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Review: Star Trek Beyond, 2016

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Director: Justin Lin
Writers: Simon Pegg, Doug Jung
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana

Honestly, Star Trek Beyond is not quite as good as I remember.

I think on a thematic level, this movie fucking rules and that’s why it lingers in my memory as a great ‘Trek’ movie. Reckoning with aging, loss of a parent, loss of self – this movie is about loss and family and I think it’s beautiful. That said, the dialogue is kind of over written and on the whole it has this kind of murky, dark look that doesn’t work that well.

I thought that was just bad projection when I saw this in theaters, but even at home there’s a whole sequence in the middle that’s almost complete visual nonsense, I have no idea what’s going on. I actually like what Lin did with the look overall – none of the lens flare and more variety of color in the lights on all the consoles and sets. But it’s all got this darker lighting that eventually leads to sequences that are indigestible.

And now that that is said, allow me to not at all overemphasize how much they STRAIGHT UP SURF A WAVE OF FIRE IN SPACE TO A BEASTIE BOYS SONG. That’s a real thing that happens in Star Trek Beyond and I will probably watch this 100 more times before I die just to see that happen over and over again. It’s fucking incredible. Those are the kinds of moments I want in my movies.

Between that and Vin Diesel and Donnie Yuen ripping tubes on dirt bikes in xXx: Return of Xander Cage, it might be time to make a surfing safari super-cut.

Score: ★★★☆☆

This review originally appeared on Garrett’s Letterboxd. Follow him there for more ratings, reviews, and lists.

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