Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Sofia Boutella, Idris Elba
Director: Justin Lin
At the start of the film, the crew of Starship USS Enterprise is at a crossroads. Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine) is contemplating retirement altogether because the so-called final frontier of space is truly infinite and eventually he will want to settle down. His partner Spock (Zachary Quinto) has separated from his girlfriend Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and is also considering quitting altogether. Before they commit any further, a new mission arrives from the unknown areas of space. A galactic tyrant called Krall sets up a trap to lure the Enterprise toward its domain in the hope of accessing a mysterious tablet on board the Enterprise. After a brutal attack, the main crew of the spaceship is stranded on a planet, apart from each other, fighting to survive and reunite to defeat the warlord.
Star Trek Beyond is the third entry of the reboot trilogy, and the first film without director J.J. Abrams. Justin Lin of Fast and the Furious films steps in as a director, and the result is a movie that feels very "standalone’’. It’s a movie that anyone who hasn’t seen the Star Trek franchise can easily understand. At one point Captain Kirk describes his life as "episodic" a nod towards the franchise’s origin in television and the kind of story we are seeing in the film. The result is a film that knows its limits, is without the trilogy baggage of making the third film bigger, bad and more epic than the last.
Yet the trade off is that we have a movie without a lot at stake, where we have characters that start out in one place and end in the same without really changing and what we have is more or less a big expensive film that offers little for actors to do than retread plots and emotions they have gone through already. Star Trek Beyond’s action sequences are your usual CGI extravaganza. It’s serviceable, competent but more than a little sterile and entirely lacking in ideas. This will not be the last Star Trek film and hopefully the next film will have a plot that is more interesting and deep than the one we have currently, while still keeping the charm of the cast and their interactions.
The writer is programmer, Lightcube Film Society