek movie. There is the germ of a good storyline in there, if they would have let it breathe a little.
posted by adamrice at 1:58 PM on August 5, 2016


Pew! Pew! Pew!

Saw it last night. There are many things to say, so I'll just say this: God, did it suck.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:36 PM on August 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I suppose I would be remiss in not at least linking to fan-film-best-of-class Star Trek Continues on the off chance a reader of this thread that loved TOS and finds nuTrek anywhere south of grating hasn't examined it. Six hour-long TOS era fan-made episodes with some TOS actors and Trek pros involved in the production, at least one episode based on a never-shot TOS script, meticulous physical sets built from TOS set carpentry plans, and with Mythbusters' Grant Imahara as Sulu and Jimmy Doohan's son Chris as Scotty. The production's head honcho is VO guy Vic Mignona and Spock is likewise a VO pro, Todd Haberkorn.

The scripts, editing, and acting are better than the average fan film, and the sets and photography are WAY better than the average fan film. Mignona's made the choice to try to play Kirk as an impression of Shatner's Kirk, which is both weird and admirable and not all that different from Karl Urban's take on DeForrest Kelley as McCoy. His voice is much higher pitched than Shatner's and it's a bit odd at first, but his VO skills come through for him.

I see that the site is teasing a premiere at the beginning of next month for a new episode. It's hard to know what they intend - the recently revised fan-film guidelines issued in the wake of Paramount's shutdown of Axanar would appear to spell the end of the project.

Anyway, give it a shot if you haven't already. It's proof to me that there's no reason recasting cannot succeed.
posted by mwhybark at 6:50 PM on August 5, 2016


That's not to say there aren't some serious misfires in the six episodes. I didn't care for "Pilgrim of Eternity," speaking of giant green space hands, and "Divided We Stand" provoked an eyeroll attack of notable intensity. "The White Iris" was also aggravating. "Lolani" and in particular "Come not Between Dragons" were pretty good, with "Dragons" clearly the best, an episode that although not mistakable for a real TOS or TNG episode stands up to the standards of either show in most respects.
posted by mwhybark at 6:59 PM on August 5, 2016


at least one episode based on a never-shot TOS script

I swear I read an interview with Mignona about this but cannot substantiate it, I realized after posting.
posted by mwhybark at 7:01 PM on August 5, 2016


... and I just learned from IMDB that the Orion Girl seen briefly on the Enterprise in Star Trek Beyond, kicking her paramour out of her quarters during the opening Kirk monologue, is played by Fiona Vroom, who plays the Orion female lead in STC's "Lolani". Now that's an easter egg.
posted by mwhybark at 7:05 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


For those who haven't seen it, Lolani is really good! Really captures the look and feel of the original series. I'm impressed that somebody thought to cast Vroom for a cameo here.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:14 PM on August 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


To be fair, there aren't many green actors working in hollywood today, so it kind of makes sense if you're casting an orion girl to hire one of the few green actors currently working.

That said, given the general whitewashing that most studios do it's to their credit that they didn't do that here.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:27 AM on August 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Just got back from seeing this about an hour ago.

Easily the best of the New Trek movies. No, it wasn't perfect, but it was darn good. Felt Trek-kier to me than ID or even '09. The shakey-cam fights did irk me, though, and who the hell had the idea to make the floors of the Enterprise so damn slippery?
posted by SansPoint at 2:14 PM on August 7, 2016


This wasn't fantastic by any means, but I needed a distraction this afternoon and this movie definitely managed to clear that relatively low bar. I even liked the Sabotage bit.

I wouldn't watch it again or anything, but it delivered 2 hours of OK entertainment.
posted by minsies at 9:44 AM on August 13, 2016


Just saw this and thought it was terrible. Stupid and tedious, I almost walked out. Space bees were vaguely entertaining. Space Beastie Boys drowning out space bees was stupid. The motorcycle scene was dumb and gratuitous, but I'm OK with that. What was worse is it was very badly shot, no excitement or thrill. Literally just a distraction, both in-story and on-screen.

