Star Trek Beyond, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, 2016, movie

Star Trek Beyond And Old Fashioned Fun

Star Trek Beyond was fun, wasn’t it?

As I walked into the screening, mind you, I couldn’t help but brace myself for a few tears. The tragic passing of Anton Yelchin still wounds me, and, this being his last film, it was likely going to have a greater emotional resonance than any previous entry. Perhaps it’s not on the same teary levels of Furious 7, which had the chance (for lack of a more respectful phrase) to properly tribute Paul Walker as he passed away before production wrapped, but there is a clear piece of respectful editing going on in there: as the crew of the Enterprise raise their glasses “to missing friends”, we subtly cut to Yelchin and his innocent smile, and then we want to cry.

It’s a really nice touch.

Anton Yelchin, Star Trek, tribute

But beyond the tragedy, Star Trek Beyond is just a hell of a lot of fun. Old-fashioned fun. The kind of fun that action movies used to be and should be. Beyond is the tonic in a year of sheer, unadulterated awfulness – both in terms of movies and the real world which has seen multiple mass shootings and Donald Trump being within a step of becoming President.

Admittedly I’ve missed a lot, but going by what I have seen and the general consensus of others, it’s been a summer of enormous cinematic turkeys and disappointments (ahem, Suicide Squad). While others are too busy trying to be important, it’s nice to have something that just cuts to the core and does what it says on the tin. No faffing around. No superfluous seriousness. No shoehorned comedy.

All three reboot Stark Trek films are kind of the same in that respect. So much so that it can actually be hard to distinguish between them. They each follow exactly the same formula and character motives (although in Beyond there are some interesting conflicts in Kirk as he ponders whether to leave the Enterprise and take up a desk job – Pine plays it well). Such repetition should be an issue, really, but in Star Trek’s case it’s fine because it works. It’s as simple as that. These movies know what they’re doing, which is stripping everything back and delivering pure escapism – and boy, do we need it now more than ever.

I’ve never been a ‘Trekker’ and had never paid much attention to this universe before J.J. Abrams dug his hands into it, but I’ve had a blast with all of them. I walked out of Star Trek Beyond a little bit happier, because it reminded me what movies are supposed to do.

More of this, please.

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