Star Trek Beyond My Expectations

Brikhaus Prime: The 2009 rebooted Star Trek film has held up pretty well over the years. Sure, it has an overabundance of lens flares, but the story, acting, and special effects hold up. Plus, the inclusion of Leonard Nimoy as the original Spock was a clever touch for longtime fans. It’s amazing they waited seven long years to finally make a sequel. Considering how well this did at the box office, one would think Hollywood would try to cash in by making a hurried, cheesy, ill-advised interim film. Oh well, it’s good they didn’t, because Star Trek Beyond is out now, and it keeps the franchise moving ahead full-steam.

*** Interdimensional Rift explodes. ***

Brikhaus Omega: Stop! You’re wrong! There was another film!

Brikhaus Prime: What? Who the hell are you?

Brikhaus Omega: I’m you! From an alternate reality! Our two dimensions are merging, and it could mean the destruction of the entire universe!

Brikhaus Prime: That sounds bad.

Brikhause Omega: It is bad! But not as bad as Star Trek Into Darkness!

Brikhaus Prime: Star Trek Into what?

Brikhaus Omega: Darkness! The second film! The remake of Wrath of Khan!

Brikhaus Prime: *laughs* Why would they remake Wrath of Khan? That’s the most revered film of the entire franchise. That would be an obvious cash-in to just remake the movie that’s the most — oh, I see…

Brikhaus Omega: I’m here to stop Star Trek Beyond from being released in your universe. You see, in my universe it was critically panned, and a flop at the box office. And now the studio is going to only do remakes of past Star Trek stories, and never write anything original. It’s the end of everything as we know it!

Brikhaus Prime: Sorry, but it was already released in this universe.

Brikhaus Omega: Shit. How was it received?

BrikHaus Prime: Actually, quite well. It scored an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was liked by both critics and fans. I think the reason was that it focused on the characters. Their actions influenced the story, and not the other way around. The movie began mostly with dialogue, with Kirk remembering his deceased father, and Spock contemplating leaving Starfleet so he can help rebuild New Vulcan. It’s unusual for a summer blockbuster to start with character introspection, but it set a nice stage for what was to come later.

Brikhaus Omega: Yeah, but this being the modern age, there were ridiculous, slam-bang action sequences. The action is more akin to Fast and the Furious hyper-explosions than to the methodical naval battles of older films.

Brikhaus Prime: That’s good, though, right? Better to go in a new direction than adhere rigidly to the past.

Brikhaus Omega: Except the filmmakers still crib too much from past films. The Enterprise is obliterated by a superior enemy force in a scene that harkens back to Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. And then, the saucer section decouples and crashes into a planet just like in Star Trek: Generations. They try to do new things, but insist on sticking to a self-imposed formula.

Brikhaus Prime: But the destruction of the Enterprise was a tense scene.

Brikhaus Omega: If by tense you mean completely lacking in suspense and totally unearned, then yeah, it was tense. In the past TV shows and films, the Enterprise became its own character. It was beloved just as much as anyone else. So, when they blew it up the first time, it had emotional impact. Now, when they destroy it every 2-3 movies, it no longer has any weight. It isn’t shocking or dramatic. You just figure they’ll go ahead and build another one like it’s no big deal.

Brikhaus Prime: After that, the crew is separated on the planet. I think the film course corrects here. It is original, and there are some fun moments. Scotty meets a badass female alien with holographic technology. At first it seems like a pointless visual gag, but it later turns out to tie into the story of how the crew escapes the planet. The way Hollywood makes films these days, they just throw shit in for the hell of it, and hope some of it sticks. Here, everything served a purpose, which was refreshing.

Brikhaus Omega: I’m not sure refreshing is the word I’d use. The whole planet aspect felt like wasted time. The crew is separated, but you know they’ll get back together. You know nobody important is going to die. So, it just seems hollow and pointless. All you want is for them to get the fuck off the planet and back into a starship.

Brikhaus Prime: Let me get back to what I was talking about earlier: the characters. The movie makes sure to spend a lot of time on each character. Everyone has their chance to shine. And lesser characters, like Scotty, get more of a focus this time. The filmmakers really know the characters, and they feel fleshed out, like real people. It was a nice change of pace to see someone like Kirk reflecting on an existential crisis as a parallel to the physical threat.

