Star Trek Beyond

The third film from the rebooted series Star Trek came out this weekend with Justin Lin, director of Fast & Furious 6, taking over for J.J. Abrams, and provided fans of the franchise a film that boldly went where no one had gone before with action and adventure and characters embodied perfectly by the new cast.

Star Trek Beyond sends viewers on an exciting voyage into the stars, and fills the screen with exciting action throughout.  This film catches the exciting action of the reboots with the intellectual tone of the original series and blends them together into something that feels like classic Trek.

We catch up with the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise as they are arriving at Starbase Earhart after failing to negotiate a treaty between two warring factions, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) was starting to feel the strain of this five year mission.  Spock (Zachary Quinto) hears news of the passing of Ambassador Spock (the late Leonard Nemoy) and has to reflect on his own choices.  With the crew slowly being pulled in different directions, the Enterprise heads out to navigate through a nebula to aid a ship whose captain requested assistance.

Unfortunately for Kirk and his crew, the request was a trap and the Enterprise is attacked by a swarm of some kind of creatures.  The Enterprise crashes on the planet below and the crew is scattered into smaller groups, trying to find their way back together.

Meanwhile, the leader of the swarm was Krall (Idris Elba) who was after a “macguffin” that was on the Enterprise, a weapon they tried to present to one of the warring races as a peace offering.  One wonders what Krall would have done had that race of small rock like creatures had accepted the peace offering of this weapon.  Still, Kirk realizes that Krall wants this weapon and keep sit away from him.

The strength of these characters are really seen as they are split into pairs.  Kirk and Chekov (the late Anton Yelchin) are together, searching for the weapon.  Bones (Karl Urban) and Spock are together, with amazing, crackling dialogue that lights up every scene that they share.  Sulu (John Cho) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana) are captives of Krall and Scotty (Simon Pegg) meets up with new, bad ass alien Jaylah (Sofia Boutella).  Each section brought something different and entertaining to the ensemble and moved the movie along.

Karl Urban was, once again, the standout as Doctor “Bones” McCoy.  Urban is so perfect in this role that the iconic character has really become his own.  Urban receives all of the best lines of dialogue and he delivers them with a robust, cantankerous enthusiasm that would make DeForest Kelly proud.  Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, played by movie co-writer Simon Pegg, is also provided with wonderful lines within the script, both funny and compelling.

Idris Elba provides a solid villain for the protagonist, but there were a couple of lines that I am not sure what they were going for.  His motivation was made clearer in the third act of the film, but there were some moments where I was expecting something more about him.  Still, as always, Elba was outstanding as the counter to Kirk.

The action was excellent, though there may have been too much use of shaky camera for my tastes in several of the action scenes.  The use of “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys in the trailer felt out of place and forced, but the song’s inclusion in the story itself was perfect and made complete sense.  It also provided a fun and rocking moment in Star Trek Beyond that found me nodding my head and tapping my toes along with the crew.

Star Trek Beyond is another outstanding film in the new, rebooted series of films.  There is great action, strong characters we love and has more of a feel of the original show than ever before.

4.2 stars



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