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Wick's Review

Created Jul 29, 2016 11:56PM PST • Edited Jun 21, 2019 03:26PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0
    Bestest. Star Trek. Ever.

    Star Trek Beyond never loses touch with all that made Star Trek great from its earliest incarnation, yet uses 2016 movie magic to create an Enterprise and assorted 23rd century tech-gear better than ever before.

    Plus it plays the iconic opening notes of the all-time-great Theme from Star Trek early on, and then the full theme late in this absolutely stellar episode. After declaring Star Trek Into Darkness the best Star Trek ever, I promised to rate the next one perfect if it used the iconic Star Trek Theme before the closing credits.

    Perfect is what Beyond is, falling off nowhere from Into Darkness and adding the eery Star Trek Theme.

    Star Trek Touchstones
    • Cheerful Cheesiness: J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin stay true to the cheap soundstage feel of the original TV show, notwithstanding the $185 million budget of Beyond.
    • Physics Hacking: Crew members often engage in physics hacking, where they have to solve some crazy dynamics problem and then perform it. The latter is movie madness, the former nerd nectar.
    • Group Think: No, not everybody thinks the same thing. Just the opposite, everybody thinks aloud when the crew has a difficult problem to solve. This bunch of geeks always comes to a brilliant technical solution, albeit one that usually involves Kirk risking his life. Geeks like me love this!
    • Rhetorical Victory: Kirk bests his enemy by outthinking him, after engaging in high stakes debate.
    • List of Classics: The Enterprise; phasers on stun; Bones declaring “I’m a doctor, not a …”; tête-à-têtes between Kirk & Spock, Spock & McCoy, Spock & Uhuru; Scotty holding the ship together, to name a few. Oh yeah, Mr. Sulu take the conn.
  3. Perfect 5.0

    Chris Pine returns for his third go in the Captain’s chair, his third Captain’s log, now during Stardate 2164. Pine has nearly equaled William Shatner as the other actor who’s played James Tiberius Kirk. Looking ahead, one more performance even near the quality of Kirk in Beyond, and Pine will have tied Shatner.

    Crew of the Starship Enterprise
    • Zachary Quinto will never be Leonard Nimoy, but fulfills the role well.
    • Karl Urban is a net positive over DeForest Kelley as McCoy, the irascible medical officer.
    • Zoe Saldana is one hot Uhura, the polylingual comms officer.
    • Simon Pegg underplays Scottie this time, a wise move by the actor who also led the writing team.
    • John Cho comes out as newly married Sulu, third officer, helmsman and gay icon.
    • Anton Yelchin radiates sadness every time he appears, given his recent tragic and freakish death.
    • Idris Elba holds up his antagonistic end of the bargain in one of the movie’s essential roles.
    • Sofia Boutella beguiles as Jaylah, the coolest new alien since Zoe Saldana’s Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy. The exotic Sofia first impressed as the blade runner in 2014’s Kingsman.
    • Doug Jung – who wrote most of the movie with Simon Pegg – cameos as Sulu’s husband.
    • Jeff Bezos apparently plays a Starfleet Official. Yes, that Jeff Bezos.
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Perfect 5.0
  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Perfect 5.0

    J.J. Abrams made the right choice to have Justin Lin direct this third episode of the rebooted Star Trek franchise. Lin and the Simon Pegg & Doug Jung led writing team are now immortal members of the Gene Roddenbury creative tree.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0
  10. Play Perfect 5.0

    Simon Pegg & Doug Jung share the writing credits with the immortal Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek’s creator. Roberto Orci, Patrick McKay & John D. Payne helped.

  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.7
  15. Sex Innocent 1.5
  16. Violence Fierce 2.0
  17. Rudeness Polite 1.5
  18. Fantasy 4.2

    Relatively restrained circumstantial reality distortions make this FX-epic relatable, given the pure fantasy involved in the biological and physical reality realms. See my commentary on this series’ original episode.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Fantasy 4.5
  21. Physical Fantasy 5.0


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Jul 23, 2016 4:46PM

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
“Pegg puts in some touching moments that salute Nimoy and the original crew. Perfect.” Can’t wait!