7.8/10

Star Trek Beyond is the most colourful ride in the franchise so far, and certainly a lot more light-hearted than the previous two. This instalment has the heart of the original series, but does lack a bit of the well-composed drama of the earlier J.J. Abrams directed films.

Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is tired – the vastness of space is getting to the poor guy. Apparently going through space can be lonely, who thought? Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise are sent to explore the farthest corners of space and there they encounter a lethal new enemy with a grudge and a half against the Federation. Cue war and deafening battle scenes.

After J. J. Abrams, who directed the previous two films, left the franchise for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Justin Lin from Fast and Furious fame took the chair. Not being a huge fan of that franchise, I was very sceptical. But overall, Beyond remains somewhat loyal to not only the film franchise, but also the original series. There is a tremendous sense of adventure and fun set almost entirely on one planet, exactly like episodes of the original series, and the action sequences are creative, well-executed and aside from the somewhat over-the-top opening battle with the bee-like enemy fighters, the action sequences don’t always distract from character development. One motorcycle scene with Kirk was especially well-crafted, as was the Beastie Boys scene which will surely turn some heads.

The original cast has returned in all its glory, but this time we see slightly less of Kirk and Spock and more of supporting characters such as Scotty (Simon Pegg). Scotty is a great character and seemed to be way more light-hearted in this instalment, as well as turning his Scottishness up 100% compared to the earlier films. I don’t think Scots generally say ‘lassy’ that much anymore. Speaking of lasses, Jaylah (a barely recognisable Sofia Boutella) was a standout character as a lovable but ruthless warrior. And of course, the one and only Idris Elba as Krall – evil and borderline disturbing. That voice.

Beyond’s fun and carefree attitude was wonderful for character development and made way for a lot of humour. However, I did prefer the last two for their fresh and dramatic take on such a worn-out franchise, especially Into Darkness with Cumberbatch. But it was nice to see less lens flares in Beyond. Abrams went a bit overboard with those in the previous two films.

A lot of death surrounded this movie. Leonard Nimoy after a very long career as the original Spock, and also the shock death of Anton Yelchin who played Chekov in the new movies was beyond tragic. These are films where he shines the brightest and it’s a shame that his career was probably just taking off.

Go see this film and pay respect to those who bring beautiful stories to life.

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