Bechdel Test: fail
Mako Mori Test: pass
Sexy Lamp Test: pass
(The Sexy Lamp Test is "can the major women character(s) be replaced by a sexy lamp with no affect on the story?" In this case, no. Uhura and Jaylah are too important.)
On the DZA Review Scale, I'm giving it a solid fantastic (half a step down from Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
Pre-order it here!
I went into this movie thinking "It's going to be a fun action-packed hour and a half with jokes, but that one alien girl is only there to kick people and Uhura's just there to moon over Spock."
I was right on the first count, sort of right on the last one (trouble in paradise with Uhura and Spock, similar to Into Darkness). And the uniforms are still pissing me off.
But then Uhura kicked a bunch of bad guys' butts on her own before trapping herself in a room with the bad guy (played by the awesome and terrifying Idris Elba) and figuring out his entire motives. And Jaylah turned out to have her own narrative arc and backstory! It was a tropey backstory, but it was her own. I was thrilled!
Also, Spock laughs.
In front of McCoy, who understandably freaks out.
He also swears. Even though he's quoting McCoy, it's still weird.
Speaking of which, we get more Spock & McCoy frenemy time! I absolutely love their relationship. They didn't get nearly as much time together in Into Darkness (understandable, since the focus was on Jim and Spock's friendship, but still irksome), but Beyond more than made up for it.
And I'm so glad that the writers included a five-second shot of Sulu with his husband and daughter. A movie that unapologetically shows an LGBT relationship as perfectly normal always cheers me up.
All totaled, it's a great movie full of fun little surprises (and one big one toward the end; but spoilers!).
Pre-order Star Trek Beyond here!