The USS Enterprise crew are now halfway into their five year mission to explore the furthest reaches of outer space, after stopping off at state-of-the-art space station Yorktown they intercept a distress signal, they take in the distressed person and in order to save the rest of her crew they must travel through an uncharted nebula. Shortly upon arriving they are viciously ambushed by a powerful and mysterious new foe of the federation.
We are now at the tricky third instalment into the thus far highly successful Star Trek reboot series. Although it hasn’t been without its hiccups – lens flares aside – the series has been criticised (not by me) for veering too far away from the spirit of the original series and being too dark. These critiques arose mostly around the second outing Into Darkness. So now with a new director (Justin Lin of Fast 5) Star Trek Beyond has taken a far more light hearted approach to proceedings. The outcome is a massively enjoyable if fairly lightweight popcorn action movie. There is definitely less of a moral discussion going on here, but it’s just so much fun to watch you honestly won’t care.
For me the best of these new Trek films is still the 2009 original reboot, which I think perfectly balanced fun and serious themes. With Into Darkness sacrificing fun for a moral investigation, and Beyond sacrificing true depth for a rollicking great rollercoaster. While in terms of plot Star Trek is pretty lightweight, it doesn’t however scrimp on character development – especially on inter-character relationships. Beyond isn’t just the Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) show as it has been in danger of being in previous outings, in fact Karl Urban’s Bones very nearly steal the entire film with him and Spock’s interactions. And far more than ever before this really is a film about the crew of the enterprise and although Idris Elba is as always a very convincing and threatening villain he does take a backseat where Benedict Cumberbatch had been the main character in the last one.
Overall, if like me and many others you wanted Into Darkness just to be more fun you will have a great time with Star Trek Beyond. It’s not the best of the series but it is an excellent and very funny at times ride.