Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Star Trek Beyond


This year marks Star Trek’s 40th birthday and ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ (directed by Justin Lin) out now, is the latest film instalment of the franchise. After the last film, ‘Into Darkness’, some viewers were concerned that the ‘Star Trek’ had lost its initial appeal, but ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ boldly goes back to basics to bring back the ‘Star Trek’ that we all know and love.

Well into their ten year journey that the USS Enterprise had embarked on at the end of the last film, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew make a slight detour to help a survivor called Kalara, who has lost her own crew just outside of Altamid. The detour results in a full scale attack with the Enterprise sustaining fatal damage, and the crew ending up stranded on the planet. Krall (Idris Elba), the mysterious bad guy behind the attack takes the majority of the crew captive, and it’s up to Kirk and the gang to stop Krall and find a way off Altamid.
I’ve got the mention the CGI first because some of it is just breath-taking – a lot has been put into these visuals, and it makes great viewing. There’s a lot of action throughout the film and so we’re treated to a variety of different epic space scenes, from thousands of bee-like spaceships destroying the Enterprise, to crash landings that keep you on the edge of your seat. Unfortunately the film feels a bit like it’s itching to show as much action as possible and so there’s not quite as much quality downtime as the last two films, but generally it’s an exciting watch.
The character dynamics are brilliant yet again, with Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Bones (Karl Urban) becoming an amusing double-act. Quinto’s portrayal of Spock is spot-on, as before, and I really felt like he was the star of the show. There were also fantastic performances from Simon Pegg as Scotty (who co-wrote the film), Sofia Boutella as Jaylah, and the late Anton Yelchin as Chekov, who will be greatly missed in future instalments.
Despite being a fan of Idris Elba I wasn’t so impressed with Krall as a character – although Elba played the part very well, I felt like the character development wasn’t up to much. He was very mysterious for most of the film and only really explored at the very end. There wasn’t much depth to him, meaning that he ended up as a pretty average bad guy, and certainly came nowhere near to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan in ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’.
Although the film was generally really enjoyable, I also felt like the plot wasn’t as good as it could have been – like many sequels, it just wasn’t as good as the first one. The storyline wasn’t quite strong enough for a whole film, instead feeling like a chapter of something bigger. This does, however, suggest that maybe we’re going to be treated to more ‘Star Trek’ films in the future though, and so maybe this isn’t such a bad thing.

Despite not having the most engaging of introductions, once it gets going ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ is a film that is certainly exhilarating at points. The humour is on form the whole way through, and you certainly won’t find yourself getting bored if you’re big on the sci-fi genre. What you see is really what you get with this one, but that’s probably why it’s such a great watch. 4/5

★★★★☆


Hannah Read


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