Review of 'Star Trek Beyond'

3rd film in the 'Star Trek' series

star_trek_beyond.jpg The latest loud, fast and furious instalment in the new Star Trek franchise sees Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew finding life on their five year voyage of discovery and diplomacy quite boring. After Kirk amusingly fails to broker a peace between two warring races the Enterprise continues to the spectacular Starbase Yorktown to replenish their supplies. A transmission from the alien Kalara (Lydia Wilson) claims that her ship has had a malfunction in the middle of a local nebula so pleas for a rescue mission at which, of course, Kirk jumps at. As they approach the planet where her crew are stranded they are attacked by a swarm of ships that destroy the Enterprise with the crew escaping separately in rescue pods that land at different locations on the planet. Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Bones (Karl Urban), always an amusing and engaging pairing, crash together on the planet with Spock severely injured relying on Bones to pull him through and explore why Spock appears to have broken up with Uhura (Zoe Saldana). Scotty (Simon Pegg, who also wrote this chapter and does appear to have a more significant role here) meets the alien Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) who saves him from an attack from the natives after crash landing. Kirk and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) crash the saucer with Kalara as they attempt to rescue the crew as, one by one, they are enslaved by their attackers headed by the menacing Krall (Idris Elba). Krall is seeking a device stored on the Enterprise that promises to further his goal of destroying the Federation, bringing him untold destructive power…

We saw this in 3D on a very big screen which was, in retrospect, probably a bit of a mistake as while it was very impressive looking it gave us more than a bit of motion sickness particularly in the initial attack on the Enterprise which is frenetic to the extreme - Way too much to follow what is going on. Even the slower scenes have a lot of movement in the camera making everything feel a lot more “rough and ready” than in previous movies. I should think even on smaller screens it might be difficult to follow. In all other regards, the film looks amazing on the big screen - The effects are unbelievable, particularly the bizarre physical dynamics of the Yorktown starbase.

In this chapter they have chosen to concentrate on the characters rather than a lot of story with a great deal of time exploring the dynamics between them. Not a bad thing. The humour from the previous movies is still here as they are not afraid to poke fun at themselves. This tends to lighten up what would otherwise be quite a dark and fairly depressing film…Relaxing the dramatic tension.

The story is interesting with the requisite amazing finale with “everything at stake” which is suitably amazing looking. But I felt a bit let down and more tired than anything after seeing the film: It was good to hear more from the individual characters but one after another spectacular action scene left me feeling a bit tired as the movie went on. Perhaps there is something to be said for simplicity as here they seemed to be concentrating more on one-uping the previous movies then actually making a film that is not afraid to take it's time with a more developed plot. The twist at the end, I have to admit, added quite a bit to the appreciation of the movie but where we leave the characters I think will be a surprise to no one.

Certainly worth a watch for fans of the franchise. Sit back, turn off the brain (a bit) and enjoy the dizzying ride.


Review Date: 2016-07-26

Directed by: Justin Lin

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Year: 2016

Length: 122 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction