Synopsis: The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.
Here we are at the third installment of the Star Trek “Kelvin Timeline” reboot started by JJ Abrams in 2009 with Star Trek Beyond this time directed by Justin Lin. I’m not a huge Trekkie by any means but I’ve seen all the films and enjoyed most of them including the new recent ones. Star Trek Beyond is a nonstop exciting and suspenseful movie to watch. You really get the feeling of adventure and exploration of the vast reaches of space being isolated with just the crew of the Enterprise that you have become attached to. There are so many things to love about this movie so let’s get right into it!
Star Trek Beyond’s story is very simple and very predictable but the way it’s setup and executed makes this movie so fun to watch. Pretty much from the get go the enterprise and its crew are thrown through the ringer. They are outnumbered, unprepared, isolated, the ship suffers heavy damage, and to top it off they all get separated on an alien planet all in the first TWENTY minutes of the movie! So many odds are piled against them and for a little suspension of belief I was actually worried how they were going to get through it. It’s been a while since a summer blockbuster movie actually made me wonder whether heroes were going to make it out ok. From there you are just going a fun action packed ride, but I will admit towards the second half of the movie I could see everything coming from a mile away. The single greatest thing about the Kelvin Timeline movies is the casting and again they all shine. What’s better this time is all the characters really get to shine equally. The previous films I felt McCoy and Chekov got pushed aside a little but they both have bigger parts and great moments in Beyond. I especially love that we got to see the trio comradery and friendship of Kirk, Spock and McCoy develop more. For me personally those were some of my favorite moments of the original Star Trek movies and to see them work together and banter really put a smile on my face. Krall the villain was pretty good too, he was definitely intimidating and had quite a presence every time he was on screen but it was kind of unfortunate to cast such a great actor in Idris Elba and basically take away his ability to act under immense prosthetic make up and altering his voice. There were some other issues I had with him which I’ll get to later in the review.
This is probably the best looking Star Trek movie to date. Seriously, the visuals look awesome from the CG to the practical set design to the costumes. I especially loved the costume design for this movie they looked really great and fit the movie very well. The uniforms all look much sturdier and felt more military like, even though yes I know Starfleet isn’t a military (please don’t bite my head off Star Trek fans). The sets had a great blend of CG and practical real sets and it really felt like they were on an unfamiliar alien planet. For a movie that's really heavy on the CG visual effects the sets were built with a very real and sturdy feel to it. Not only did this movie look great it sounds great too. I can't write a review without mentioning Michael Giacchino's excellent score. He is becoming my second favorite film composer behind the great John Williams and his music in the Star Trek movies have been spot on with their emotional weight and grand adventurous feel. It really adds to the experience of all three films. I'm still humming the main theme "Enterprising Young Men"!
As fun as this movie was there are a few things I had issues with many of which as I referred to earlier surround the villain Krall. His motivations were really thin. His backstory seemed very rushed and tacked on at the last minute just to attempt to flesh him out a little more. It also never really explains Krall and his powers and abilities at all. This leads me to my other minor issue with this movie is that it was super predictable. There is are a few plot twists and surprises throughout the movie but anyone could see these twists coming from a mile away.
Lastly, there's a brief tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy and his original Spock that I really liked so keep an eye out for that. It's also really sad that Anton Yelchin past away recently and will no longer be able to take part in future installments. I really loved his take on Chekov and it was great and a lot of fun seeing the genuine chemistry that all the main crew members had with each other and he will be really missed.
Despite a thin villain and a predictable plot line this movie is still a fun thrill ride that’s beautiful to see. These new Star Trek films have been a little divisive to many fans of the series due to it getting away from the more philosophical nature of the older films in exchange for more action but I think these movies are great to watch. Star Trek Beyond I feel does great job of instilling the fun adventurous Star Trek feel but also is appealing to a wide audience. This movie is funny, heart pounding excitement, and has a lot of heart. You should definitely go see Star Trek Beyond even if you haven’t seen the first two films or know anything about Star Trek you can still enjoy it! Let me know in the comments out of the 13 films in the series what your favorite Star Trek movie is!