For some reason or another, people seem to have a passing interesting in what I thought about the Star Trek Beyond movie. Rather than clog up facebook with a bunch of useless nonsense, I am going to create my own material here because both of my readers demanded it.
So a little background is in order first.
I have seen every episode of ST:TOS many times. That means many times before I was 10 years old. I still watch them from time to time and enjoy the mix of adventure, exploration and action. I actually watched the ST:TAS when it first came out. Some were good, some not so good but it had our friends so I watched. I enjoyed the one constant: Captain and Crew could be counted on to do what is right and pay for the consequences later.
Then along came ST:TNG. I watched and liked some of it, but other parts not so much. The show had too much leading by committee, too much Troi (why isn't the ships counselor working for/with the ships Doctor?) and too much Wesley.
The came Deep Space Nine and the rest of them. I had pretty much punched out. Characters now were just watered down. They hid behind the Prime Directive to avoid the tough questions in life. Ho, hum Prime Directive so I will let 10 billion people die. Not my fault.
So, with all of this in mind, here is the bottom line review of Beyond up front: Easily the best of the three movies in the new universe.
I have accepted that Star Trek will now be just an action/adventure franchise. It needs to be to appeal to a wider audience. I miss the sense of exploration and of having to make decisions on your own, for the first time. To face the hard questions in life. The franchise appeared burdened by the past in the first two movies. I know to tell old stories a new way is difficult, and in some cases in the previous two movies, it just fell down. This movie talked less about the past, and it made for a better movie. It did not feel burdened by its roots. Instead, it is just a great action movie with our new friends loosely based on old friends. For the entire movie the Captain and Crew never lose sight of doing what is right.
Still, there are a few tweaks I would make.
The transporter: either the thing works or not. It needs to be consistent. One minute they can't beam down and the next minute they beam across the universe. If you could beam across the universe, you don't need a starship.
Making phone calls across the universe. Too much instantaneous communication will be a plot problem later.
The Enterprise makes a port call. A Constitution class ship making a port call is a big deal. It would have been nice to see some of the civilians at least stop and look at her making the port call.
If you miss that sense of old Star Trek, there are some things you can do. I highly recommend that you search on Star Trekk II or Star Trek New Voyages. Watch the one with Apollo from the original series. There are other series on youtube as well. Some are better than others. Give some of them a try.