Star Trek Beyond (2016) review

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With the 50th anniversary of Star Trek this year, we get the latest entry in the reboot series, Star Trek Beyond. The film avoids the excessive fan service of Into Darkness, but still has subtle nods for fans in the same fashion as the 2009 movie. The ensemble works great here. They are split up into groups (which is somewhat reminiscent of IV). This highlights individual talents of the crew, and it’s great when they all reunite at the end and fix the problem together.

The whole cast is great, but the best pairing has to be Bones and Spock, whose rapport is tremendous fun and in the vein of the original series. Chris Pine was also great as Kirk again. I enjoyed his character arc in the film, which dealt with his feelings of Starfleet. The death of the original Spock (Nimoy) was also well worked into the plot and new Spock’s character. It was also bittersweet to see Anton Yelchin as Chekov again. His role here seemed to be bigger than it was in the previous films. He was a great addition to the cast and I am genuinely saddened that he is no longer with us. Sappy as this may sound, Chekov has always been one of my favorite characters in the franchise (he was even the namesake of my pet rock when I was 9 years old).

Simon Pegg is also excellent as usual as Scotty. He brings in many laughs and I also think he did a good job co-writing the film, in the tradition of Trek cast members ( Let’s just say was definitely a Nimoy or a Frakes, not a Shatner). My only problems with the ensemble is that Sulu and Uhura seemed underutilized. I did like how Uhura interacted with the villain, and drew out key plot points.

Speaking of the villain, Idris Alba appears in excessive makeup as the film’s antagonist, Krall. I love Elba as an actor, but I would’ve liked to have seen him act without all of that makeup on. We do get a brief bit at the end where he does have less makeup on. This is a common problem with sci-fi/ fantasy blockbusters (see Christopher Eccleston in Thor: The Dark World). Given what he had, Alba did a satisfactory job. I also think that his motives and backstory could’ve been expanded upon. I think more of his logs were needed…

On the whole, I really enjoyed the film. It was another fun blockbuster and a good entry in the Star Trek canon. I can’t wait for the crew to return in the fourth film and I am excited for the new Star Trek tv series coming out next year. Star Trek Beyond is a good film and worthy of the 50th anniversary year.

7.5/10

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