MOVIE MONDAYS : STAR TREK BEYOND
For the past couple months time has been moving near, if not at, warp speed in my tiny universe so I thought it prudent to take a day off from work, hit refresh and spend some time doing things that I enjoy. First on my list was to go to one of my favourite places ever: the cinema. I decided to watch a film I felt would raise my spirits somewhat and boy did it.
Let me clear up one thing before I waffle on: I am not a big-time Star Trek fan. I have never watched any of the older films and I may have sat through half an episode of one of the many Television series back when I was in primary school but that's about it. However, when the Star Trek world was given a reboot in 2009 and the promo for the second film caught my attention in 2013, I quickly became a convert; I am even aware of the fact that it's Star Trek's 50th Anniversary this year. Yup... Now, back to present day...
Watching some of my favourite characters evolve and find themselves in new environments that introduce more chaos into their already hectic lives filled me with so much hope and wonder; I rediscovered the reasons why I love film. In Star Trek Beyond, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) once again leads his crew and ship on a journey where the way back is hazier than the path taken to their original destination. Friendships are formed, relationships are tested, the meaning of family is challenged, lives are at stake and the age old question 'What am I doing with my life' is pondered by a few, making outer space seem rather familiar and within arms reach. Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto) and his unique perspective on things do not disappoint, and neither does Bones a.k.a. Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban) with his beloved pessimistic views on pretty much everything. Lieutenant Uhura (Zoe Saldana) is as badass as ever and I am looking forward to the day where I learn even more about her - HINT! HINT! Star Trek 4's screenwriter. Ahem. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg) and his second in command, Keenser (Deep Roy) are still in sync and funny as always - gotta love those two; good ol' Checkov (Anton Yelchin - may he rest in peace) steps up his game; and as for the calm, confident Captain Sulu (John Cho), the spotlight is shone on him quite a bit and we are graced with a sneak peek into the life of the Captain outside of the USS Enterprise. One of the new characters we are introduced to in this instalment who definitely caught most people's attention, probably due to her sassiness, is Jaylah (Sofia Boutella). All I will say is that she definitely left a lasting impression on most people. And there was a surprise (to me at at least) appearance of a well-known British actor who steps into the shoes of a sinister character and makes USS Enterprise's latest trip slightly more dramatic.
Star Trek Beyond saw J. J. Abrams putting on his producer hat this time round, leaving the director's chair open for Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6; Fast 5; Annapolis). And that was not the only rejig: the screenplay for this instalment was put together by Simon Pegg (Run, Fatboy, Run; Hot Fuzz; Shaun of the Dead) and Doug Jung (Dark Blue; Big Love; Confidence) and I was happy - and not at all surprised - to find that the fine balance between drama and humour in the previous films was still present in this one. Another thing also present in Star Trek Beyond was the essence of family: the cast and crew paid their respects not only to Leonard Nimoy who passed away late last year but also Anton Yelchin who sadly passed away a few months ago.
One thing I like about these Star Trek films is how almost unrelated they are. That's not to say Justin Lin pulled another Tokyo Drift with Star Trek Beyond - thank goodness! This particular franchise tends to stray from the let's-end-each-film-on-a-cliffhanger norm, instead it merely gives us an insight into the very enthralling lives of its main characters one episodic, almost stand-alone film at a time. Now, I'm off to go watch the 1st instalment for the second time this month. Live long and prosper.