This might bristle for some people, but ever since the 2009 J.J. Abrams reboot, I’ve always felt that the Star Trek movies have seemed a bit more like Star Wars in terms of flavor. This is probably why I’ve been enjoying them, though I have heard some purists taking issue with this approach. That being said, Star Trek Beyond finally feels like a Star Trek movie, and it was awesome.
We jump in about a couple of years after the events of Star Trek: Into Darkness, the previous movie with Benedict Cumberkhan, and it looks like everyone on the Enterprise has somewhat settled into their roles. Everyone except the Captain that is, as he’s started to doubt his place; the vastness of space apparently finally getting to him. The action picks up rather quickly, though, as the Enterprise heads out on a rescue mission. Her crew, namely Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), First Officer Spock (Zachary Quinto), Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Dr. Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban), Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin), Hikaru Sulu (John Cho), and Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg), buckle in to rescue the crew of another ship that reportedly crashed just beyond a nebula. And of course, in classic Star Trek style, end up with more than they bargained for.
Venturing into the unknown, the film’s pace quickly hits warp factor five. I wasn’t sure what to expect myself, since all I know of Justin Lin is his Fast and Furious rep; but he manages to maintain that sense of pushing boundaries, a thing I feel is a defining trait of Star Trek. I have no real complaints about the movie, some small bits that bug me, but the script and movie altogether felt really tight. I’m personally a casual Trekkie at best, but I find that the crew here is finally beginning to feel like the original crew. Classic lines manage to get used without being trite, and a lot of nods to The Original Series’ continuity pop up. I’m really impressed with how Simon Pegg’s script manages to capture the sense of this crew as a family, it’s really great to see how the characters seem to be growing, and their chemistry on-screen is really enjoyable. Speaking of the script, lots of in-jokes for the fans, plus points for not forcing it.
Speaking of the fans. It’s been a bit of a year for Trekkies, what with Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin’s passing, but the latest Star Trek movie serves as an excellent tribute to the legacy these men have contributed to. Star Trek Beyond places importance on the strength of civilization, and how as the Federation grows, it can only be a good thing as we all stand together doing it. As legacies go, I think they’re pretty solid.
TL;DR, Beyond’s pretty great. But don’t take my word for it, watch it for yourself and tell us what you think in our comments! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go put on some classical music and go exploring.
Oh, also, Fun Fact: Rihanna’s new video, Sledgehammer, written for Star Trek Beyond, was shot by director Floria Sigismondi with IMAX cameras. It also debuted exclusively in IMAX theaters.
Star Trek Beyond opened in IMAX theaters nationwide, beginning July 20, 2016.