Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond

In Theatres: 
Jul 22, 2016
Running Time: 
120 minutes

2009’s Star Trek was all about Kirk (Chris Pine), and while its follow up, Star Trek Into Darkness, further explored the relationship between him and Spock (Zachary Quinto), it was still primarily the Captain Kirk show. Star Trek Beyond finally gets away from all the focus being on Kirk and learns what it means for a member of his crew. Despite a lackluster storyline, the film features the most developed characters of the reboot franchise thus far.


Beyond takes place right after Into Darkness as Captain Kirk and his USS Enterprise crew are halfway into their 5-year exploration mission in deep space. In their travels so far they’ve encountered new lifeforms and societies for Starfleet to form diplomatic relationships with, although Kirk’s success rate isn’t exactly top notch in that department. While on a brief leave at Starbase Yorktown, Kirk and his crew volunteer for a rescue mission in uncharted space. The mission quickly turns bad when it is revealed to be a setup by Krall (Idris Elba), a vengeful being hell-bent on putting together an ancient doomsday weapon and wreaking havoc across the galaxy. What was supposed to be a rescue mission for Kirk and his crew ends up with them being the ones who need rescue.


There’s rarely a time when the USS Enterprise isn’t on the brink of destruction and with Star Trek Beyond it finally happens; the ship is completely destroyed. With the crew stranded and separated from each other on a foreign planet with a madman after them, we get to see how everyone acts outside of the guidance of their fearless captain. It’s great to finally explore more of Bones (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Sulu (John Cho), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), and Chekov (Anton Yelchin). They’re all different groups, the most entertaining of which is with Bones and Spock. The previous two films have showed how much Kirk is annoyed with Spock’s logic, and it’s hilarious to see how much it also irritates other members of the crew. There’s a lot more humor this time around, which can mostly be attributed to Simon Pegg’s script.


While the Enterprise crew and humor is great, the story itself isn’t nearly as strong. I was most disappointed by Krall himself, whose more like your stereotypical cookie cutter villain rather than someone who’s truly threatening. Idris Elba is highly underutilized in the role, and his dialogue is borderline atrocious. You don’t really get a sense for his reasoning behind what he’s doing until the absolute end, and by that time you just don’t care. The newly introduced Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) is handled much better, thankfully. She’s both a fighter and an engineer who helps out Scotty and the rest of the crew escape from Krall’s clutches. Here’s hoping we see her return in the fourth Star Trek film and not pull a Carol Marcus and just disappear after being welcomed to the team.


Star Trek Beyond manages to look beyond the nostalgic feels fans have for the franchise and makes audiences care for the other members of the USS Enterprise besides just Kirk and Spock. Its focus on the entire crew and not just its leader separates the film from its predecessors, although the story and villain could have used some more tweaking. Still, this is one deep space adventure you won’t want to miss. Beyond finally begins to pave its own path for the series rather than simply paying homage to the past.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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