“As someone who passively likes Star Trek, this is my favorite Star Trek film”
Star Trek Beyond is the third entry in the reboot of the Star Trek franchise. It is also the thirteenth in the film series overall. This film is special because it comes out during the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. So how was the film? One of my favorite of the summer. I am not the biggest Star Trek fan. I enjoy the franchise as a whole but I can never say that it has been my favorite. It’s always been there and I would watch the movies and catch episodes of the various shows here and there.
This film picks up about three years into the five years mission of the Starship Enterprise. The crew has all gotten acclimated with one another. This must be true of the cast as they all seem to gel very well with one another. Problems start to arise when Kirk is questioning his existence as he is now older than his father when he died. Wondering if he is fit to lead the crew and if his entire being there is just a sham. Wanting something new in his life and away from the Enterprise.
Things get interesting when they encounter Krall. Krall is out to destroy Starfleet and his first target is the crew of the Enterprise. This leads them stranded on an alien planet where they are forced to ally with Jaylah. This is where the film got interesting for me as the previous two movies were mainly focused on Kirk and Spock. While they are still the lynchpins, this movie is much more of an ensemble film. The members are splintered off and are taken into different group dynamics.
The other members of the Enterprise get a chance to shine. Uhura, Chekov, Sulu and Scotty all get moments and show why they are important. The one standout is Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy. There have always been hints here and there in the past two movies but he really stands out. Another scene stealer is Sofia Boutella as Jaylah. She is also a scene stealer as she brings a fun and unique energy to the cast. Though Starfleet is composed of many alien races, there are few actually on the Enterprise. Not to give too much away, it will be interesting to see where she goes if this series continues.
Idris Elba is the big bad of the movie, Krall. He is pretty unrecognizable in the role. The only way to recognize him is if they did something more with his voice. Out of the villains in the reboot franchise, he is probably the best. That is something of damned praise as the previous two were not that memorable. It is a simple revenge plot but there is a certain twist with the character that was unexpected. Elba can read the phonebook and make it interesting so he does help elevate this villain because it could have been pretty generic if played by a lesser actor.
As said earlier, Star Trek is not one of my favorite franchises out there. I greatly respect it though. Justin Lin, who revitalized The Fast and The Furious franchise, has revitalized this franchise here. Many expected that he would go more bombastic when taking over. In fact he did the opposite. This is much more a character piece with crazy set pieces. Credit goes to writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung as they find a nice balance to pay homage to what Star Trek is about while appealing to a more casual movie going audience.