Star Trek Beyond review
“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
These words are from the introduction to one of the biggest franchises of all time, Star Trek. Unlike Star Wars which was the brain child from the mind of George Lucas, Star Trek remains one of the few TV shows that have lasted as long as fifty years. Even after it’s three season run, it has created a universe of other shows (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, etc…), movies, books, games, and so much more.
You have to give the series credit that it took it’s characterization and dialogue seriously, even if it’s techno babble can get in the way for mainstream audiences. The J.J. Abrams reboot/prequel Star Trek reintroduced the iconic characters of Kirk, Spock, Bones, McCoy and the rest of the Enterprise crew to a new audience that gave us the world that modern technology can finally bring. Star Trek Into Darkness was next to which people found fun, but retreaded Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan a little too much. Star Trek Beyond goes for an original story that might win back some fans that wanted more of the old series.
The USS Enterprise is within it’s third year of it’s five year journey into deep space. The ship docks at a new space station Yorktown where Captain James Kirk (played by Chris Pine) is considering leaving the crew, not sure what the point of their exploration is. He’s looking to recommend Spock (played by Zachary Quinto) to take over, but is unaware that his Vulcan friend may want to leave as well. Before they can tell each other of their plans, Starfleet sends the Enterprise to an unexplored Nebula to retrieve an escape pod.
Within this pod is a survivor Kalara who says that her ship is on a uncharted planet within the nebula. They are suddenly ambushed by a swarm of ships that tears the Enterprise apart. Some make it to the escape pods, but some are stuck on the ship as the alien ships commander Krall (played by Idris Elba) captures Sulu (played by Jon Chu), Uhura (played by Zoe Saldana) before the ship is destroyed. On the planet, Kirk and Chekov (played by Anton Yelchin) are separated from Spock and McCoy (played by Karl Urban) as is Scotty (played by Simon Pegg) who need to make a plan with no ship and no way to communicate with Starfleet.
One thing I’ll say right up front is that Star Trek Beyond feels the most human out of the reboot movies. Screenwriter Simon Pegg and new director Justin Lin interject some good jokes along with some interesting team ups that I haven’t seen from the other Star Trek movies. In a way, this is the new franchise returning to what made the old show great; good characters and dialogue.
Speaking of which, the weakest thing about the new movie is one of two new characters, the villain Krall. Though we do get a good backstory on this guy at the end, I would have preferred to know as little as possible with this guy. The other new character Jaylah on the other hand, feels like the kind of character that’s both accurate to the universe of Star Trek and modern. I hope she returns in the next movie. Action wise, you get what you expect, though I felt it was done better in Star Trek into Darkness.
I’ll give this four blue uniform shirts out of five. Star Trek fans should be satisfied and a mainstream audience looking for a summer popcorn movie will also probably be settled with this. While not exactly going where no man has gone before, Star Trek Beyond at least feels like it’s going into further frontier.