Monday, 14 December 2015

This is Sabotage: The Beyond Trailer is Here

If you were thinking that the Enterprise deserved an easy ride after the battering it received in Into Darkness you'd better look away now.

Today Paramount launched the brand spanking new Star Trek Beyond trailer which is due to be unleashed in cinemas this week accompanying some small budget flick called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fairly logical really since both movies have the influence of JJ Abrams upon them.

Whether this trailer was going to be released today is uncertain since some unscrupulous so-and-so dropped a German-dubbed version onto the net early this morning. While it was promptly removed by order of Paramount Pictures, the official version wasn't long behind it to go live.

But what does this 90 second snapshot tell us about the third reboot movie? A fair bit and it does mean that some of those sneaky set pictures make more sense. Backed by the Jim Kirk favourite from the Beastie Boys, the first trailer focuses very heavily on four crew characters; Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty with "cameos" from Sulu, Uhura and Chekov. Plus we get our first good look at Idris Elba in full alien makeup and Sophie Boutella kicking some arse.

We got no ship, no crew...
how we gonna get out of this one?
- Kirk

I'd suggest that the initial clips of Kirk and Scotty on a shuttle are from later on in the movie after some pretty catastrophic events. Kirk's narrative indicates that an unspecified number of the officers/main cast are separated from the rest of the crew after the Enterprise is attacked. At first I thought that the shots of the starship were in an asteroid field however on closer look it seems that the Enterprise is being attacked by a swarm of small fighter-like ships which in turn are responsible for tearing the warp nacelles from their pylons and the ship to be evacuated.

Importantly we see both Kirk and Scotty exiting their escape pods in a forested area and in a rocky desert expanse respectively. I think we can take it that this is the same planet since set shots have shown the pair to be together at some point I would put later in the film (plus the shuttle bit the trailer opened with). In the case of Kirk we get his perspective inside the escape pod as the Enterprise saucer spirals away from him. Kinda reminds me of those scenes of the Constitution Class ship plummeting to Earth in Beyond's predecessor. It also confirms that the pieces of saucer section we saw constructed in Dubai were indeed from the Enterprise.

We will find hope in the impossible
- Spock

What does make this movie seem more in tune with the original series is the pairing of Spock and McCoy as they are shown struggling across the rocky wasteland. The pair, with Spock injured are cornered by alien craft (potentially the same as those which attacked the Enterprise) at which point the Vulcan is beamed out by a Starfleet transporter after Bones has just had his fear eased that he won't die alone; Well that's just typical.

I suspect that what will incense fans however are the fast-paced shots of one away-team-kitted Captain Kirk launching a dirt bike across some sort of alien encampment which is as yet unspecified. It does match the set we saw being built in Vancouver but its purpose is not clear.

Let's hope this doesn't get messy!
- Scotty

Cue Sophie Boutella's arrival slicing and dicing her way through a couple of alien creatures in the forest area where, I'd suggest, Kirk landed his pod. In the shots that follow you can just make Boutlella's unnamed character out fighting at that same alien encampment - could she be helping Kirk to either escape from the surface or lead a rescue mission? Is she coming to Kirk's aid or vice versa? Plus there's a fleeting shot of a third character standing alone who might be the one played by Joe Taslim (shot below) More on that rescue mission theory in a sec. You don't get that kind of pan-in shot if you're an extra.

Now finally we get to see Elba in full makeup looking something of a cross between a Reman and Ivan Ooze from the 90's Power Rangers movie. Key here is that he appears to be on the Enterprise. SO here's the thought - the attack on the ship is led by this guy who then captures the ship and takes the crew off to some form of prison camp. That would fit since we later see a long train of Starfleet yellows, blues and reds trudging through a sandy quarry-like setting under armed guard. A place where at least Sulu and Uhura are threatened by their captors.

We do see Kirk taking a kicking from the Elba character again seemingly onboard the Enterprise as Boutella reveals that she knows why they (Kirk etc) are here - why they are all here. 

This is where it begins, Captain...This is where the frontier pushes back!
- ? (Elba)

Now what I also spotted is that we are likely to end up with the end of the film or at least some climatic sequence taking place on Earth under attack by Elba's alien race (below). Exactly why is suggested from Elba's quote here - the Federation has stretched out on the five year mission and it seems that there are those who are not too keen on their exploration of that frontier. 

Lin's direction is a lot faster-paced, it seems tighter, brighter and a ton more action-orientated than I even felt from the Into Darkness trailer with explosions, bike stunts, one-on-one combat and actually, very little space-based events if the scenes here are to go by. Even his credit on the trailer makes not of his work on Fast and Furious and the addition of the backing track just emphasise that we're going to be in for a "furious" movie and we can only hope after the controversy that was Into Darkness.

For someone who wanted to scale Scotty's role back because of his involvement with the script, Simon Pegg shows up a lot in this 84 second teaser. In fact I'd say he's going to have quite a significant role in the story since he is going to be one of the few who appear to have escaped capture during that initial crippling attack on the Enterprise. Now he has promised a return to the show's origins but will that put bums on cinema seats or are we going to see the influence of more recent blockbusters that have raked in millions? The punchy soundtrack, sharp editing and constant action suggest more in line with The Expendables than a thought-provoking Star Trek akin to The Original Series. Not that I'm going to enter a slagging match or say it's rubbish because hey, it's a trailer. Lots can change, there's a ton more to a movie than 90 seconds and this is literally just a taster and confirmation that the damn thing actually got made and finished. Fan opinion that it's s**t already is a bit harsh. It's like saying you hate the taste of jam but never tasted jam (OK, I could have thought have something a bit more provocative than that but...). Let's keep the negativity away for now and pass a more solid judgement in July 2016.

While we don't get any clear shots of the Enterprise interiors we do have some better glimpses of both the toughened away team jackets sported by Kirk, Spock and Chekov plus the redesigned standard uniforms which have an odd raised-back/lowered front collar style which we see on McCoy, Spock and Kirk during the split-second editing. They look a bit strange if not uncomfortable. 

Let's not do that again...
- Kirk

The trailer closes out with Kirk and Boutella's alien character falling to the surface of the alien encampment only to be snatched by a Federation transporter beam. Could this be the same one that saves Spock earlier and leaves McCoy alone? Who's operating it?! How does this fit with the other alien worldy bits?

I'm impressed because there's a very different feel to this trailer - more humour, more character if you please and a minute and a half of new Star Trek that actually made a bit of sense in comparison to the one we received in November 2012. Do I think this is curtains for the Enterprise? Nope. Severe damage and we might not see her for a good chunk of the movie with the main cast fending for themselves and avoiding capture but I'm sceptical that Pegg would junk the starship in his first Star Trek movie script. Watch me be horribly wrong now and the A turn up at the end. Bit of a blow-out that she's getting a trouncing again...and again.

Will it have a sense of The Original Series though? Hard to tell from this and there's a teeny feel that this might have trended towards that wannabe-a-new-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy rumour we heard on the wind a while back.

It won't have given everything away; we don't know character names beyond the main cast, we don't really know the main events and the links between the worlds we're going to visit but what we can say is that this is going to be a very different experience to the last two movies. It's already splitting fans with a sizeable number of likes and dislikes but Star Trek fans are hard to please especially when it comes to anything linked to the reboots. I remain open-minded. This is one trailer, one snapshot of a two hour movie and not enough to launch a tirade at or laud praise. Maybe there's one other thing that's worth noting - I didn't spot one damned frame of lens flare in the whole trailer.

Star Trek Beyond hits screens from July 22nd 2016. Are you ready?

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