Director: Justin Lin
Like finding out you had one more beer left than you originally thought, Star Trek Beyond is one of those pleasant surprises. Not to incite a feud with the other ‘Star’ franchise, but similar to The Force Awakens this film is essentially a modern update of original material, with better effects and pacing, that manages to work as a standalone. The film follows the USS Enterprise crew who find themselves marooned on a hostile world inhabited by vengeful forces, a world which they seek to escape.
Unlike the previous two Star Trek films where a fresh start was promised, but only a vehicle for Benedict Cumberbatch’s burgeoning film career was produced, this film makes an effort to do more.
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The main cast other than Kirk and Spock are allocated more screen time, and actually have roles in the story as opposed to being there simply because it’s Star Trek. The action feels more scaled back this time despite the inevitable final showdown at the end, which works because the movie doesn’t end with the Earth being threatened like the previous two. There’s even some actual trekking this time round, among the stars too.
Inevitably there are setbacks in the story: the villain isn’t particularly memorable nor are his motivations, and a scene involving a certain Beastie Boys song feels a little out of place. Overall, however, it’s pretty fun. Check it out.