Justin Lin takes the helm of the franchise from J.J. Abrams and directs the third installment of the Star Trek reboot, which we find the Enterprise crew without a ship after being attacked by a vicious creature known as Krall, and the is team is scattered on a remote world where they must now survive and find a way to defeat this sinister enemy.
My favorite genres are science-fiction and fantasy and while I’m not a huge Star Trek fanatic as I am with Star Wars, I do appreciate the franchise and really enjoyed the first two J.J. Abrams films and despite an underwhelming marketing campaign leading into this film, I was still excited and having now seen the movie, I can now say that Star Trek Beyond is simply a blast even though it is in my opinion the weakest of the three.
You go to the movies for one reason: escapism. And Beyond offers a great deal of escapism alongside great action, wonderful characters and a decent story even though it might not be as new or fresh as one might hope (but let’s face it, there’s only so much you can do after so many movies and TV shows). Nevertheless, it still does a terrific job as keeping the world fresh and adding new twists and turns while putting our beloved characters in dire situations.
Chris Pine is still fantastic as James Kirk which is his best role by far that he’s ever had. Zachary Quinto, which I’ve always been a big fan off, is also terrific as Spock and you can really feel like these two have been through hell together and they’d do anything for one another. Their relationship is one of the best friendships ever put on film.
Karl Urban is once again perfect as Bones and he spends a lot of more “quality time” with Spock this time around and the two have a great banter back and forth which adds some levity to the overall grim situation. There’s also the great addition of Sofia Boutella from last year’s Kingsman: The Secret Service who played an alien scavenger named Jaylah and whose role reminded me of Rey from The Force Awakens. She’s badass, smart and a wonderful addition to the cast.
The rest of the supporting cast is also fantastic and are all integral parts of the crew. Zoe Saldana is still great as Uhura, who doesn’t do a lot but still kicks ass in the film. Simon Pegg who is the comic relief as he is in most things and while some of his jokes don’t all work, he’s still pretty useful this time around and he spends the most time with Jaylah and the two start developing a really nice and touching friendship. Star Trek Beyond also marked one of the last performances of Anton Yelchin, who was great Chekov who plays the ship’s main navigator. May he rest in peace.
And now we arrive to Idris Elba’s character, who is the main villain of the film. We all know that Idris Elba is a fantastic actor but his motivation doesn’t make sense and his plan gets convoluted as all hell which is the biggest flaw that this film has got and the most annoying. The writers (Simon Pegg and Doug Jung) could have found a way to make his motivation much more clearer and keep the same story beats of the film. Without giving anything away, Krall needs to obtain something in order for his plan to work that is hidden in the enterprise, but when the film ends you realize that he doesn’t need this specific object to complete his mission. There’s a saying that your movie is only as good as your villain and well, Star Trek Beyond’s biggest flaw is it’s villain unfortunately. Khan had a much more clearer motivation in Into Darkness and even the villain in the first Star Trek had a better plan and was more menacing. I didn’t find the villain intimidating or inessential to the plot. He was mainly a plot device.
Overall, Star Trek Beyond is simply a blast and has wonderful characters, a great sense of adventure and while it’s villain is a weak and his plan is a bit too convoluted for the film’s own good, the third installment of the popular franchise is still one of the best time’s we’ve had at the movies this summer.