Star Trek Beyond stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg and many more and is directed by Justin Lin.
“Who do you think you are? A person who has never seen anything Star Trek apart from the rebooted movies, reviewing the new Star Trek released during the 50th anniversary of the franchise?” says a true fan to this review, I assume. Do you really need to be so abrasive? It is true, I could never be called a Trekkie, having only seen J.J. Abrams’ instalments and being vaguely aware of various terms and actors who have been involved over the 50 years Star Trek has existed.
I wanted to address that head on as this review is purely from the viewpoint of a fresh faced newbie, only familiar with the fast-paced action movies from 2009 onwards and comparing Star Trek Beyond to what has come before it in these past seven years, is a damn fun time.
Bouncing back from 2013’s divisive Star Trek Into Darkness (this series really needs to learn what punctuation is), this newest outing grounds the crew of the Enterprise on an alien planet and splinters up the core cast for a big portion of the movie in unfamiliar surroundings. This breathes new life into the series as characters that rarely interact with each other are paired up to really show off how well the ensemble cast works together. Karl Urban as Bones is a particular favourite of mine, his deadpan reactions and barely simmering rage makes him a great foil for anyone he interacts with, but Beyond really delivers in the scenes between him and Zachary Quinto’s Spock, polar opposites in terms of emotional stability.
Simon Pegg shares screenwriting credit with Doug Jung and going against his slightly over-the-top yet completely charming portrayal of Montgomery Scott, his script delivers jokes in a subtle way. This helps the film to further grow the relationships between the crew members as the banter doesn’t aim for gut-busting laughter but rather for smiles and small chuckles to create a more realistic feel to the people we are following on a not so realistic adventure in uncharted space.
Justin Lin (Fast 5, Fast & Furious 6) presents stunning images, utilising a lot of wide shots to showcase the visuals of a lush alien planet, which do provide some scenic eye-candy, but may sometimes make it easy to lose the action (I do have terrible eyesight so that may just be me). It did not feel as long as it’s two hour running time, which is praise to Lin, as it was refreshing to see such vibrant and colourful environment be the backdrop for a fun space romp, and not make it feel like a slog to sit through.
While Idris Elba’s villainous Krall was a little hard to understand at times, his menacing presence helps to compensate for a lack of interest in his story, as it feels a bit rushed and not as integral as a villain should be. But, this does leave time to focus more on our heroes, which is where the true joy of the movie lies. Another new addition is Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) as Jaylah, a tech savvy survivor living in seclusion on the planet, who aids the crew of the Enterprise to survive Krall and his soldiers. Boutella showed us in Kingsman that she knows how to kick ass, and she continues to prove it in Beyond as she is the focal point of a few heavy hitting fight sequences. Chris Pine delivers another performance full to the brim of confidence and charm as Captain James Kirk, bouncing off every member of the cast really well, especially the late Anton Yelchin as Chekov.
I left the cinema feeling satisfied with my experience. Nothing in this movie made me clutch my face in awe, but it was exactly in line with the series so far, a well-directed good time in space with characters I enjoy seeing together on screen.