Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Jon Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella
This review is spoiler free!
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. (Source: IMDb)
The trailers for the latest in JJ Abrams’ rebooted Star Trek franchise showed a lot of promise, particularly the last one soundtracked by a haunting Rihanna song. The preceding films have been a little patchy; the first was good fun but was weighed down a little by the amount of set-up it needed to do. The second, Into Darkness, had good moments but was a bit of a mess overall, and displeased a lot of Trekkies! Now I am a sci-if fan, but Star Trek has never really been my bag, and in fact these new films were the first exposure I had to this beloved franchise! But please don’t stop reading there, I’ve got lots of love for these movies!
I watched this latest instalment as part of a triple bill at the cinema, and with a well timed nap in Into Darkness, I awoke reinvigorated and excited for what lay Beyond! What this movie marathon did, as well as highlighting the huge flaws in the troublesome second movie, it really cemented that Beyond is easily the best out of this rebooted series. Easily.
The effects have been solid throughout this series, and continue to shine in this film. Lin’s direction and technique is dynamic and interesting; the expansive Enterprise, very much a character in it’s own right, looks particularly stunning! There’s some really unique and interesting direction choices, and the action set pieces are very striking.
The interplay between characters is very strong in this film. There’s a wonderful air of familiarity, with all the actors now feeling very settled in their roles. It feels like checking in with old friends, and it’s great fun spending time with them. Without spoiling too much, there is an event which causes the crew members to be momentarily separated, and this leads to some wonderful opportunities to explore some character dynamics and relationships which maybe haven’t been looked at in the previous films. In particular, I loved the relationship between Bones (Urban) and Spock (Quinto); the polar opposites of each other, they have wonderful onscreen chemistry and the perfect “odd couple” dynamic.
Simon Pegg’s script is fizzy yet purposeful; he clearly knows, loves, and understands these characters, and the whole thing is thoroughly entertaining.
The new characters are great; Sofia Boutella’s Jayla being the standout for me. In Idris Elba’s Krall, we also have maybe the best bad guy out of all the ones we’ve seen in this rebooted series so far. His deep tones completely lend themselves to playing a bad guy, and to act through all that make-up has to be commended as well.
It is sadly difficult to talk about this film without addressing the tragic loss of Anton Yelchin. It is however in the next film that his absence will be most keenly felt, and in this, his final film, there is the opportunity to celebrate what an exciting young talent he was. He really threw himself into playing Chekov, totally making the character his own, and I’m pleased that he won’t be recast for the next film. This film stands as a wonderful tribute, and there’s a beautiful unintentionally poignant moment towards the end which really cements this.
There’s not too much to report here thankfully! This film is certainly great fun, but in some of its attempts to be as fun-packed space adventure, the plot loses a little direction around the midway point. It does redeem itself, but there were just a few moments where I felt unsure about it’s purpose.
This may just be because I watched all three back to back, but it did seem a little formulaic at times, but once again it does redeem itself in the end, and in this instance, with maybe the best use of Beastie Boys seen on film!
I saw this movie and you should too. I had a really great time watching this movie, and if you felt underwhelmed by the previous two, this may well be the one that changes your mind! It’s fast-paced, action-packed, funny, with some great performances, and undoubtedly my favourite out of the new movies so far! Definitely worth a watch, and it seems these films may live long and prosper after all!
Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a terribly misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Please let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to share as well.