J.J. Abrams rebooted Star Trek in 2009, welcoming a new crew to the Starship Enterprise and breathing new life into the long-running science fiction franchise that kicked off in 1966 with Gene Roddenberry’s original television series. The new Kelvin Timeline movies have seen some faltering, when the followup to Abrams’ 2009 relaunch, Star Trek Into Darkness, saw mixed reactions from both fans and critics. Then there were some shakeups behind the scenes of the third film in the series, Star Trek Beyond; Abrams departed, paving the way for Justin Lin to step in, and actor/writer Simon Pegg took on scripting duties.
Given how beloved Star Trek has become for many generations of sci-fi fans and the fact that this year marks the franchise’s 50th anniversary, Star Trek Beyond needs to both deliver a compelling third installment to the Kelvin Timeline trilogy and provide a satisfactory celebration for the Trekverse’s history. Now, according to early reactions to the film following screenings, it seems Star Trek Beyond does just that.
Based on a sampling of reactions to Star Trek Beyond, the general consensus seems to be that it’s a fun and exciting sci-fi blockbuster that falls in line with Star Trek: The Original Series – and largely improves upon what didn’t quite work in Star Trek Into Darkness. Take a look at the early reactions to Star Trek Beyond:
Was so happy watching Star Trek Beyond. Love this cast. Movie isn't perfect but it's funny, filled with great action, and isn't on Earth!— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) July 14, 2016
STAR TREK BEYOND does something magical: has big, bold action but puts these characters in, basically, a TOS episode. For me it was a dream.— Jordan Hoffman (@jhoffman) July 14, 2016
STAR TREK BEYOND: slick, self-contained & has the best music cue of any blockbuster this yr. by 2016 standards, it’s the sistine chapel. [C]— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) July 14, 2016
STAR TREK BEYOND is very entertaining, surprisingly earnest, occasionally dopey (but in a good way). I think Trek fans will really dig it.— Bilge Ebiri (@BilgeEbiri) July 14, 2016
Star Trek Beyond is a well made scifi adventure. It just isn’t Star Trek. It’s a pretty good Mass Effect movie, though, if you want that.— Jeff Cannata (@jeffcannata) July 14, 2016
Just saw #StarTrekBeyond, and it's infinitely better than Star Trek Into Darkness. One of the most entertaining Trek films.— William Bibbiani (@WilliamBibbiani) July 14, 2016
#StarTrekBeyond feels like a TOS episode in a way that gives this new Trekverse a really long future. Fun, pretty dark, lots of fan moments— jen yamato (@jenyamato) July 14, 2016
One aspect of the film that these reactions seem to disagree upon is whether Star Trek Beyond nails the proper spirit of what a Star Trek movie should be. Of course, considering the long history of the cult sci-fi franchise, and the different iterations within it, there may be some contention about what exact tone a Star Trek movie should aim to capture. Certainly, considering the fact that the Star Trek reboot films are, at their core, a sci-fi blockbuster series, they’re bound to differ from Roddenberry’s original TV show in many ways.
Still, these early reactions will likely ease the minds of fans hoping to see this particular extension of the Trekverse redeem itself after the underwhelming Into Darkness. While the positive buzz is tempered with some admissions that Star Trek Beyond may not be the perfect film – and may not necessarily embody the Star Trek spirit for all fans – the early reactions pave the way for a better understanding of what movie-goers can expect when the movie hits theaters.
As for other noteworthy reports from the early Star Trek Beyond screenings, the film reportedly features dedications to Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin during the closing credits. Although some of those who had a hand in both this trilogy of films and the franchise as a whole may not be here to see the release of Star Trek Beyond, these early reactions to the film seemingly assure fans that the Star Trek franchise will live long and prosper for another 50 years (or so).
Star Trek Beyond opens in U.S. theaters July 22, 2016.