Directed by: Justin Lin – Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba
Following the recent tragic death of Anton Yelchin, Star Trek Beyond was always going to stir deep emotions in an audience, coming as it does mere weeks after he was killed in a freak accident.
Even the most objective viewer will find themselves getting somewhat emotional when he appears on the screen as Chekov. And he is on screen a lot in this, the third outing for the rebooted franchise, as his role has been beefed up considerably, making this all the more poignant.
This sees the crew of The USS Enterprise halfway through their five year mission, with some adapting to the rigours of life in space better than others. When they dock at a Federation outpost in order to replenish supplies, they find themselves sent on a rescue mission for an alien craft, seemingly trapped in a nebula.
However what they find is actually a swarm of ships, led by a mysterious life form called Krall (Elba) and they are attacked, forcing them to abandon ship. With some of the crew taken prisoner, and the rest all scattered on a strange planet with no apparent means of rescue, they must try and regroup and defeat Krall, before he can wreak havoc throughout the Federation.
All of the cast have settled into their roles at this stage, and here we get even more insight into the various characters, helping us understand what makes them tick. All of the actors have a wonderful chemistry together, and they genuinely seem to enjoy working together, which is lovely to watch.
Elba makes for a suitably imposing villain, and is unrecognisable for most of the movie. At times, he is the wrong side of hammy, but when you realise what a complex character he is playing, you can understand this somewhat.
This keeps up the tradition of honouring the original cast, with a couple of photo cameos that will give fans of the original series a thrill. Most importantly, these moments never feel contrived, and are a valid part of the story, meaning that they appear seamless.
Although this is very much a spectacle and looks wonderful, this is not at the expense of the story, and this has a lot of heart. It also has epic set pieces and action scenes, and lots of extremely thrilling, edge-of-your-seat moments. They haven’t skimped on the effects, and the battle-scenes are truly breathtaking.
This was co-written by Scotty actor, Simon Pegg, and his quirky humour is scattered throughout, making for a very enjoyable watch. At just about 2 hours, it doesn’t outstay its welcome, and it leaves you uplifted and grinning, much like a fairground ride would. However, you will also find yourself dwelling on the fate of the aforementioned Yelchin.
Not just one for the fans – anyone who likes a good old-fashioned space romp will love this. Hugely entertaining, but also a well-thought-out addition to the franchise, this bodes well for future instalments.
In Cinemas Now!