And I very much liked the JJ Abrams movies, despite their problems. But this film was just awful, from script to directing to editing.
posted by Nelson at 5:30 PM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Definitely the trekkiest nutrek, although it never fully escaped its predecessors. I did chuckle at Kirk complaining about ripping his shirt. Yorktown looked cool, which was the most important thing for it to do.

They seemed to go rather quickly from "If we beam more than one person they might splice together" to "we can beam twenty people at once" to "what are transporters?" and that launch beat on my suspension of disbelief as much as it did on the Franklin.

One of the big pitfalls of making modern Trek movies based on the TOS characters is that TOS had a mostly human crew and a mostly human command staff, whereas nutrek has a mostly alien crew and a mostly human command staff.

Also, I was kind of hoping for Fight the Power, although on further reflection coming to the rescue with 911 is a Joke would have been hilarious.
posted by ckape at 7:34 PM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow. So dumb. I lasted 26 mins and turned it off.
Yorktown was pretty but had ridiculous physics.
The Enterprise looks silly
How long were they on shoreleave -- a day? then crew completely reassembled for a quick, ill considered 'rescue' mission with an unvetted alien toward an unconfirmed disaster in an area with "no communication with starfleet" (we're on our own).
The fleet's best ship lasts 30 seconds, Kirk is the only one who can pull the magic levers to release the saucer (why again?) all in the service of putting the crew on a conveniently earth-like planet.
No amount of Trekness could get me to watch any more. What a dump on the franchise.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:24 PM on September 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


I lasted 26 mins and turned it off.

You missed the Space Beastie Boys that were played in to space to disrupt the Space Bees' communication. Just in case there was any audience confusion; they used the song Sabotage to sabotage the Space Bees.
posted by Nelson at 7:12 AM on September 29, 2016


Wow. So dumb. I lasted 26 mins and turned it off.

Me too. Incredibly typical and boring. I kind of admire some of the visual design in that they get close to what they want it to be but it personally does nothing for me.
posted by juiceCake at 12:09 AM on October 9, 2016


I'm not like, particularly into wanting to sell this movie or whatever, but my comment is for those who's commented but not yet seen due to some very valid reservations based on past experience. I think it's worth watching once.

This finally crawled onto my Netflix queue, so I watched it last night. I very much agree with the comment; it's worth watching once.

I appreciated that the movie gave some more subtlety and nuance to the characters, particularly Kirk and Spock, as opposed to everyone just being one or two traits turned to 11 which is how I felt about the first two films. I also really liked the fact that the relationship with the alien woman was given to Scotty as opposed to the usual trap of Kirk.

That being said, the film still largely felt like it could be a generic SF franchise film; many of the touches about the ethos of the Federation rely heavily on the viewer knowing what the ethos of the Federation is, but if you don't know, it really doesn't matter.

What I found more interesting and was hoping the film was going to comment on in some way is that this is the third film in a row that involves a villain who has a grudge against the Federation and is seeking revenge. Should that not feed into the soul-searching Kirk is doing in this film? Is the Federation really all that & a bag of chips, given that people keep coming out of the (future and past) woodwork with grudges and drives for revenge? That would be worth exploring.

Now, the film couldn't sharpen in on that idea because - at least, IMO - the character of the villain was muddled and confused. As is often the case with ST films, the villain represents something the Captain is dealing with emotionally; in this case, Kirk is feeling "lost" and uncertain as Krall was lost. However, we are just told Kirk feels lost; for me, it never came through in his actions. For Krall, his motivation is really not explained - is he out for revenge because he got lost in the nebula and no rescue came? Or is he out to "save the Federation from themselves"? Or prove that without conflict and opposition the Federation doesn't know what it is? What, exactly does he want, and how, exactly, is he "lost" in the sense of not having a moral compass/direction? I was left confused as to exactly how Kirk was "lost" because he never acted like it, and Krall similarly didn't seem "lost" in that he always had a clear goal of attacking the Federation, even if his motivation was never really clear.

Scotty even explains why that unity is valuable to Jaylah via the metaphor of a bundle of sticks. A bundle of sticks! The emblem of authority of the Roman state. A fasces. The symbol from which fascism takes its name. It's worth noting it's Pegg who delivers this line. He is well-aware of what he's doing with this theme...There's a case to be made that action movies are inherently fascist. Is Pegg ironically commenting on that? Is he intentionally constructing the basis for presenting a critical view of the Federation as a fascist society?

