Justin Lin (director)
03 June 2018 (released)
09 June 2018
As fine an auditorium as the Royal Albert Hall is, it is not a cinema. The screen may be huge but it’s in front of the organ and above the orchestra so from some angles and positions viewing may less than ideal. This is further hampered as the orchestra needs light to read the music and however dull it may be it still causes glare at the edges of the screen. Also, the acoustics aren’t that well geared towards film soundtracks so the dialogue echoes around the venue.
Also, Star Trek: Beyond is not prime Trek. (Though it does now have the unwanted distinction of sadly being one of Anton Yelchin’s (Chekov) final roles before his tragic passing.) It’s a pleasing enough big screen romp with some good lines and sequences, it’s just a bit on the knowing side with Simon Pegg (who introduced the screening) slotting in fanboy references that will please Trekkers and baffle others. ‘giant green hand’ indeed.
Having said all that the RAH is one of the finest venues for orchestral music and that is the seller here as taken all together, it’s a very enjoyable experience. Trek scores by necessity are diverse and lend themselves well for these events. Seeing and hearing the orchestra in full flow is as exhilarating for the big SFX action sequences, as it is for the quieter parts that require subtler instrumentation.
Michael Giacchino’s score performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ernst Van Tiel didn’t miss a note or a cue being in perfect sync with the film throughout. The volume means that the dialogue is subtitled and in fact is pretty much drowned at times though once you get used to that is fine.
There’s something revelatory about switching attention from screen to orchestra especially the lighter moments which can just be taken for granted at the cinema, as the music is used to nuance an action or a look by the touch of a timpani, the stroke of harp or the voices of the choir. Highly recommended.