3 1/2 Stars
Star Trek Beyond is as well crafted and entertaining as the previous sequels, but it’s also the goofiest and most humorous entry since the original crew helped save the whales in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. After a depressing and overly complicated middle chapter, Beyond is a streamlined one-off adventure that feels more in touch with the spirit of the original film in this rebooted series. A lightened tone is matched with running gags, high-quality special effects, and virtually non-stop momentum. Justin Lin of Fast and Furious acclaim (notoriety?) is the man behind the camera and he’s infused this sequel with a lively energy that was sorely missing from the dour previous sequel.
Capt. James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and crew including Spock (Zachary Quinto), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Bones (Karl Urban), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) are in year three of their five-year mission to explore the far reaches of outer space. Monotony has taken over and everybody onboard the U.S.S. Enterprise is performing in a perfunctory fashion. Kirk is offered a career advancement that would seat him on a counsel and away from piloting, while Spock is reeling from the death of Ambassador Spock and confides to McCoy that he intends to leave Starfleet to continue the late Ambassador’s work. Then a mysterious signal is picked up asking for the aid of the Enterprise and her crew. This turns out to be a double cross in order for the lizard-faced villain Krall (Idris Elba) to commander the vessel and deliver a bomb to the providence settle of Yorktown, back on planet Earth.
Star Trek Beyond is episodic in structure, but that’s ok when dealing with a feature that was originally an episodic television program. It’s seems that an intentional course correction has been made with the franchise. The nihilistic motivations of Khan and the similar to real life global terrorism plot of Into Darkness has been consciously steered into lighter territory. The cast again demonstrates great chemistry together and their own spin on these characters is beginning to help cement them as equals to their distinguished predecessors.
Directro: Justin Lin
Stars: Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba