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We’re Feeling Somewhat Sabatoged by the Star Trek Beyond (2016) Trailer

Film: Star Trek Beyond

What We Know So Far: The starship Enterprise comes under attack from a ferocious new enemy that destroys the ship and leaves the crew stranded on an alien planet where they face perhaps a greater threat.

The Trailer: Official #1

Our Take

David: Director Justin Lin, best known for the the Fast & Furious franchise takes the helm in the third film in the latest Star Trek film series. Veering hard right into comedy, perhaps taking a cue from the lesson learned in Star Trek: The Voyage Home (1986), which opted for a lighter tone, this trailer spends a lot of time on sight gags and one liners. And things going boom. It begins with a shameless Galaxy of the Guardians (2014) “homage” by having rock music (Sabotage by The Beastie Boys) not only playing on the soundtrack but also what Kirk is cranking on the bridge. I get the feeling that the producers were thinking, “Hey the kids liked that in that talking racoon movie, let’s do it here.” That aside, we see a furious (and fast?) stream of action that somewhat details the plot and a few physics defying moments of slow-motion CGI. There’s also a motorcycle jump. I have been vocal about my unhappiness with the rebooted Star Trek (2009), which started very well in the opening moments of the first film but were squandered quickly by a bad script. Into Darkness (2013) was also a disappointment that was both miss-marketed, poorly written and produced. I will say that the cast has always been the saving grace of the new series, with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto well cast. I like what Zoey Saldana does with Uhura and I think both Simon Pegg as Scotty and Karl Urban as Bones work. The problem is that Star Trek has never been about explosions and actions, a mistake that the producers of The Next Generation films failed to understand as well with each of their movies. Star Trek is about discovery and intelligence, stories that compel and challenge. Both the original and The Next Generation television series defined that, creating authentic tales that had nothing to do with things blowing up and everything to do with complex plots and humanity. This need to be bigger and louder in film is only ruining the movie-going experience and numbing audiences to the joy of adventure. And that’s what I want from Star Trek. Adventure. Mystery. Emotion. Exploration. I can get everything I see in the trailer in a hundred other films and frankly, it’s just boring. Like Dan says below, the studio is pushing action but there is some quick hints at some draw, with a frightened looking Uhura. Maybe there is something better in the next trailer. Oh, and hey! It’s in 3D! Beam me out.

Dan: “Sabotage!” Really? Did we just get punked? I get the reference to the first flick, but is that what Star Trek feels like? The Beastie Boys? That said, it is a great song and definitely gets you pumped (regardless of any footage). I’m sure a lot of younger viewers love the pairing of high octane action with a “dope beat”, but it doesn’t seem to represent Star Trek. Personally, I’d prefer a triumphant score (maybe by Michael Giaccino). With the first sequel, Trek went dark because Dark Knight made it popular. Now, it looks like they went fun because Guardians of the Galaxy was so well-received. Each movie in the series has a different tone, making it hard to nail down your expectations. It looks like Beyond takes the same grounded approach, not focused on galactic fantasy. Instead of a bar-fight like Part 1, we get a motorcycle chase. These anti-science-fiction tropes actually meshed well within the celestial setting.

Idris Elba joins the returning cast as an alien villain, looking like a strange twist on the Ferengi. New-comer behind-the-scenes, Simon Pegg wrote the screenplay for this outing, suggesting a focus on comedy. Let’s hope his collaborations with JJ Abrams rubbed off, and he created a few mystery boxes for us to open up. Director Justin Lin switches franchises, beaming up from Fast & Furious, with promises of exciting action sequences that break the laws of physics. So far, we’ve got the whole jumping into the air to hang on a cliff stuff from Furious 7. Now, where’s the heist? It looks like the story will focus on Elba’s big bad baddie – and his fleet of swarming fighter jets, looking like Man of Steel meets The Matrix. Despite the mass appeal marketing Sabotage, I’ll remain open-minded. I rather enjoyed the Abram’s original reboot, and still had fun with Into Darkness. Sometimes a trailer can make a movie seem more action-packed than it really is. It also seems like the studio doesn’t like to advertize the theoretical science stuff, which a lot of us actually find fascinating. For me, it breaks down like this, the studio is hiding the sci-fi and pushing the action (way too hard).

What To Look For In The Trailer

David Says: As I mentioned above, Star Trek has always had a good sense of humor, and while this clip is clearly showcases its intent to bring that tradition back, some of it doesn’t work. But my Sneak Peek Moment comes at the one that works best. When Spock and Bones are seemingly trapped in a ravine, surrounded by small alien craft that are apparently hostile, Bones takes solace in the fact he isn’t going to die alone. Naturally, as he says this, Spock is beamed away in perfect comedic-timing fashion. It’s a cute and good  for a laugh that is actually earned. Maybe there will be more of it, but the trailer is far more interested in flash and blast than hooking us with characters.

Dan Says: The Enterprise is attacked during their adventure to explore the unknown universe. They crash-land on an alien planet, immediately thrust into a civil war (speculation). The marooned storyline feels like a classic 60s Trek episode. Unfortunately, this sort of scenario (once again) removes them from the outer-space setting the series is beloved for. To be fair, we don’t know what the crew’s new mission is yet. It looks they’ve found an ally though, in a white-skinned alien with Romulan-looking tattoos. The character design reminds me of the villain in Gulleirmo del Toro’s Blade 2. My Sneak Peek Moment is the other teleport Moment. Kirk and his ally are falling off a cliff or something, he reaches out, grabs her, and is beamed up in mid-air before they splat. They hit the ground of the Enterprise (? partly operational?) and our Captain says, “Let’s not do that again.” Chris Pine keeps his portrayal playful. With the character’s history of charming the ladies, will this alien develop into a love interest? If Kirk and the rest of heroes help her cause, will the alien rebels fix the Enterprise in return? Is Elba an oppressor, running something like a slave trade? There’s definitely a few intriguing questions brewing about Beyond’s storyline. So far, the tone just seem a little muddled. Anticipation-wise, I’m in mid-phase, sparkly bits of air, “Beam me up” mode.



Justin Lin




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