Star Trek Beyond - Review

PG-13  |  120 min  |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi 
Review - Matt Mungle

*In theaters July 22nd 2016*

SynopsisThe USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

Review: If ever a film had pressure to perform it is the third installment in the Star Trek reboot franchise, STAR TREK BEYOND. Following two very succesful movies this one had a new director but a strong returning cast. No worries, right?

Fans of the classic series certainly have nothing to worry about as this one is written especially with them in mind. Though as technically impressive as the others this one had a more nostalgic sci-fi feel. The characters seemed more "grown -up" and 5 years in deep space had matured them of some of their post academy swagger. They are reflective and preoccupied with thoughts of life and loss. The mission is still clear and the are quick to respond but they also have learned a lot along the way. 

This emotional layer is not so thick that we lose the wit and banter that made the franchise so succesful. There is much well written humor in this script too. Plus the action is powerful and impactful. It is all just mixed in with a pensive solution that gives it depth. We long ago fell in fan-love with these characters and in this one we truly get to know them. 

Since most of the movie is set on a distant planet and not aboard the Enterprise the characters are allowed more movement and the story line more arcs. At points they are separated and the pairings give us a chance to see them in different dynamics. Bones (Karl Urban) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) especially get to butt heads in this adventure while Kirk (Chris Pine) wrestles with his own mortality and that of of his father. 

Idris Elba as the sinister Krall is exceptional. There is a pivotal scene in which he delivers one of the most powerful speeches ever in a sci-fi action film. It is award worthy and one that sets him apart as a formidable thespian. Before that his character slowly builds in tension and seething rage. His anger is fully controlled and he never allows it override his thought processes. This makes him a worthy adversary of the Enterprise crew.

Everything in this movie works as it should. It is the perfect addition to the franchise but at the same time is a movie all its own. You can tell it is related to but not joined at the hip with its movie brothers. It follows its own path but always keeps you close to what you know and love. STAR TREK BEYOND is a testament to the longevity of the characters and missions. I give it 4.5 out of 5 boom boxes. It is one I will watch again and again. 

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