Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Star Trek franchise. It’s continuing mission to explore if the rebooted universe still has legs. To seek out if there is life after the disappointing Into Darkness. To boldly go where… yada, yada – you get the gist. It’s time to review the thirteenth film in everyone’s favourite sci-fi series. Will thirteen prove to be an unlucky number for Trekkies? Let’s hope not because I have enjoyed the Chris Pine fronted flicks, even if the last film didn’t get much praise. To avoid another backlash, this time round we get a brand new adventure rather than a rehash of past ideas. Funny man Simon Pegg (who plays Scotty) contributed to the script, as evidenced by the hilarious opener were Captain Kirk’s diplomatic mission goes awry.
Star Trek Beyond begins like many episodes of the classic TV show. The Enterprise enters an unexplored nebula after receiving a distress signal from a ship that has crash-landed on a nearby planet. After warping to the location it becomes apparent that the call for aid is a trick. Without warning, a throng of alien vessels launch from the surface and ambush the Enterprise. Surprised and outnumbered, Kirk’s crew are routed in battle and eventually captured. The Enterprise is completely destroyed, which would be shocking were it not for the fact that star ships with that designation become scrap metal on a regular basis. You can no longer count on one hand how many times the Enterprise has met its demise onscreen. It’s so unsurprising that no one batted an eyelid when the scene was spoiled in the official trailer.
The leader of the aggressors is a chap named Krall who has the ability to prolong his life by absorbing the vitality of others. Did he set the trap to procure hostages he can feed on? Nope. It’s later revealed that he has a beef with the Federation, although his flimsy motivations are only divulged in a brief snippet found shortly before the film’s end. It’s such a waste seeing the talented Idris Elba being relegated to the role of generic villain. What we get as a result is a good film with a weak antagonist, in stark contrast to Into Darkness (underwhelming movie starring an awesome baddie.) Anyways, it falls upon Kirk, Bones and a badly injured Spock to thwart Krall’s convoluted plans. They better succeed if they have any aspirations to live long and prosper.
My rating for Star Trek Beyond is a four out of five. Star Trek (2009) is arguably a better movie, but I still had a great time watching Beyond. Like many modern films it does run a bit long though. I personally would have wrapped things up half an hour earlier. The powers that be decreed however that the story should continue on and close with a bang. Director Justin Lin (who has previously worked on the Fast and the Furious) dutifully obliged with a trademark high-octane finale. Viewers who prefer a more cerebral Trek may not care for the overabundance of action, but on the plus side the fight sequences are flashy. The comedy is top notch too and the character focused subplots fleshed things out nicely. Aside from the Krall matter, Kirk wrestles with the monotony of captaincy whilst Spock ponders what direction his love life should take.
Another thing I enjoyed about Star Trek Beyond would have to be the debut of Jaylah, an extra-terrestrial lady who has a questionable taste in music. She forms a great double act with Scotty and kicks some major ass. What can I say? I dig badass chicks with funky accents, which may explain why I liked Resident Evil more than most people. If another Trek movie ever gets produced I would be okay with Jaylah filling the bridge seat left vacant by the tragic passing of Anton Yelchin (Chekov.) Whether this version of Star Trek gets a fourth instalment or not remains to be seen though, as its box office performance wasn’t stellar. When it comes to generating a profit Star Wars is far superior to Star Trek. Scotty beam me up… I need to get out of here quick, because I suspect livid Trekkers are about to descend on my position!