Three years into a five-year mission, the crew of the Star Trek Enterprise make a routine stop at the Yorktown Star Fleet space station. There, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is tasked with locating a missing vessel, a mission that ends in an ambush. The villainous Krall (Idris Elba) crashes the Enterprise, stealing away most of the crew and stranding the rest on a nearby planet.
Star Trek Beyond is a lot of bells and whistles, flashing lights and sweeping camera moves. While this at times yields action-packed returns and visuals that call for oohs and ahs, the spectacle as a whole is more of a mesh of effects than a dazzling show. It all feels artificial, even for a science-fiction film, even when it is entertaining.
The acting ensemble is, as in previous installments, a top-notch remastering of the original show’s campy characters. Karl Urban and Zachary Quinto have perhaps the best rapport, their arc of cynical camaraderie a goldmine of comic relief and genuine character progression. Sofia Boutella’s introduced character of Jayla is also a helpful addition to the picture. In contrast, Elba’s villain is incredibly lacking, only getting a real persona midway through the climax of the film.
Fans of Star Trek will likely find more to enjoy in the film than this reviewer, and audiences looking for a blind array of action spectacle may get more than they are expecting. Those wanting a building science-fiction franchise with mythos and meaningful character arcs, on the other hand, will be disappointed by the small steps that this third installment takes.
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)