Friday, February 9, 2018


**** (4 stars out of 5) 
Well, it was the 50th Anniversary- so it was time for a Fast and Furious Impossible Mission!

Having dropped Bruce Banner into a black hole and frozen Steven Strange in earlier tales to astonish, our rebooted young crew must now ride motorbikes at Heimdall's head!

It's 2263 and we're clearly bored & listless- Kirk's feeling old (he turned THIRTY, poor kid) & eyeing the exit while Spock & Uhura break up. Speaking of break-ups, poor Enterprise bites the dust yet again. Lured into a treacherous dark nebula as a take-out meal for the tormented Krall & his cronies, our stalwarts must struggle upward once more for the fate of the civilized worlds.

Kirk, Spock, McCoy & Scotty have the most to do, but that's always been the case. Carol Marcus and her underpants have wandered away, possibly wherever Gaila and her underpants got to. But that leaves some room for a hip new lady character whose underpants do not feature: one of Scotty's French Girls... Aliens or "Lassies" as they are known. She's named Feisty Jennifer Lawrence, or Jaylah for short. Jaylah has oodles of kicks and holographic tricks. Uhura came along but she has so little to say that the 13th Trek film becomes (ugh) the 7th one unable to pass the Bechdel test. Still, a technical pass in the diversity category as it turns out the Kelvin Sulu is gay space married while Prime Sulu was straight as a space arrow. Points for trying, and either way our Hikarus seem like good Demora daddies.

Yes, I loved it. But I have some questions. Was a wormhole accident how the Franklin ended up buried ass-backward in the top of a mountain? How did Krall get his well-equipped gang? Is he recruiting from the people he's stranded and sometimes eaten?  How did he earn any loyalty whatsoever? They're organized enough to bring down the Enterprise in minutes, but they kill several of their own team with their bee swarm strikes. Why do Edison's vampire buddies speak an alien language among themselves  if they hate aliens so much? They're old racists who absorb aliens & they look like what they eat... but why would they take alien names? 

What makes a Kelvin Pod different from a regular escape pod? Is it their N64 controllers?

O.K., the first warp 5 starship was the NX-01, so why, then, would the first ship capable of warp 4 be the NX-326? (Found my answer: registry is Nimoy's birthday.) Still so sad about Anton Yelchin and Leonard Nimoy.

I literally just read the Wikipedia entry and I have no earthly idea what Krall's doomsday device is called. The Abernathy? Like cinematic Galactus & Parallax it's some kind of ill-defined evil cloud. Anyway, it probably got all the explanation it deserved, but it was still no explanation.

Finally, it's not a question, but the saucer flipping seems wildly, goofily impossible. Kirk, Chekov & hot-on-their-heels Kalara make a vertical slide yet she ends up standing out in the open just watching that massive saucepan lid crash down on her while they somehow scuttle off unscathed?

Nerd Do Well brings a fun, fast-paced, & even sometimes moving script, the arrival at Yorktown starbase is phenomenal- especially with the superb score, and the USS Franklin might be the last good-looking ship we see from Star Trek (sorry, spoilers).

The teeny, terrified Teenaxi who eschews pants, Keenser's acid sneezes, and Ensign Syl's hidey-hole head are adorable- how could Krall hate aliens so much when they're clearly the best thing about outer space? As my wee granny used to say "Ye cannae break a stick in a bundle." Especially if your stick bundle is also your own hair.

Evidently it didn't score high enough financially, but it's still a darn fine film. With time, my affection for "Into Darkness" has waned, so I would've only given that one 3 stars if I was reviewing it today, but Beyond does hold up. 

I had a great time- my friend Kirk took me to this one as a birthday gift after a long, crummy day at work, then shortly afterward my wife Trish won me a free copy from @Joshrimer on twitter. My friends are the best in the galaxy. 

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