© Paramount Pictures Germany GmbH

Star Trek Beyond
U.S.A. 2016

Opening 21 Jul 2016

Directed by: Justin Lin
Writing credits: Simon Pegg, Doug Jung, Gene Roddenberry
Principal actors: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg

Captain Kirk: “My Dad joined Star Fleet because he believed in it. I joined on a dare.”  Bones: “You joined to see if you could live up to him, and you have spent all this time trying to be your Dad. And now you are wondering what it means to be you.”

And so it begins… the Federation’s voyage of discovery and Captain Kirk’s voyage of self-discovery.

The newest installment of Star Trek finds the crew of the Enterprise in year three of a five-year space exploration mission. Landing on space station Yorktown (affectionately named after the central starship in Gene Roddenberry’s first Star Trek Proposal to NBC in 1964), the Federation officers encounter an alien who claims that her ship and people have been taken hostage by an unknown alien and are in imminent danger. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) receives Star Fleet orders to assist and take the Enterprise and crew into uncharted territory, thereby upholding the mission of the United Federation of Planets (whose principal means are for conducting deep-space exploration, research, defense, peacekeeping and diplomacy). While on this mission the crew encounters Krall (Idris Elba), a ruthless villain whose intent is to destroy Yorktown along with the federation.

Star Trek Beyond, wonderfully written by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, is a thoroughly engaging, content-rich and character-driven installment of the Star Trek brand. The film’s opening coincides with the 50-year anniversary of Gene Rodenberry’s timeless Star Trek legacy. What stands out in this film is how Pegg and Jung have woven humor and depth into these well-known and well-loved characters. The film is something you can immerse yourself into while delighting in the CGI (computer generated images) of this new universe.

We see Spock (Zachary Quinto) as the logical, sequential, emotionless officer who interacts with Bones (Karl Urban), the glib, emotion filled doctor. The writing and humor in the dialogue shows us the depth of emotion and caring that has developed between these two.  Scotty’s (Simon Pegg) great comic style makes the new Star Trek character Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) all the more memorable and enjoyable to watch. She is going to be a great addition to Star Fleet. Needless to say the wonderful performance by Chris Pine as Captain Kirk leaves you energized while cheering on the hero who will help to preserve humanity and insure peace among worlds.

I love going to a film where audience excitement is palpable throughout the theater. So it was from the moment of the opening titles to the closing credits where audience members sat satisfyingly mesmerized. Boldly go where you have been before…to a theater near you to see a great summer blockbuster. And as Spock would say, “Live long and prosper!” (Abby Myers)

Second Opinion

The crew of the USS Enterprise is on their five-year mission to seek out new life and new civilizations when they are lured into an uncharted part of space to help an alien ship in distress. Instead of an easy victory, they face unknown technology which brings them to their knees. Captain Kirk (Pine) and his crew and a new ally must work together to defeat this new enemy and prevent the murder of millions of people under Federation protection.

Star Trek Beyond is the third part of the rebooted alternative universe Star Trek films which include Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). Star Trek rebooted the series drawing a perfect amount of references from the source material and original ideas. Star Trek Into Darkness was a perfect example of how source material can bog down a reboot to the point where it is no longer enjoyable. Luckily, with Star Trek Beyond screenwriters Simon Pegg and Doug Jung along with director Justin Lin have managed to strike the correct balance seen in the first film once again. In a way, this third part of the series has the feel of an episode from the classic series it is based upon: the crew comes across a dangerous alien race who threatens their lives and the lives of innocents, and through bravado and wit they manage to save the day.

The cast continues to shine in their roles, particularly Chris Pine, Karl Urban, and Anton Yelchin (who tragically passed away shortly before the film premiered). It was nice to see the focus on the original three leads (Kirk, Bones, and Spock) once again, though Uhura (Saldana) is still given a sizable role. While Star Trek Beyond is generally a fun romp, it, like its predecessors, fails to come up with a viable villain. There are also moments when it becomes more than a little ridiculous, but considering it is from a film franchise which once thought time-traveling whales was a good idea for a plot line (and boy was it a good idea), perhaps it’s just best to go with the flow even when things go a little too over-the-top. It’s a glossy, enjoyable action film which will inevitably leave you smiling and looking forward to the fourth installment which has already been greenlit. (Rose Finlay)

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