Star Trek is arguably the most famous Sci-Fi series of all time; it’s typically the first thing to come to mind when the genre is mentioned – either that or Star Wars – because it is an icon of pop culture. After several TV shows and several movies, the franchise made a come back in 2009 when J.J. Abrams rebooted the Enterprise into another universe, and now we’re onto the new series’ third installment, Star Trek Beyond, which is quite easily the best one we’ve had yet.
After docking at Starbase Yorktown, the USS Enterprise, halfway into their five-year mission, ventures into new dangerous uncharted territory. There, the Enterprise is destroyed by a new ruthless enemy with a deep hatred of the Federation, and strands Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew on a remote planet with no means of communication. Kirk must then work with the elements to reunite his crew and get back to save Starbase Yorktown from this dangerous menace.
The trailers for this film were not promising, but Good Lord, this film delivered; this is hands down the most best film in the trilogy. The action is excellent, which you might think was to be expected with Fast and Furious director Justin Lin at the helm, however myself and many others worried that film’s style of action wouldn’t suit Star Trek. We were proved wrong, and Beyond had so many intense sequences that never felt like they broke away from the film and it’s themes, and, instead, just provided an enthralling experience. The cinematography is a treat, and the vibrancy of this film is unmatched by it’s predecessors.
This film’s biggest plus is the way it uses it’s characters. While we’re used to seeing this crew working together on the ship, this film split them up and stranded on an unfamiliar planet, leading to some amazing character development for just about everyone, especially Bones and Spock. Karl Urban and Zachary Quinto really blew it out of the water this time; their scenes shared in the cave are very engaging, and fantastically written. But it’s not just what they do with their current characters, but what they do with their new characters too. The introduction of Krall and Jaylah was a wise move, with Krall being a terrifying and interesting villain played to near perfection by Idris Elba (nothing on Cumberbatch’s Khan, though) and Jaylah being an exciting and welcome addition to our heroes (not to mention the make up for both of them is fantastic). All of the performances in this film are excellent; Zoe Saldana and John Cho offer their best performances yet in the franchise, Simon Pegg is hilarious, Anton Yelchin gives a wonderful send off performance.
It’s Chris Pine who deserves the most credit of them all. Whilst he’s not bad in the first two films, it’s taken him a long time to really sink the action hero role. He’s fantastic in comedy, but so far his, his status as an action star has been incredibly underwhelming, but here he truly shines, and it’s largely because things become more personal for Kirk. He nails the issues and insecurities that Kirk faces as a person, and nails the heroic and hilarious nature of them an when he’s in action.
Let’s face it, the summer movie season of 2016 really wasn’t that great. A lot of duds, a lot of bombs, and a lot of forgettable blockbusters. But Star Trek Beyond really stood out from the crowd for being fun, inventive, memorable and easily one of the best blockbusters of the year. It’s a rewarding and satisfying film that serves as a great mood lifted, a wonderful tribute to the original series and an all round excellent Sci-Fi film.
Star Trek Beyond is out on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital now