In its third film, director Justin Lin takes the reigns from J.J. Abrams and takes the new Star Trek franchise to a place it hasn’t been before…the old franchise.
In “Star Trek Beyond,” the new series embraces its roots, and has a little bit more fun.
The crew of the USS Enterprise is in the middle of its 5 year mission into deep space, and most of its members are starting to get a bit restless. Thankfully, the same can not be said for the spirit of the film.The Enterprise takes a brief break from their 5 year mission to attend a meeting on the incredibly opulent space station known as Yorktown. While there, an escape pod arrives. It’s passenger asks for help rescuing her crew who is stranded on a nearby planet. Not too surprisingly, the rescue mission turns out to be an ambush that destroys the Enterprise, and scatters the crew.
While the ambush might not be unexpected, it does allow for an interesting exploration of the crew’s dynamic. Spock (Zachary Quinto) and McCoy (Karl Urban) get to work through their issues. Meanwhile we learn that Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) has an excellent relationship with everyone in his crew, including his survival buddy Chekov (Anton Yelchin). And Lieutenants Sulu, Uhura, and Scotty prove that they’re pretty much the most competent individuals on the ship, and rest of the crew would be lost without them.
It’s a fun ride, even if the story’s flow isn’t always perfect. It’s hard to be too judgmental when you’re having so much fun.
Of course, it’s not all fun. It’s hard to forget the fallen members of this fantastic cast. Especially the recently deceased Anton Yelchin who has taken Chekov from a minor character to one of the series favorites. His performance is heartbreaking, in that it is one of the last times we’ll see the gifted young actor perform.
The cast as a whole really seems to have come into its own in this latest chapter. They’re no longer trying to make the characters their own, they are the crew of the USS Enterprise.
Fans of the original series and the new one will find common ground in the latest Star Trek film. It’s not perfect, but it’s perfectly enjoyable and entertaining from beginning to end.
…just for fun: