REVIEW: Want to go beyond Star Trek Beyond?

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REVIEW: Want to go beyond Star Trek Beyond?

Published: Wed 20 Jul 2016, 6:54 PM

Last updated: Mon 25 Jul 2016, 7:55 PM

WE'VE SEEN IT. At last! A year and a half since the Dubai Film and TV Commission first announced scenes from the next Star Trek film would be shot in the city, we finally got to see the finished product - Star Trek Beyond.
Heading to Ibn Battuta's Novo Cinemas Imax on Tuesday evening, which rose to the occasion being decorated in all things Trek and staffed by Star Fleet officers charged with posing in as many selfies as humanly (and Vulcanly) possible, anticipation was understandably palpable. How much of Dubai would be featured? Would we see anyone we knew in the background? Will the picture be better than the, let's face it, not altogether satisfying Into Darkness. The answers to those questions are: a lot, yes and very much yes, respectively.
What followed after a touching two-minute tribute to the recently passed Anton Yelchin who played Pavel Chekov in the rebooted series, were two hours of classic Star Trek fun. And we mean classic in every sense of the word. Gone were the trappings of an overly complicated premise, which always has the danger of falling flat during a popcorn adventure tale. This film harked back to the original Gene Roddenberry-created series; this year celebrating its 50th anniversary. Combined with glimpses of UAE residents and familiar backdrops, it was a night and movie to remember.  
Jumping straight onboard the Enterprise, we join our heroes three years into their five year mission in deep space. A malaise has set in among the crew. Obviously not every day can be an adventure and most of the time you just have to hunker down and get on with the routine. This satisfies neither Kirk nor Spock and at their next stop, Star Fleet outpost Yorktown (Dubai), both contemplate leaving the ship.
Enter an alien in distress. She's lost her crew just beyond a nearby nebula and needs assistance to go find them. The Enterprise is tasked with the aid mission only to discover it's an ambush orchestrated by the ruthless Krall brilliantly played by Idris Elba.
The Enterprise is attacked, the crew captured and held captive- all except Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), Bones (Karl Urban), Chekov (Yelchin) and Scottie (Simon Pegg) who crash land elsewhere on Krall's home world. There the free officers meet a fellow escaped prisoner of many years Jaylah (Sofia Boutella). Together they must save the crew and Krall's ultimate prize, Yorktown.
Star Trek Beyond is a real fans' picture. Co-written by cast member, Pegg, he has managed to tap into the original series' vein to excellent effect. Kirk is the brash cowboy we all remember; Spock, the occasionally torn half human/half Vulcan. Bones provides the humour, Scottie repeatedly utters the phrase 'I cannae do it Captain,' Uhura (Zoe Saldana) is the brains of the operation and Chekov and Sulu (John Cho) are a fantastic double act. It's the crew dynamic we all want and works to great effect.
 The graphics too have gone old school. Yes there are sweeping panoramas of alien lands, but the best visuals are when the ship faces a gargantuan in a wide shot, making the craft look tiny against its foe. This is simultaneously impressive and nostalgic, evoking memories of the little models on wires the '60s TV show employed.
The soundtrack has the same effect. Hand-to-hand fight sequences are elevated by dramatic synth chords and having the Beastie Boys' Sabotage blaring out as the crew ride in to try to save the day is pure magic.     
Special mention must go to Boutella portraying a character who is sure to be a fan favourite from now on, the UAE's extras many of whom will be watching the movie multiple times and Dubai overall whose cityscape lends itself well to a conurbation of the future. (  

By David Light

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Captain James T. Kirk
Captain James T. Kirk
Spock and Chekov
Spock and Chekov
Nyota Uhura
Nyota Uhura

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