Star Trek is fifty years old this year, which seems impossible!
I’m happy to say that this year’s movie, Star Trek Beyond, is trekking in the right direction.
The last two movies seemed all action with none of the Star Trek “feel” of going where no man has gone before. They were well done action films but Beyond goes beyond them by returning to the Star Trek “feel.”
It opens with Captain Kirk trying to reach an agreement with an alien race. It’s an amusing failure. There’s a lot of humor throughout the movie, much of it in the dialogue. The plot itself is fairly standard. A distress call is received. Kirk and crew are sent to investigate and quickly find themselves caught in a trap. Most of the movie is various crew members struggling to survive and to find each other. Kirk has to figure out a way to rescue his crew. Each of the old crew is given a scene or at least some bit of action. Sofia Boutella is introduced as Jaylah, a tough survivor with her own agenda.
So it’s an ordinary plot but well done. Along the way, the movie pauses to pay tribute to Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime. Anton Yelchin as the young Chekhov does such a fine job that it’s especially poignant to remember he died in an accident.
Idris Elba is the bad guy, Krall. He is so good that it’s frustrating that his big explanation scene near the end feels rushed. We’d like to see more of him.
All this makes for a movie that is a little overcrowded with plots but fun. Most important, it brings hope the next Star Trek will continue in the same vein.
Reviewed by: Marian Powell