Most of the time when I get around to seeing a movie; it's been out for a while. Tonight I was fortunate enough to see the new #StarTrek on opening night. The 3D version no less; so quite a treat for me.
I harbor no particular doubts in saying that Star Trek Beyond is the best of the reboot movies; up to a point. In terms of direction and cinematography; it is certainly as visually impressive as it's immediate predecessors. However there is a downside to the visuals; significant amounts of film use darker tones that don't really function all that well in polarization based 3D formats. Shutter based or split screen base formats will probably be far more enjoyable for the entirety of the presentation.
The scripting for large amounts of the film certainly show the handiwork of #SimonPegg ; which hits high points of capturing the feel of the good Star Trek movies across the 80's and 90's. It unfortunately also slams straight into some of the political issues Mr. Pegg is known to tangle with. Notably; the character of Sulu is now openly homosexual; something one of the co-creators of Sulu who just happens to be openly homosexual; considers to be a derailment of the character. When somebody who is as much of a same-sex activist as George Takei has a problem with the way the treatment of Gene Roddenberry's character went; there's really something wrong.
I get the feeling that Paramount saw some of the backlash that could be in their future; looked at the swaying political winds; and promptly edited some scenes and dialog out of the final film. I also suspect strongly that the plot point will be entirely gone in the next film; with the relationship written off as brother or favorite uncle.
The other characters who were not derailed from Gene Roddenberry's vision get their chances to shine. Person for person; large amounts of this movie could have swapped out any of the TOS actors for their new counterparts. In some ways it's almost surreal seeing the personalities defined on small screen televisions in the 1960's carry on in new actors.
I'd also note that where-as Into Darkness required an Idiot Ball plot combined with plot canyons large enough to hold Terok Nor in dry dock conditions; I never got the sense that Beyond required all of the characters to become absolute bleeding idiots to push the story forward. Rather; I'd make a special note that the ending sequences almost seem to rely on the Federation to act competently outside of the camera's focus. Which; well; bravo Simon Pegg for not writing the Federation as a bunch of morons that require Captain Kirk to make good decisions.
For all the flack Justin Lin received; I'd like to see him take the helm for the next film. If Simon Pegg can leave the political issues in the wastebin where those issues belong; the next Star Trek movie could be something special.