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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

STAR TREK BEYOND (2016)

Even those who don’t give a fig about STAR TREK (and siblings), may shake their collective heads at the sheer ordinaryness of this generic, action-packed space adventure. Director Justin Lin, of the FAST AND FURIOUS series, has unsurprisingly made a FAST AND FURIOUS STAR TREK movie. Précis: A distress call from a far off planet sends the Enterprise into a trap, Phase One of a colossal act of planetary revenge & destruction. This should fit nicely into the old Gene Roddenberry STAR TREK formula: Intergalactic physical threat? Check! Menace with a philosophic note? Check! Maybe too much for our crew to handle? Check! But the filmmaking response is scuttled, along with the Enterprise, in an overload of eye-catching, but baffling effects-driven CGI battles that might fit any space epic: STAR TREK: The Video Game. Dramatically, we need some kind of inadequate defensive action from our motley crew before they are forced to take up arms against a doom-laden ticking clock. Off they go on offense with an ad-hoc paradoxical blend of Mr. Spock’s logic & Capt. Kirk’s instinct. And if ship doctor ‘Bones’ gets involved, a dash or two of emotion. The film sings the template, but misses the tune; and the only emotion comes from a pair of dedications in the end credits.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Not sure why, but Korea turned out the best poster. Maybe because after decades of indifference, the series has started catching on overseas just as it slips Stateside.

DOUBLE-BILL: And STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, the latest series, due out soon.

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