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Star Trek: Beyond is everything you could want from a Star Trek film.

It has humor, inventiveness and action. It also has the best interaction between the main characters and some nice references to the original version.

Star Trek Beyond - Chris Pine
Star Trek Beyond – Kirk (Chris Pine) © 2016 Paramount Pictures

Star Trek: Beyond, Review: humour

The film starts off with a scene that could have been right of Galaxy Quest with Kirk (Chris Pine) trying out his diplomacy skills with some giant small toad like aliens. After being attacked and beaming up we have a gag, referencing the original television series, about his torn shirt.

In another scene he chatting with Bones (Karl Urban) and feeling a bit down and weary. He is talking about being three years in to the five-year mission (reference to the original television series setup) and things are starting to feel a bit episodic!

You can see the humor starts off well and continues through the movie.

Star Trek: Beyond, Review: inventiveness

There is an attack by aliens, the like of which we have not seen before. We don’t just have one large ship or even many ships attacking but a swam of tiny ships. The result is the Enterprise crew simply can’t cope.

There is also a fantastic star base a bit like Elysium’s man made space station but multiplied many times over. The realisation of which is an amazing credit to the special effects teams. If your into feature tech I sure you will just love it.

The alien world we eventually get to is just… alien! Maybe not quite up to Avatar but many light years away from what we are use.

Star Trek Beyond - Chekov (Anton Yelchin), Kalara (Lydia Wilson) and Kirk (Chris Pine) © 2016 Paramount Pictures
Star Trek Beyond – Chekov (Anton Yelchin), Kalara (Lydia Wilson) and Kirk (Chris Pine) © 2016 Paramount Pictures

Star Trek: Beyond, Review: action

The action, as you might expect of director Justin Lin is frenetic! One fight scene with Kirk and the aliens is set in the crashed Enterprise saucer section. There is a characteristic Justin camera manoeuvre, which in itself stems from the classic Hitchcock camera movement through the skylight into a room. For Hitchcock he used a flash of lightning to create the illusion!

In a scene in Fast and Furious we see a group of cars racing. We are in one car hearing what one group has to say, the camera somehow them swoops outside to another car and it’s occupants and then on into another! These scenes are only possible with today’s special effects.

In Star Trek: Beyond the camera is inside a corridor following the action of Kirk and crew are fighting and escaping the baddies. The camera swoops out of a gaping hole so we can see clearly the wrecked section of the ship on the alien planet and then swoops back into another hole for us to further follow the action!

Star Trek Beyond - Director Justin Lin on the set © 2016 Paramount Pictures
Star Trek Beyond – Director Justin Lin on the set © 2016 Paramount Pictures

Star Trek: Beyond, Review: technical aberrations

Things are not all excellent technically. There are a couple of less than prefect special effects scenes:-

  • The trains in the Star base space station look cartoon like
  • The start of Kirk’s bike ride looks less than credible
  • There is even a early blurry panning shot of the bridge that makes one wish for faster frame rates (a la Hobbit films).

Star Trek: Beyond, Popcorn and Deaths

Star Trek: Beyond is starting to get into a popcorn style action movie but the plot mostly holds out. Most things are sign posted before they happen, giving the audience some satisfaction and logic to the situation.

Along the way we acknowledge Leonard Nimoy’s Death with Zachary Quinto’s Spock hearing of Admiral Spock’s death. This is even nicely followed up in later scenes! Both he and Chekov actor Anton Yelchin, who died after making the film, get a nice mention in the credits.

Star Trek Beyond - Anton Yelchin and Chris Pine
Star Trek Beyond – Chekov (Anton Yelchin) and Kirk (Chris Pine) © 2016 Paramount Pictures

Star Trek: Beyond, Review: conclusion

For the ten original movies the even number films seemed to be the better one’s. For me Star Trek (2010) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) were good but took themselves a little too seriously. As a Science-Fiction fan and Star Trek fan, Star Trek: Beyond is the best of the three reboot Star Trek’s to date and certainly the most fun!

Roll on the next 50 years of Star Trek.

Star Trek Beyond - Simon Pegg, Sofia Boutella and Chris Pine
Star Trek Beyond – Scotty (Simon Pegg), Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) and Kirk (Chris Pine) © 2016 Paramount Pictures