Given that MeFi's (and my) take on the UFP appears to directly relate it to Banks' Culture, and that that view doesn't originate here, I would guess that it may be more of a cinematic irony than an attempt to lay the ground for a critique of the Federation from the left.


I remembered this comment pretty well, and was watching closely to see if there was a veiled critique of the idea of unity; of the Federation as a fascist society. Sadly, I don't think it's there - the movie very much deals with the theme of isolation vs. unity in a lot of ways - the Enterprise is literally cut to pieces, severing the crew from each other; the primary cast is split up, left to work alone. But they all constantly work to come back together - Uhura never doubts that the others will come; Spock and Bones share a moment of mutual respect and understanding before they are separated for a joke; Scotty - the only crew member left on his own - joins with someone new, someone he doesn't know, who isn't part of the crew. She, in turn, expects to be abandoned, but isn't - at which point, she joins with them, with no reservations. The idea of "Unity", of banding together and using diversity as strength is presented as the opposition to Krall, who is largely alone but equipped with an army of mindless drones under complete control who follow his orders without question. The unity and diversity of the Enterprise crew is constantly presented as strength: Kirk asks for something to get done or points out what is needed, and it gets done through the creativity and unique skill sets of his crew coming together to achieve what they can't do alone. Krall, however, is on his own and cannot respond effectively when his control of the drones is disrupted. Kirk has someone feeding him information throughout the final fight and, of course, Spock and Bones to save him - Krall has no one, and so dies, victim of his own weapon.

There is a message here about facism and unity, but it's pretty clear to me that the message is that Krall's philosophy of facism involves total control and no diversity; while the Unity that opposes him is made of up of diverse species and talents and skills all working together for a common goal and a common vision. I felt like, at times, the movie went out of its way to portray the diversity of aliens that were part of the Federation, and how that was a strength.

Anyways, that's probably too many words to spill over a movie that was, at best, a way spend a couple of hours on a Saturday evening.
posted by nubs at 9:30 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


The first two were objectively bad. No-kidding awful. I wrote this movie off for dead, until it came up on Amazon Prime for free. Quinto invoking Nimoy like McGregor invoking Guiness should be worth a laugh...

Oh. My. God. THIS ONE. This is the good one, this is the no-kidding great one, this should have been the first and only reboot movie, it's so fantastic!

OK, so, Jaylah. She is no-ones exotic love interest. She is, just now, a member of the Federation of Hold My Beer I Got This i mean Planets, just as the actual Federation crew are evacuated in organized and orderly way using INSANELY JURY-RIGGED CENTURIES OLD TECH! And of course it works. And she slots in so seamlessly with the rest of the crew... the Federation in action! Que up the beat and the shouting, and we'll bring the Romulan Ale, booooiiiii!

And of course Kirk leaves NO ONE behind. Because he's Kirk. SO OSSSUM!

Let us take a step back. An unknown alien race has a holographic tech that she has used to hide an ENTIRE STARSHIP from the notice of the apocalyptic-level bad, badguys. Captain James T. Kirk, under the Aegis of "Hold my Synth Ale, I have an Idea!" I mean "The Federation of Planets", well, he motorcycles. It goes well for him, not them. Montgomery Scott does what he does with limited resources and no time... heh heh heh!

This is the movie we deserved from a reboot. Character driven plot, action scenes that are frightening but not overwhelming, more slapstick than I would like but the character development and thematic evolution is almost like if they gave up and let Simon Pegg write the damn script because they wanted a movie that didn't suck.

Oh.

The crew of the NCC-1701 doing what they do, and so nicely and so in character... awesome space spectacle... social messages ingrained so finely... unwinnable space-battles won! Deep, uncomfortable messages layered in the plot. This should have been the first reboot movie.

And! And! The bad guys blew up the Enterprise. Well, says the Federation, here's a NEW USS Enterprise, and let's see you try to blow up THIS one. You did, huh? Well, how about THIS one...!

The Federation is so cool!

The previous two reboot movies were tedious and dull. This one is fantastic, and worthy of Trek on a thematic level.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:45 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


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