To Dull Where No Man Has Dulled Before – Review of Star Trek Beyond (2016)

The reboots of the Star Trek series did one thing that I never thought Star Trek would do: make fans out of non-Trekkies.
And how it did that was by actually simple: concentrate on the characters.
Specifically, they modernized them so people who weren’t fans of the old series (and TNG, etc) could identify and like the characters.
For the non-fans of Trek (me being one of them), the accessibility helped me realize why some watched Trek and enjoyed it.
Star Trek Beyond focuses wholly on the “Beyond” part of the title: everything is expanded. From the amount of different species that are on display to the different worlds and languages it imposes on the viewer.
The action scenes are also a lot bigger, especially in the beginning. There are also fight scenes that are good, but have a strange martial arts/MMA style to them.
The word of the day for this movie was clearly going to be big. Be big. Be grand. Be a spectacle.
How did this turn out?
Well, the One Thing You Should Know About Star Trek Beyond is:
Despite it’s pomp, circumstance and spectacle, it’s spectacularly dull and campy.
In fact, this movie goes straight into 60’s camp and kitsch in some weird ways. Knowing glances, cheesy one-liners: it’s all there.
Yet, the last two movies were given great action and great character play. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto make quite a charismatic pair.
Both are bland and lacking of the character given in the previous two films.
Pine especially has the life sucked out of him. No more is the funny character oozing with charisma: Pine’s Kirk from the old movies are essentially written out with a lifeless bore.
And I wouldn’t necessarily blame that on Pine: he’s proven in other movies (especially worse ones) that he has the charisma to carry a film.
The script and direction is just devoid of life.
It’s easily the worst of the three movies and if its the direction that the Star Trek series of movies will go to, it may be high time for me to step out.

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