The summer blockbuster movie season just keeps on trucking. Heading into the weekend of July 22, the next big live action spectacle hitting theaters is Star Trek Beyond, which is the sequel to 2013's Star Trek: Into Darkness, and the third installment in the rebooted Star Trek movie universe that began with 2009's Star Trek. The film promises lots of explosive action and spacefaring adventure — two details that would seem to make it a good fit for 3-D viewing. But is it really worth it? Should you see Star Trek Beyond in 3-D?
The new Star Trek movie looks to be a bit different from the two that preceded it. While the first two films were directed by J.J. Abrams, the newest installment is helmed by Justin Lin; who is best known for his work on the Fast & Furious franchise. Having Lin replace Abrams likely means two things: One, it probably means more of the high-octane action that Lin is so great at conducting, and two, it means fewer of the blinding lens flares that Abrams inserted into Into Darkness. Those two factors could very well add up to a better 3-D experience in the new film, even though the two movies probably have mostly similar 3-D effects thanks to how they're made.
There are two ways to produce a 3-D film. You can film it in native 3-D using stereoscopic cameras, or you can digitally convert the footage to 3-D after it's already been filmed in 2-D using a standard camera. Most experts argue that native 3-D is best, offering richer visuals and a more immersive environment, but Star Trek Beyond used the post-conversion method. Star Trek: Into Darkness also used the post-conversion method, so if you saw that film in 3-D and enjoyed it, then odds are you'll probably feel the same way about Star Trek Beyond.
However, even if you didn't think Into Darkness in 3-D was worth it, Star Trek Beyond may have one X-Factor in its corner that could tip the scales in favor of 3-D, and that's the destruction of the Enterprise. From what I've seen in the trailers, the scene featuring the attack on the iconic ship looks decidedly epic, and I suspect that Trekkies and other longtime fans of the series will want to see the Enterprise go down in the most glorious format available. In other words, they'll want to see it in 3-D (and IMAX if possible).
Ultimately, seeing Star Trek Beyond in 3-D is a coin flip. There are likely some moments that the 3-D adds to, but as a whole the movie won't be breaking into any new frontiers when it comes to the format. So whatever decision you come to, to you I say: Live long and prosper.
Images: Paramount Pictures; Giphy