Brikhaus Omega: It’s too bad that the existential crises the characters face are so generic. Kirk whines about being bored, Uhura is pissed off because her relationship with Spock failed, because relationships are all women care about, apparently, and Spock is upset because his older counterpart died.

Brikhaus Prime: Spock actually cried because of this.

Brikhaus Omega: Spock would never cry because someone died of old age. That is the natural course of life, and the only logical conclusion. Three movies in, and the fucking writers still don’t understand Vulcans.

Brikhaus Prime: In the 2009 film, he was pissed off because his home planet was destroyed, and everyone on it died. I’d say that’s a legitimate reason to show his emotions.

Brikhaus Omega: I agree, but they keep showing his emotions in every film to telegraph how intense things are. But once you do that too many times, the meaning of it is lost. It’s the same thing as blowing up the Enterprise every couple of movies.

Brikhaus Prime: I really liked the villain this time. It was nice to not have Klingons again or some recycled bad guy from the TV series.

Brikhaus Omega: Sure, but his motivations have been recycled in every film. In the 2009 movie, the villain wanted revenge against the Federation for the destruction of Romulus. In Star Trek Into Darkness, Khan wanted revenge against the Federation for whatever the fuck he was pissed off about. And now, in this movie, Krall wanted revenge against Starfleet for changing from a military organization to a group of peaceful explorers. Are you noticing a pattern? And don’t get me started on how he’s a human-turned-alien who can become younger again without any explanation.

Brikhaus Prime: It seems like they can’t come up with any original motivations for the villains.

Brikhaus Omega: The original six films only had one movie where the villain’s motivation was revenge. They had more movies about rogue space probes than quests for vengeance, for fuck’s sake! What is wrong with the writers? Can’t they have an original fucking thought?

Brikhaus Prime: It is Hollywood, after all.

Brikhaus Omega: I guess Hollywood is just as shitty in every alternate reality, huh?

Brikhaus Prime: Can we at least talk about the directing and the production values? I’d say that both were top-notch. The directing was steady and focused. It divided time between characters and action scenes well. The pacing was right on the money. The director, Justin Lin, said he had been a fan of Star Trek since his youth. I think it shows. He lovingly spends lots of time with the crew, but also gives the action it’s fair share. He seems to enjoy spending time in this universe. He isn’t just using it as a stepping stone to move to something else like J.J. Abrams did.

Brikhaus Omega: I can’t disagree with you. The directing was good, and the special effects were great. But why the fuck does the Enterprise have a throttle? It’s a fucking starship, not a speedboat. Doesn’t it need to be precise?

Brikhaus Prime: I guess they thought it looked cool? I don’t know.

Brikhaus Omega: It looked idiotic.

Brikhaus Prime: There are far greater sins in Hollywood than that.

Brikhaus Omega: Fine, fine.

Brikhaus Prime: I think this was a good Star Trek film. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, and I can definitely see a lot of your points. But the sum of the parts created a fun movie that respects the characters and the franchise.

Brikhaus Omega: You make some good points, too. It wasn’t the train wreck that Star Trek Into Darkness was, and it doesn’t acknowledge that film’s existence. Just be glad that movie doesn’t exist in your universe.

Brikhaus Prime: But now that our universes are merged, won’t that movie exist here, too?

Brikhaus Omega: Not if I have anything to say about it.

Brikhaus Prime: What will you do?

Brikhaus Omega: I’m going to steal a starship, and slingshot around the sun. Hopefully, it will take me back to 2012, where I can prevent that movie from being made.

Brikhaus Prime: But since we’re having this conversation now, doesn’t that mean your plan has already failed?

Brikhaus Omega: Shut up.

Brikhaus Prime: Sorry.

*** Brikhaus Omega gets in a starship and rockets away. ***

Brikhaus Prime: Wow, that was surreal. I never knew what an angry person he was. Anyway, don’t mind him, and go check out Star Trek Beyond.

Verdict: Good


5 Responses to “Star Trek Beyond My Expectations”

  1. August 15, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    So… It’s true that Sulu suddenly became a queer…?

    • August 16, 2016 at 7:52 am

      Yes. He is shown with his daughter and husband/boyfriend for a few seconds. It is brief, and isn’t actually mentioned in any dialogue. But it is obvious. It doesn’t inform or detract from the story in any way. I understand that George Takei wasn’t happy with it, either.

  2. August 19, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    LOL, I never noticed the Enterprise had a throttle. Now, I can never unsee it! LOL

    Great work, all of you.

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August 2016


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