Matchup of the Day: Star Trek Beyond vs. Star Trek Into Darkness
It took four long years for J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek reboot to get a sequel. When it did, Star Trek Into Darkness arrived with a bit of an unceremonious thud, as fans felt betrayed by the outright denial of an obvious twist, and the shameless attempt to rip off a previous, superior Trek film.
Three years later, Star Trek Beyond is faced with the unenviable task of trying to wash away the bitter taste left behind by Into Darkness, in time to celebrate the venerable sci-fi franchise’s 50th anniversary. Fortunately, it mostly succeeds.
In brief, here’s a quick laundry list of “sins” committed by Star Trek Into Darkness that Star Trek Beyond manages to fix. (Don’t worry, there are no spoilers here.)
- The starship Enterprise is not still stuck in Earth orbit, but is actually exploring Strange New Worlds. In fact, it’s right in the middle of its historic five-year mission.
- The villain of the piece (here played by Idris Elba) is not just a great performance behind a gimmicky twist, as was Benedict Cumberbatch in Into Darkness. He actually has some depth of character to him.
- There are no gratuitous underwear scenes. In fact, Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and “guest star” Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) manage to keep their clothes on the entire time.
- Thoughtful and poignant tribute is paid to the original Star Trek cast. There are no scenes that just blatantly rip off previous movies in the franchise.
- Every character moment is played to near perfection. Everything each of the main characters does seems perfectly in line with their counterparts from the original series…even when Spock (Zachary Quinto) has a brief moment of unexpected emotion.
- Beyond even manages to make better use of the Beastie Boys.
Featuring energetic direction from Fast & Furious director Justin Lin, and a script from Simon Pegg & Doug Jung that is, by turns, suspenseful and humorous, Star Trek Beyond looks to be a step in the right direction for this franchise.
Star Trek Beyond is now playing in theaters, and climbing the charts soon.