“Star Trek Beyond” stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, and Idris Elba. Released on July 22, 2016, the film has Kirk and the Enterprise crew stranded on an unknown planet after being attacked by a race of alien warriors.
The film is directed by Justin Lin, who also directed films such as Annapolis and Fast & Furious. It is the thirteenth film in the Star Trek film franchise and the third installment in the reboot series. The Star Trek reboot series has been pretty popular thanks to J.J. Abrams’ direction. Although he didn’t return to direct the latest installment due to him working on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he’s still attached to the project, but only as one of the producers. Director Justin Lin was responsible for directing a few installments in the Fast & Furious franchise, so it’s quite different to see him direct a major science fiction film, let alone Star Trek. I really liked the first two films in the reboot series, and I’m really curious to see if this latest installment can go ‘beyond’ everyone’s expectations, including mine.
The main cast made a return to portray the Enterprise crew, including Pine as Kirk, Quinto as Spock, and the late Anton Yelchin as Chekov. These people still did a great job portraying their characters as they did in the last two films. Not only that, but they managed to deliver some pretty good humor without being forced, mostly from Spock. I mean, you can’t have a summer blockbuster without some good laughs, right? Some new cast members appear in the film including Sofia Boutella as the scavenger Jaylah and Idris Elba as Krall, the primary antagonist. While I do think Elba was a good choice to play a villain like Krall, I felt that he wasn’t as memorable as Cumberbatch’s Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness. The visual effects were also handled very well, along with some remarkable makeup design that represented some of the aliens that appeared in the film. When it comes to Justin Lin’s direction, you can clearly see some differences in how the film is portrayed compared to how J.J. Abrams directed Star Trek (2009). Aside from the fact that there aren’t any lens flare, the film felt like a typical action-packed sci-fi adventure rather than a character-driven sci-fi adventure that Abrams delivered in the last two Star Trek films. So is that considered a good thing or a bad thing? Well, I think it depends on how you liked the 2009 reboot and its sequel. To me, the film lacked the emotional oomph and character-driven moments that the last two represented. It really represented itself as a sci-fi action film with Star Trek elements. Although I do enjoy some of the action sequences, they didn’t really stand out as intense or memorable compared to Justin Lin’s Fast & Furious installments, especially Fast & Furious 6.
Overall, “Star Trek Beyond” will impress a lot of Star Trek fans, but in terms of the emotional depth and character-driven moments, it is a minor step down from the last two Star Trek films despite how enjoyable it is. The cast worked well together, the visuals and makeup designs were impressive, and the action was fun to watch. Like I said before, this film will depend on how much you liked the 2009 reboot and its sequel. If you’re a fan of Star Trek, then I would say it’s worth a watch. Now if you excuse me, I’m off to keep myself cool in the midst of some humid weather.