3.5 stars
After J.J. Abrams successfully rebooted Star Trek and delivered the franchise a new generation of happy viewers, he handed the reigns to director Justin Lin (Fast And Furious) and writer Simon Pegg (Man Up) for this third instalment, Beyond.
A good choice as it happens, as the pair work up a very watchable yarn about a vengeful alien hell bent on destroying The Federation. They’ve placed it against a backdrop of those most human of anxieties – who am I? Where do I belong? After all, Star Trek for all its sci-fi trappings has always been about exploring humanity and all its foibles. That’s it’s charm.

With Kirk (Chris Pine - Into The Woods ) and Spock (Zachary Quinto – Margin Call) both considering a future beyond the Enterprise, both begin wrestling with their sense of purpose, and sense of responsibility. Somewhat distracted, they and the rest of the crew suddenly find themselves plunged into a pickle when alien warrior Krall (Idris Elba – Bastille Day) slices their ship like so much soft cheese, plunging them on to a planet where, it turns out, other victims of Krall’s quest now reside. They have what he wants, they’re not giving it up, and the fight begins.

There’s more, of course, as Pegg’s sprightly story wrestles with what it means to be part of something greater than self: a signature Star Trek theme. Lin keeps a cracking pace and with the help of some seriously fluid camera work and equally fluid techno-pests (a swarm of killer robot bees, if you will), there’s a lot of noise and bravado as Kirk et al battle to save the Federation. There’s also a nice riff on terror from within as the story takes a pleasingly unexpected turn.

That said, this is the only thing that’s really unexpected about Star Trek: Beyond. Ultimately, this is Star Fleet issue action-adventure as we’ve come to know it in the post-Marvel martial arts universe mired in barely acknowledged carnage (forget the humanity, what about the pixels?!), one where heroes inevitably win the day. And that’s a pity, for Star Trek was always about going that little bit further, saying that little bit more, offering something fresher. It was in the titles after all: to boldly gone where no one has gone before. They don’t this time. Instead we get yet another well crafted, good-humoured, CG-laden action-adventure that admirably entertains the eye but is in such a rush to get to the end it forgets to nourish the soul. Nothing that Ambassador Spock would find particularly ‘fascinating’.


Previewed at Event Cinemas, George St, Sydney on 20 July 2016.

Chris Pine
Idris Elba
Zachary Quinto
Karl Urban

Justin Lin

Simon Pegg
Justin Lin




120 minutes

July 21, 2016
Star Trek Beyond (2016) on IMDb
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