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Yay and phew, "Star Trek Beyond"!

First of all, I already want to see Star Trek Beyond again, which puts it ahead of 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness. (I probably need to see that one again, to more fully articulate my thoughts on it, but "need" and "want" are different things.) That's a good sign.

Another good sign? Beyond did something a couple times that Star Trek, as much as I'm a longtime fan of it, doesn't usually make me do: laugh out loud. Or as loud as I could with my voice recovering from a loud party Friday night. The point is, it made me want to laugh. Which helps, as the film is a surprisingly emotional roller coaster for me, and the laughs were a good release after some very tough-to-watch moments, especially about a quarter of the way into the film. Not tough for "bad moviemaking" reasons, tough for "events I really don't want to happen, happen" reasons.

I won't spoil Star Trek Beyond, so, other general thoughts: Beyond's story hasn't really been told in a Star Trek film before, whereas STID at its core is a retread of The Undiscovered Country (shadowy Starfleet forces secretly want war, our heroes stop them); it stays entirely in deep space, which only one other Star Trek film has done (1998's Insurrection*); it lets its crew have relationships! Yay! (Friendship and love.) There's physical comedy that's light and that doesn't make me cringe, unlike Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. I keep thinking back on moments from this film and smiling. And whoa, it's a good-looking movie. I don't think watching in 3-D would add much, but keep in mind I try not to go to 3-D movies unless they're made as 3-D movies.

It does feel like notable chunks of the film were cut; parts seem missing, though not fatally so. I would definitely be interested in seeing a longer version of this, if one exists. I do like that a certain key detail seems at first to be a biiiiiiiiit of an overly-convenient coincidence but gets explained better, later. (This wouldn't have been fatal, either; the 2009 Star Trek has several such coincidences, and I still really like that film.)

Star Trek Beyond is solid, and makes me feel good about Star Trek. That's important to me.



* The other 11 films have either an Earth-focused plot (giant cloud/ giant probe/ super weapon headed toward Earth! Oh no!) or significant scenes on Earth. I don't think Insurrection is all that good, but I hope the Star Trek films can stretch away from Earth more often.

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