When Rich Kid posted his Bite Size Review of ‘Star Trek Beyond’ the other day, I kind of thought he may have been exaggerating about how good the movie was. I thought ‘Star Trek’ was a fantastic movie and a great way to reinvigorate a badly flagging franchise. ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ is a pretty flawed movie, but I still managed to enjoy it on some level. With JJ Abrams gone from the director’s chair and Simon Pegg and Doug Jung taking over script writing duties, I really wasn’t expecting much of anything from ‘Beyond’. In a summer that has been stacked with Superhero highs and lows, I was struggling to see how Star Trek could stay relevant as a franchise given the fierce competition it was up against. Well, I needn’t have worried. ‘Star Trek Beyond’ is by far the best movie I have seen this summer and it has a strong damn case for being the best Star Trek movie ever! Yes, I said it, come at me Trekkies I ain’t scared of you!
‘Beyond’ takes up after the events of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’, with the crew adjusting to life and the trials of space exploration. Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) yearns for a life that provides more excitement, but he soon gets more than he bargained for. What appears to be a routine rescue mission soon devolves into a deadly assault on the Enterprise by the mysterious alien Krall (Idris Elba) and his forces, who seem determined to wage a vicious war against the Federation. When Krall’s expertly planned assault leaves the crew grounded and under threat, Kirk, Spock (Zachary Quinto), Dr McCoy (Karl Urban) and the others must band together with a courageous survivor Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) to find a way out and stop Krall from fully unleashing a fearsome weapon of destruction on the galaxy.
To tell you anymore at this point would be to spoil some of the very pleasant surprises that are coming your way, but trust me, if you lost faith in the franchise and ‘Into Darkness’ this will will restore it and them some. The cast in this film are fantastic, seeming to have relished their roles and fully understanding the dynamics of each of their characters. This is in part thanks to the great script from Pegg and Jung that manages to cram in all the classic Star Trek tropes along with plenty of modern wit and style. Justin Lin brings his now trademark flair for capturing destruction and chaos with verve and excitement. I’m hoping the producers can lure him away from the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise one more time, as his style brings the kind of fresh energy the Trek movies desperately need. Krall is one of the most charismatic villains you’ll see in any movie this summer, and his motivations are so well thought out, that come the climax of the film, you’ll begin to wonder why you are not rooting for him. The other newcomer played by Sofia Boutella is a particular delight. A no nonsense warrior with enough endearing humanity to make the character a new fan favourite. The visual effects are jaw droppingly good, with the attack on the Enterprise being a particular highlight both in its creative display and execution, I was literally gripping the edges of my seat throughout.
I cannot recommend this movie highly enough. It is the perfect summer blockbuster that will please fans and newcomers alike with its brash energy and style. If you only go to see one other movie this season, please make sure it’s this one!
Final score : 5 out 5.