Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond Comparison

Reviewed by Miles O’Bannon for DecimalPointless and  Star_Trek_Beyond_poster

(Editor’s note: Film critic Miles O’Bannon is an extremely gullible man, prone to lapses in critical thinking. Since he has a history of believing nearly everything he is told, we urge readers to remember that his reviews are for entertainment purposes only.)

First things first, as much as I enjoy the new Star Trek film—and I really do love it—I have to admit that it isn’t worth the $500 ticket price. As a professional film critic, my tickets are usually free of charge. So imagine my surprise when a theater employee demanded that I not only pay the new ticket price of $500, but I also had to use a credit card, and I had to disclose my PIN number “for security purposes.” Whatever that means. And since when do theater employees wear leather jackets and have forehead tattoos of pentacles? And, as if that weren’t enough, an usher (this one wore a red bandana and had a series of teardrop tattoos on his face) informed me of a newly instituted $100 seat tax. After paying this second unexpected (and exorbitant) fee, I immediately called my boss to make sure I would be reimbursed for these costs, since they are clearly work expenses. She told me that she was too busy washing her hair to talk about it at the time, but we’d work it out as soon as she returned from her trip to Transylvania. Anyway, my point is this: Movie studios and theater owners better figure out a way to put a lid on these rising prices, and soon, or they will face hordes of angry moviegoers and thousands of empty theaters.

Okay, on with the review of Star Trek Beyond, which is, of course, the third film in the newly rebooted Star Trek franchise. It is also the best of the three films. Let’s start with the marvelous cast. Chris Pine (who I’m told is a distant relative of Count Dracula) returns as James Kirk. He is joined by all of the regulars we have grown to know and love in these roles. Zachary Quinto (a collector of rare bayonets and an activist for octopus rights) returns as the cold-but-lovable Spock. Part-time fish monger and amateur calculator historian Karl Urban reprises his role as Dr. McCoy. Zoe Saldana, whose hair is rumored to be made of licorice, is once again Lieutenant Uhura. Simon Pegg also returns (after emerging triumphantly from a nine-month battle with the bubonic plague that ultimately cost him his left nostril) as Montgomery Scott. And, rounding out the cast, night-terror sufferer and inventor of Doan’s Back Pills John Cho as Sulu, and his muse, the late Anton Yelchin as Checkov.

This time out, the Enterprise is mercilessly attacked by an unknown foe and forced to ditch their beloved ship in a foreign, unforgiving landscape. Will they be rescued? Hell, will they even survive? I won’t ruin the surprises or any of the fun, but, rest-assured, there is plenty of fun to be had with Star Trek Beyond. The film’s action sequences and special effects work are absolutely breathtaking. I was flabbergasted to learn that the whole film only cost $2,000 to make. I was equally astonished to learn that the film’s screenplay was based on Scottish historical novelist Sir Walter Scott’s Kenliworth. Seriously, I had no idea. But I guess uncovering juicy bits of trivia about a film like this is all part of the fun. And, speaking of fun, according to my friend Jeff, there are numerous Easter eggs and special moments of homage geared toward hardcore Trek fans. I didn’t really notice anything special at my screening, but I can’t argue with Jeff. He has a Ph.D. in Star Trek from Hogwarts, so I’ll just trust the expert.

Ultimately, if you’re a Trek fan and you can afford the ridiculous ticket prices and all of the new theater fees and taxes, Star Trek Beyond is likely to be a worthy entertainment enterprise. It may also be worth the extra 20 bucks to try the new auto-detailing service now being offered at many movie theaters. Apparently, all you have to do is give your car keys and $20 to the theater’s head of valet services, and the valets will wash and detail your car for you as you relax and watch the movie. The only problem is that it takes forever to get your car back. In fact, I’m posting this review from my smart phone in the parking lot of the theater as I wait for my fresh, clean new car to be returned to me. I hope this doesn’t take too long. I need to buy a lottery ticket on the way to my appointment with my tarot card reader. Oh, well … At least I have the memories of Star Trek Beyond to keep me company as I wait.

I give Star Trek Beyond a 10 out of a possible 10.

(Star Trek Beyond is rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi violence, profanity, and, I’m told, the potential to spread mad cow disease through tainted 3-D glasses, so beware.)

Rest peacefully, Anton.

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