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This year is Star Trek’s 50 year anniversary. The mega franchise has enjoyed a very successful run, and some actors are still associated with the characters they brought to life. Since it’s such a monumental year, it’s a relief to say that Beyond is indeed a great movie, with lots of memorable moments and easily the most exciting entry in the rebooted series. In addition to all this, it also manages to feel like an episode of the Original Series.
The Starship Enterprise is three years into its five year mission and Captain James T. Kirk, played by Chris Pine, is having an existential crisis of sorts. He joined Starfleet to honour his father’s memory, but now that he’s older than his father, he wonders if it captaining a starship is the right path for him. In the meantime, Spock (Zachary Quinto) has received some distressing news and is contemplating leaving as well, so that he may redirect his energies to help rebuild his nearly extinct race.
All this is put on hold, however, once the Enterprise is attacked by bee like spaceships, forcing them to crash – land and split up the crew into groups. The most entertaining of these groups is Spock and Doctor Bones (Karl Urbans), as their contrasting natures lead to some humorous interactions. Furthermore, it’s obvious that the director Justin Lin, cowriters Simon Pegg (also playing the ever witty Scotty) and Doug Hung truly understand these characters and what makes them tick.
What follows is a fairly straightforward yet entertaining plot of Kirk gathering the crew again and stopping the bad guy – Krall, a mysterious alien played by Idris Elba. Krall is the weak link in an otherwise stellar movie, as for the most part he appears simply as just another alien with a grudge against the Enterprise and the Federation as a whole. His motivations are revealed far too late into the film and even then, his plan doesn’t make all that much sense. Idris Elba is good in the role though, despite being held back by a lot of makeup.
The other new character in the film is an alien called Jaylah, who’s played Sofia Boutella. She has her own grudge against Krall, but also fears him. The character is played well by Boutella, easily conveying her pride, survival instinct and immense pain to the audience. She strikes an amusing relationship with Scotty, the engineer of the Enterprise.
The action scenes are quite creative and visually impressive, with a gravity defying sequence at the end stealing the show.
On the whole, Star Trek Beyond is the best entry in the rebooted series, and with a solid cast, some very good, in depth writing, great action scenes and that old nostalgic feel make it the perfect way to celebrate the franchise’s 50th anniversary.
My score – 8.2/10
Note to parents: Knowledge of the previous two Star Trek films would help in better understanding the film. There is a fair amount of violence in the film, in the form of space battles and hand to hand combat. However, it’s nothing a child aged 12 and above isn’t used to. There is a tad of abusive language as well. There is also a scene where characters drink hard liquor and voice its appreciation. Lastly, if you yourself enjoyed Star Trek as a child then chances are you’ll enjoy this movie too!