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Jul 23, 2016
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It used to be that you were either a Star Wars or a Star Trek fan. It was just one or the other. It was like a Kobe versus LeBron thing. For some reason you can't be a true Kobe fan and be a LeBron fan as well. That's just the way the world works. Unfortunately for fans of both Star Wars and Star Trek, we've seen a period of doldrums for both properties. Though Star Wars Episodes I to III were box-office hits, they were lambasted by critics the world over. The same can be said for some of Star Trek's releases during the same period.

And then JJ Abrams stepped in. Since then, both franchises have experienced a resurgence that's raking in billions of dollars.

In the third and latest installment of the rebooted Star Trek, called Star Trek Beyond, Abrams turns over the directorial duties to Justin Lin. Since J.J. has done a great job with the last two films, some fans were naturally apprehensive with the sudden change of captains to helm the ship. Now that the movie is finally out in cinemas, we can finally know whether it was the right move for Paramount.


The expression on their faces says it all: They're
watching an episode of Game of Thrones

If you've seen the last two Star Trek movies, you'll probably agree that both were fun, action-packed flicks that had an engaging—even if at times a bit convoluted—story. Star Trek Beyond ups the ante even further by doubling down on the excitement and the action of the previous two, only this time making the story a lot simpler and more straightforward. What we get is an exciting ride through the galaxy that brings back the spirit of the original TV series.

When the movie starts, we find a now seasoned Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise narrating about the crew's experiences in the past few years. He seems a bit weary travelling the vast emptiness of space. Kung nagrereklamo ka sa EDSA traffic, imagine mo kung nagmamaneho ka naman sa SLEX na walang katapusan. Hindi ka ba maaaburido? Ganun si Captain Kirk, sawa na siya kumain sa gas station. Both him and his first mate Spock are contemplating leaving the Enterprise when a distress call from a ship trapped within a nebula forces them on a rescue mission. In the far reaches of space, they are suddenly attacked by a mysterious alien being called Krall with a force that's way more formidable than anything they have ever faced before. This leaves them with no other choice but to land on a strange planet and fend for themselves as they find a way back home.

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Paano kaya dine-describe ni Spock yung gupit niya sa barbero?'
Matulis na patilya, tsaka bunot sa harapan, please'

For those of you who don't know who Justin Lin is, he's the director for a couple of movies from the Fast and the Furious franchise. So he definitely knows a thing or two about action sequences and how to juggle a story with a huge cast. This skill is pretty evident in Star Trek Beyond; dull moments are rare and we're plunged into action right from the get go. Lin has also introduced a change in the group dynamic. If the previous movies hinged on the friendship between Kirk and Spock, this time the focus is on the entire crew of the Enterprise. All the other main cast members like Bones, Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, and Chekov (played by Anton Yelchin who died in a freak accident a month ago) are heavily featured, with each one having ample screen time.

Kung dati parang Jordan and Pippen si Kirk and Spock, ngayon Golden State Warriors na sila. This iteration of Star Trek was able to show that the crew of the Enterprise is a well-balanced team with each one having something special to offer. "Strength in Numbers" might as well been the motto of the Enterprise. They even have a "Kevin Durant" to the group in the form of a white-faced alien warrior named Jaylah (if her name sounds strangely familiar to Jennifer Lawrence, it's because Jaylah is supposedly inspired by her).

You'd really have to be one horny SOB to get it on with an alien na
mas maputi pa sa correction fluid at may mga mga guhit sa mukha.

Since this is their third movie together, the chemistry is already there and it shows. The cast members interact as if they are a family and the idea that they've been travelling across the galaxy seems plausible. A lot of the funny moments in the movie comes from the scenes were Bones and Spock are navigating their way around the strange planet. It's a combination that we haven't seen a lot from the previous films and was a welcome deviation from the usual Kirk-Spock tandem.

One weak spot the movie has is that the villain was not properly fleshed out. In the previous movies, we had great villains in the form of Nero and Khan, played by Eric Bana and Benedict Cumberbatch respectively. In this movie, the role of Krall goes to Idris Elba, one of the most sought after actors of today. Unfortunately he wasn't able to showcase much of his talents in this movie because the story leaves out important details about his character—until the climax storms in. It works as a storytelling device but the character development of Krall is sacrificed as a result. When we finally find out what Krall's motivations are, they seem to be understandable but still ultimately lacking.

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Apparently, they weren't lying when they
warned us about not using moisturizer

As it was previously mentioned, Star Trek Beyond's story is more straightforward than the previous Star Trek films. This allows the film to focus on action scenes—and there are a lot of them. Some might find the storytelling a bit lacking, especially if you've already come to expect this movie to play out like the others before it did. But Star Trek Beyond was able to showcase what made the TV series so great to begin with. The spirit of exploration is there with the movie showing us different flora and fauna, as well as different technologies from the planets. It's a lot of fun and I can't stress that enough. Just when you thought that the previous two films were already action-packed, they went ahead and made it even more thrilling culminating in a climactic scene that can best be described in modern parlance as "cool."

Most people didn't think it was possible but Justin Lin made an already exhilarating ride even more exhilarating. Parang kung dinagdagan mo ng isa pang loop yung Space Shuttle sa Enchanted Kingdom or tinanggalan mo ng seat belt at binigyan ng parachute yung mga nakasakay tapos sinabing "Sige bahala na kayo!" Star Trek Beyond boldly goes where the TV series has been countless times before, but it made the journey a lot more exciting.

8/10. The third and latest installment in the rebooted Star Trek franchise is the most exciting and action-packed yet and brings back all the things the fans loved about the original.


Rey de la Cruz Jr. likes talking about films as much as he likes watching them. He runs www.reyview.org, a site that provides Filipino moviegoers with reviews written in a voice that is uniquely Pinoy.

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