By Matt H (St Helens)


Justin Lin’s directed Star Trek Beyond delivers both visually and on story. Starting off with Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the USS Enterprise 3 years into their 5-year voyage, we see the Captain somewhat dejected and confused about his role in Starfleet, and whether or not he should lead the crew anymore. They then land at the home of Starfleet command, and from there the plot of the film really gets underway. It’s story that, whilst keeping itself relatively simple manages to slip in extra bits and pieces as it progresses in order to build itself up to its conclusion which overall was satisfying. It isn’t a ground-breaking narrative or anything like that, it’s more the people within it and the dialogue that they are given that make it a successful and fun film to watch.

In terms of the Enterprise crew, the banter between members this time around is on point, especially between Bones (Karl Urban) and Spock (Zachary Quinto). They are exceptional, both in the moments of downtime and when things get heavy and heartfelt, showing the progress that they’ve come over the films and how even people with opposite personalities can become true brothers in arms. Plus the one liners that both of these guys seem to be able to throw out at will is seemingly endless.

Pine is once more a commanding, decisive leader who fulfils the role of James. T. Kirk effectively. He doesn’t do anything new here, but then again he doesn’t have to. His wit and ability to diverge from comedic crewmate to serious Starfleet captain is what makes him suit the role so well.

With regards to the other members of the Enterprise, Simon Pegg as Montgomery ‘scotty’ Scott is forced into a bigger role this time which affords him more screen time and he takes it in his stride, proving that he isn’t just there for comedic relief. Lt. Uhura (Zoe Saldana) also shows more development in her character in this film, as she is still wrestling with the struggle that it must be holding a relationship with Spock (the emotion-filled man that he is), adding another layer to the characters. However, disappointingly this isn’t explored much in this film, and is sort of put to one side, most assuredly so that it can be looked at in Abrams’ 4th film in the series.

Sofia Boutella’s character Jaylah, a person abandoned due to the actions of the villain, Krall, played by Idris Elba, has been forced to scavenge and fend for herself to survive. She is in no uncertain terms a badass, and is acted as such. However, that isn’t all that Jaylah has to her character, as you learn through the course of the film, which is nice to see instead of just having a strictly one-dimensional throwaway protagonist that Lin and writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung could easily have made her out to be.

Krall is also much like this. He is a played as a strong villain with layers underneath, that once pulled back reveal much more information about the character than we originally were given. Much like the way he portrayed Shere Khan in The Jungle Book Elba plays Krall as a threatening, commanding figure, much like Kirk’s opposite with some of his motivations and the way that he views Starfleet.

Visually, and this is kind of obvious but I’ll say it anyway, but the film looks and sounds fantastic, especially in the scenes that take place in space. It’s right up there with The Force Awakens (OMG he made the comparison, nerds brandish their swords, geeks ready the spear points) when it comes to effects, truly stunning in some action sequences with lasers flying and ships exploding all over the place, I honestly couldn’t get enough.

In conclusion then, even though they are a little quick to brush over some of the little things, they more than make up for things with another fantastic entry to Abrams’ Star Trek series. I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of sci-fi or in general action films with a light-hearted feel to them, because that’s pretty much what this film is, an exciting, engaging and most important of all fun, adventure through space.

Rating: 4/5



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