Paul Barclay

Star Trek Beyond – Review

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Since the series was rebooted back in 2009, Star Trek fans have been crying out for new adventures from the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. They want to see strange new lifeforms, seek out new worlds and boldly go where no man, or story, has previously gone before. They have had to wait until this new adventure, entitled Star Trek Beyond, to get their wish, after the origin story of the 2009 release and the retelling of the Khan story in the opinion-dividing 2013 sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness. But, was it worth the wait?

The plot of this adventure sees the crew stranded and separated on an uncharted planet, attempting to save themselves, each other and the universe from Krall, the main villain of the piece, who is looking for an ancient weapon to aid in his cause and who also may have other motives as well for his actions. They are aided by a new character called Jaylah, who is also stranded on the planet and has her own reasons for hating Krall.

Where these movies live or die has always been on the quality of the cast and also, the script. The cast has never been an issue and once again, they are pretty much faultless here. Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk once again oozes arrogance, charm but also genuine concern for his crew. Simon Pegg, who also co-wrote Beyond, has some of the best comedic moments with Scotty and also gets the most interplay with Jaylah, played well by Sofia Boutella, who is an interesting character and hopefully one that may remain in the series past this point. Anton Yelchin, who sadly died back in June, gets the most time he had throughout the series as Chekov, which makes his scenes even more bitter-sweet to watch. Idris Elba, who plays Krall, does a fine job but Krall does feel a little underdeveloped at times. Once his motives become clear, it makes sense, but it takes a while for that to happen. The stars of the show, however, are Spock and Bones, played by Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban respectively. They are essentially an intergalactic odd couple and they play off each other so well. Their relationship is so endearing and wonderful to behold.

The other side of these movies is the action and Beyond does not let down in that department. There is an action set piece towards the end of the first act that lasts about 20 minutes and is genuinely breath-taking. Director Justin Lin, who previously helmed the more bombastic episodes of the Fast And Furious franchise is clearly right at home amidst all the explosions and phaser fire.

Star Trek Beyond is a worthy entry in this rebooted Trek universe and a great movie in its own right. While it may not quite reach the superb heights of Into Darkness, it is still a fun piece of popcorn entertainment. It feels exactly like an episode of the original series itself and when you consider that this year is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek’s creation, that is very apt indeed.

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