Star Trek Beyond

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I don’t love but don’t mind the new Star Trek:

Not Because the Federation is really eager to send its best captain and starship on a ridiculously risky mission they know almost nothing about.

Not because Idris Elba is fully utilized as the villain, or that his worldview and rationale for universal destruction make much sense or matter.

Not because it’s that much fun to watch the Enterprise get systematically shredded, or that the swarming action scenes match the “zen chaos”  that Lin has offered elsewhere.

But…

Because fan service was (seemed to be?) kept to a minimum.

Because even though Lin is intent on pure action escapism over commentary about “the times we live in,” you can’t dismiss it spirit and optimism despite the times we live in.

Because I just like this crew. And I like the actors playing them. Pine, Quinto, Urban, Saldana, Yelchin, Pegg, Cho. They work. Together, separate, in pairs. By plot design, the Kirk-Spock dynamic – my favorite part of these new Trek movies – is missing here, but that’s offset by the amplified Bones-Spock dynamic and the greater utilization of the rest of the ensemble. It’s not surprising that the guy behind the latest batch of F&F movies transforms this collective into a family. Which means secrets, things unspoken.

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