"visually stunning, witty and action-packed, but there was something missing and it just didn’t reach the standard set by the previous two"
Star Trek Beyond is the first in the reboot trilogy to be directed by Justin Lin rather than J.J. Abrams and it’s just not as strong as 2009’s Star Trek and the 2013 follow-up Star Trek Into Darkness. There isn’t anything massively wrong with it but it doesn’t feel as epic and I didn’t come away from the cinema feeling blown away. It was simply a nice, enjoyable watch, no more, no less.
The plot is similar to what we’ve seen before - Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his USS Enterprise crew, including Spock (Zachary Quinto), Sulu (John Cho), Bones (Karl Urban), Chekov (Anton Yelchin), Scotty (Simon Pegg) and Uhuru (Zoe Saldana) are in the middle of a five-year exploratory mission when they are attacked by a pack of alien ships lead by new villain Krall (Idris Elba). They are forced to abandon ship onto a nearby planet while others are taken hostage by Krall, so they have to find a way to get off the planet and save the rest of the crew.
The first thirty minutes is incredibly messy and hard to follow, with crazy camera movements, super-fast action, and dialogue that is said at lightning speed. There was too much going on for my brain to digest so I had to let it just wash over me. I feared the whole movie would be much the same and although there is still A LOT of rapidly-shouted commands, it vastly improves once the gang are split up and abandoned, because then we get some really decent character work, which is the saving grace of the movie.
Quinto and Urban are stuck together and their scenes were my favourite. Urban is given way more to do this time around while Quinto is the star of the show – both in humour stakes and the poignant moments where he pays tribute to Leonard Nimoy, elder Spock, who died before the film began shooting. Scotty is just hilarious, but that’s to be expected since Pegg co-wrote the script. He makes a new friend Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) on the unknown planet and she makes a kickass addition to the team which is refreshing since Uhuru is given barely anything to do except be Spock’s love interest. Elba is unrecognisable as Krall, but he was great and I would have liked to have seen more of him. Besides those, the rest of the cast share screen time and aren’t sidelined, although when I saw Yelchin, I came out of the story, because I just couldn’t stop thinking that he was no longer with us.
Star Trek Beyond is visually stunning, witty and action-packed, but there was something missing and it just didn’t reach the standard set by the previous two.