Sometimes a movies makes the whole series better, other times it makes everything worse. Some minor spoilers may or may not follow. You have been warned.
The first trailer for Beyond had me a little worried. When your trailer debuts the same day as the one for Independence Day 2 and the Jeff Goldberg movie looks less silly--let's just say that's a big ol' red flag. The NuTrek track record isn't that great either. The first movie was just OK. Into Darkness was a mess. Things have not been looking good for the reboot series and Star Trek in general--cough-cough-Axanar-cough.
I had one ember of hope. Simon Pegg was writing the story this time. If you are not familiar with Pegg, he's the actor playing Scotty. He also co-wrote and starred in my all time favorite movie: Hot Fuzz. He's a good writer and an ascendant fanboy. Dropping those hacks Kurtzman and Orci and replacing them with Pegg is the best thing to happen to Star Trek since Ronald Moore was show-runner for Deep Space 9.
The result is a movie were the story fundamentally works. Characters act logically within the context of the story. Scenes logically flow from one to the next. All the characters are spot on in this movie. Especially Kirk. This is the first time Kirk has really worked as a character in the NuTrek verse. He finally shows some of the competence that explains why anyone would give this guy command of a starship. Even though the Enterprise bites it, it's more the villains competence at play instead of the kind of stupidity Kirk displayed in the previous films.
There's a motorcycle action sequence in the film and it works! Because the writing made it make sense. I'm sure Justin Lin, the director, had something to do with it too. The big climactic battle at the end could of been corny in the extreme if Pegg and Lin hadn't laid the ground work for it. When the characters are working the plan out on screen, it's coming together in your head at the same time. As a viewer you share in it and you get one of the most memorable Star Trek movie experiences I can think of. Up there with Sulu screaming "Fly her apart then!" or the Enterprise finally getting the coup de grâce against the Reliant.
The movie feels connected to Star Trek as a whole in ways the previous two films didn't. They may have had references, but they felt artificial. Like the script was written as, "Insert Star Trek reference B-4 here" This one feels like it exists as part of greater Trek universe. It got me so stoked for Trek that I came home and watched some Enterprise. Think about that.
They even manage to not have any egregious issues with astronomical scale like the previous movies(other than the Federation building their sweet new star-base right next to an uncharted nebula).
Going to see Star Trek Beyond, that's a good choice.
The rumor is that Suicide Squad died on the editing room floor. The original dark cut got spliced to a re-shot pop-music filled "funny" cut and we got a hot mess as a result. The movie is sloppy as hell from a story standpoint. Things are explained multiple times for no reason. We get told at least three times that Katana's sword steals souls and her husband is trapped inside of it. Given that it has no relevance to the story, she's only around to shout in Japanese and kill things, and has the least screen time of all the squad members, they could have gotten away with zero explanations on that.
The whole movie's basically an idiot plot. Viola Davis has to call up the Suicide Squad to fix a problem she created by calling up the Suicide Squad. It's more than kind of a little dumb. I'm also not buying that a major US city can be evacuated, become a war-zone, have a big swirly light show in the sky for several days and have neither the Flash, Batman or Wonder Woman show up. Seriously, the bad guys would of fallen right into Wonder Woman's wheel house, She'd have had that whole thing locked down in a few hours. In a superhero universe you need to explain why Superman(figuratively speaking cause he's 'dead' right now) doesn't solve every problem.
The movie also really does a number on what world building WB has managed in the DCCU. Like Batman french kissing an unconscious Harley Quinn(could have been CPR, but it looked like it had a little too much tongue for that). Batman fighting Deadshot in front of Deadshot's daughter. Can anyone think of why Batman may not want to take down the worlds best assassin in front of his kid? Some possible tragic event with a gun and parents dying in-front of their child. It's a pretty esoteric part of the Batman lore, so you probably never heard of that trivia. We're pretty lucky the kid's name wasn't Martha--WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME!!
Worst of all the Joker is still alive and active in Gotham. This is a big speed bump, cause one of the only things helping BvsS make any kind of sense for me is I assumed that Batman had killed the Joker and that event caused Batfleck to hang up his cape for ten years. Jared Leto's Joker is such a lame villian that I can't see any reason why MurderBats didn't put his head through a cinder block wall until Puddin' was nothing but literal pudding. Especially when you consider in the DCCU Joker and Harley killing Jason Todd is cannon. There's no way that that this version of Batman sits on his ass for a decade while the murderer of Robin is out having date nights with Harley Quinn.
I could go on for several pages on what this movie gets wrong. They even mess up Harley and the Joker's relationship. The Joker seems to legitimately love Harley here. The Joker is a psychopath. He only loves adoration, not actual people. Harley is co-dependent and doesn't see how the joker abuses her. This is the central axis of the Joker/Harley relationship. Having them truly love each other is nuts.
Margret Robbie actually does a pretty good as Harley otherwise. Will Smith does excellent as well, but I think they overuse him. His backstory and narrative tends to drown out everything else. There's little time for Enchantress and Colonel Flag. Which is really bad considering the actual plot has more relevance to them instead of Deadshot. Jered Leto's Joker needs to be tossed in a hole and the hole thrown away. All the other characters are forgettable, wasted, or underutilized.
Going to see Suicide Squad would be a bad choice.
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