‘Star Trek Beyond’ delivers dizzying effects, retro jokes and emotions on this journey
Director J.J. Abrams exited the Star Trek franchise to dabble in the Star Wars universe and Justin Lin has proved to be the perfect candidate to interject a ton of action, dizzying effects and Simon Pegg inspired jokes with Star Trek Beyond.
The third film in the rebooted Trek franchise and Beyond picks up three years into the crew’s five year mission to explore space and Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk narrates us through the emotional turmoil swirling among the crew. Kirk and Spock (Zachary Quinto) are facing career altering decisions as an exciting mission turns into a chaotic struggle for survival.
The Enterprise is obliterated by a mysterious swarm of ships and sets up the scattered crew battling against Krall (Idris Elba), the film’s villain bent on bringing destruction to the Federation. Joining the returning cast is the alien Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), a sole survivor of her family seeking to escape the planet, but proves to be welcomed addition to the human dominated cast and valuable asset against Krall.
Pegg and fellow screenwriter Doug Jung are the stars of this film, giving Lin enough meat to intertwine great action sequences with the latest CGI space scenes and the Yorktown starbase – Trek’s superior answer to Star Wars’ Coruscant.
Beyond is much more static than other films, set mostly on the one planet (much like the Classic TV show) and gives the Crew time to bond and intermingle in ways that grow each character. Karl Urban’s Bones proves to nurture and heal Spock physically, but more importantly, internally. Pegg brings nerdiness to entertain the Trekkies and the lay audience equally.
While it’s contrived, the interjection of “classic music” truly ignited the audiences into laughter and delight. Gone is the tedious timeline bending and recycle plot lines from old films, Beyond is determine to reset and move ahead with more purporse, both for the crew and the audience.
Just as Kirk, Spock and the crew seem eager to get back to their five-year voyage, you will be cheering for them to do and arrive in the theaters for the next film.
Star Trek Beyond receives 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
The joy ride is predictable and the “reset” nature of the film agitated many critics and, somewhat accurately, holds the film back quite a bit. There are a ton of nods to the Trek properties, but the film doesn’t get stuck there and an “awe” or two rang out during my screening, proving that emotions run deep in the Trek universe.
Elba’s Krall is only serviceable, a disappointment considering the talent wasted. Bringing new aliens and villains to the franchise is proving to be much more difficult than one would expect.