On Tuesday, I got an email in my inbox with the subject title “WE ARE GOING TO THE STAR TREK PREMIERE TONIGHT!” followed by several exclamation marks. Sam works for the PR company that organises most of the film premieres in the UK and he managed to get tickets for this one, needless to say, I was excited.
I was never a trekkie growing up (Sam was and still is) but I have enjoyed watching the latest films and even started watching the old TV series. I think the films are great as the story lines are good, the characters are perfectly casted and there is a good balance of action versus science.
We headed over to the Empire in Leicester Square at 6pm to get in the queue. There was so much security around and it was a bit unclear where to go and queue up. Luckily for us, we found a nice security guard who pointed us in the right direction. We joined the queue and then waited to be let in. I feel a bit nervous walking down the red carpet into the cinema being surrounded by photographers and die hard fans waiting to see their idols. It makes me feel like I am on display for the world to see. Sometimes you can be on the carpet at the same time as the celebrities and other times they like to usher you in before the celebrities arrive.
We walked down the white carpet and headed into the cinema. We were ushered into the impact screen as per our tickets – I think there was also an imax screening at the same time. I’ve not seen a film on an impact screen before but after doing a bit of research it seems to be a larger screen with much better sound – Dolby Atmos apparently. My first impression was seeing these amazing seats – they were so comfy and had a decent amount of leg room. I hate feeling squashed in a cinema. There was also a decent amount of space between each seat so it felt a little more comfortable in terms of personal space, there was no fighting for ownership of the arm rests.
We each had our own bottle of water and bag of salt and sweet popcorn. I was hungry as I’d only had sushi for lunch so I opened mine straight away. Sam and I like getting in the screening early, finding our seats and getting comfy whilst we wait for the movie to start. Luckily, they were showing what was happening on the white carpet outside. As each cast member arrived they were interviewed by Alex Zane. It was great to hear a little info from them before the film started.
My most memorable interviews were with Sofia Boutella who plays Jaylah and Simon Pegg who plays Scotty. I’d not heard of her before but I liked her description of her character – I knew straight away she’d be one of my favourites in the film. I also liked Simon Pegg’s interview where he explained where the name Jaylah came from – Jennifer Lawrence (J-Law) apparently! I love finding out interesting little facts like that about films. The sort of thing that you’d never know unless someone tells you!
Working in a similar industry means I enjoy knowing about the production process as a whole – I appreciate the hard work that has gone into every stage of film making. Justin Lin (the director) was the last to be interviewed and I was interested to see his visual take on the film. He’s famous for directing the Fast and Furious films. I like some of those films but not all of them so part of me was hoping that Star Trek Beyond wasn’t just constant action. I wanted the film to have a narrative too.
Before the film started the cast and Justin were introduced to the audience. Simon Pegg wrote Star Trek Beyond and thanked each one of the cast for their hard work and for collaborating with him on it. I like that he spent time with each cast member and took their points of view into account. It makes the characters so much more real – as you are getting a much more rounded perspective rather than just the writer’s perspective if you know what I mean. Simon dedicated the film to Anton Yelchin who plays Chekov in the films. Anton sadly passed away earlier this year aged just 27 in a tragic accident. It was nice to hear Simon and the cast speak of him in a loving way.
Just as the film started the projectionist did the Vulcan sign with his hand, to a roaring applause from the audience! It happened so quickly that I almost missed it but it did make me smile.
My thoughts on the film? I LOVED IT. It was full of action but luckily not too much. The action felt integral to the story line rather than dominating it. There was an amazing variety of camera angles so the action never felt boring – I guess that is where Justin’s talent lies! He took full advantage of the physics of space and it almost felt like you were on the spaceship itself. The camera was shaky when it needed to be and sometimes moved so fast that if you blinked you’d miss. It was realistic in the sense that action in real life does happen so quickly. There could be mere milliseconds between life and death. You have to think and act even faster.
I was also right about Jaylah! She is a great addition to the Star Trek universe. She was fiesty and independent which I am always drawn to in female characters. There was certainly a little J-Law of The Hunger Games in her. Her banter with Scotty was also great – they bounce off each other without it being too comical and ridiculous. The dialogue between Bones and Spock was also incredibly well written.
The only downside for me was that I wanted a little more science. I am a huge geek and I love reading about the latest scientific discoveries (higgs-boson, pregnant T-Rexes, etc). I understand that in the era that Star Trek is set that those people would be taught physics and chemistry as we are taught english language and maths – they are able to arrive at solutions much quicker than we would but it was just a bit too obvious for me. I’d like a little more research or for the characters to look like they were trying a bit more. But then again, its a 12A and I could imagine young teenagers would be lost and disinterested if it was more scientific.
In this version of Star Trek, Sulu is gay with a partner and a young child. Sam pointed this out to me, as I didn’t even notice! Which I think just shows my acceptance of love in all forms to be honest. I like that Star Trek is still pushing boundaries in terms of what love is. We’re all human at the end of the day.
Overall, it was a great film. Loads of action and an amazing cast. I enjoyed every minute of it. I would definitely recommend a watch. Trailer here:
Have you seen it? what was your favourite part?