Film Trailer Thoughts | Star Trek Beyond (2016)

star trek beyond poster justin lin trailer sabotage yellow purple chris pine sofia boutella idris elba

I mean, it’s kind of an awful trailer, isn’t it?

There’s no two ways about it, it’s just awfully generic. 80s music, action shots, joke, action shots, title of movie, final one liner. This is possibly the most formulaic trailer I’ve seen; the only thing it was really lacking was some sort of ominous voiceover, but I’m almost certain we’ll see that at some point in the future. The actual subject matter is, frankly, just sort of meh as well. It’s difficult to judge the film on this because there’s so little substance to the trailer – the film is presented very much as a generic action movie, and little more.

And that’s fair, I guess. It will have to be marketed in a certain way for it to appeal to as broad an audience as possible; conventional wisdom suggests that if you market this movie as a philosophical, classic style Star Trek movie, then it’s not going to get as many ticket sales. Whether conventional wisdom is in this case correct remains up for debate; I suppose they have arguably got some evidence for this, given the success of the last two movies. (I’d consider them, for the record, entertaining movies, but not really good Star Trek movies.)

I do have some faith, to be fair. There seems to be a few indications of something more traditionally Star Trek-y in there; the survival movie aspect has potential, as does the fact we’re being introduced to a new alien species. I like the ideas that are evoked by the title, Star Trek Beyond, and I like Idris Elba’s line, “This is where the frontier pushes back”. I wonder if, perhaps, there’s something about the planet transforming people into aliens – that female alien looks a little like Zoe Saldana in the makeup, so maybe that’s Uhura? (Or perhaps I’ve just got used to these movies having very few women in them.)

At the end of it all, though, this just isn’t inspiring much of a reaction in me, because I’m finding it difficult to actually, like, care. It’s a really generic trailer, with a group of characters that I just never properly connected with. Sure, it’s Kirk and Spock and all of them, but they’re not the versions of the characters I know very well; so far, there’s 6 ish hours of screentime with them in two movies of debatable quality spread out over 6 years. I’m not hugely invested in them.

So, you know, whatever. I guess Star Trek is this now? Cool, sure, whatever.

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