Star Trek Beyond and Ghostbusters: Entertaining, Forward-looking Sci-Fi Movies

Continuing our summer tradition, B and I saw a double feature at our local drive-in this weekend: Star Trek Beyond followed by Ghostbusters.  I am not a hardcore fan of either of these franchises; I’ve never seen the original Star Trek series (and I actually enjoyed Into Darkness!), and though I’ve seen the original Ghostbusters, it was a long time ago and I couldn’t tell you much about it.

So that’s to say I didn’t have high expectations for either of these two reboot movies, but they both turned out to be entertaining in a good summer movie kind of way.

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Star Trek Beyond had nothing that was super original in terms of plot; there was a little bit of suspense, but the villain was not particularly compelling.  But the characters were good, and by breaking them into pairs and small groups for most of the movie they were able to play them off each other well.  In particular, I appreciated that Uhura and Spock’s relationship was present but understated, with no unnecessary drama.

The music and visuals were also nice, though the attack on the Yorktown outpost reminded me strongly of Xandar from Guardians of the Galaxy.

ghostbustersThe Ghostbusters movie was even more predictable in terms of plot, but the pacing was lively and the effects sharp.  The vast majority of humor in the movie derives from the characters being awkward, and lot of it I didn’t find particularly funny, but I appreciated that it didn’t take itself too seriously.  Many reviews have praised McKinnon’s all-in craziness, but I preferred Jones’s everyman routine as Patty and Chris Hemsworth’s dumber-than-a-box-of-rocks Kevin.

The cameos from the original cast were nice and definitely got a laugh, but they also pulled you out of the movie.  The Fallout Boy/Missy Elliot cover of the theme song, which inspired much derision on the Internet, was actually well-used in the film.  The end credits are also really great!

But what I was really struck by at the end of the night was that I had seen two tech-positive, entertaining movies with coherent plots that featured a variety of competent female characters with no gratuitous sexuality.  Chew on that for a minute.  The movies were not perfect, but they continued the trend for female leads in sci-fi movies that was so well exemplified last year by Furiosa and Rey.  And that’s something I (and my money) can get behind.

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4 thoughts on “Star Trek Beyond and Ghostbusters: Entertaining, Forward-looking Sci-Fi Movies

  1. geeknots July 28, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    Thanks for the reviews! I am glad you got to go to the Drive In. I am totally with you on appreciating competent females without the gratuitous sexuality! Yay!!!

    Like

    • Mei-Mei July 28, 2016 / 10:00 pm

      They were both great movies for the drive-in! Hope you enjoy STB, too, when you get to see it 🙂

      Like

  2. starwarsanon July 29, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    Oh, interesting…I’ve been noticing this too. I remember when Katniss/Hunger Games sparked a whole discussion on the internet about female leads and how she blew the box office out of the water proving that, yes, women can lead films. And I also remember all the articles saying, “But will other movies follow their lead? Will we get more females driving movies without sex, romance, etc.?” And so I’m SO happy to see what I’m seeing – yes, it’s happening!

    P.S. Did you see the Wonder Woman trailer? I’m actually quite interested.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei July 30, 2016 / 2:02 pm

      I know, right? I LOVE this trend.

      I am surprisingly excited for Wonder Woman. I didn’t think the trailer itself was all that great (compared to some others recently) but the movie looks like it could be good! The other DC movies have not lived up to my expectations so hopefully this one will!

      Like

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