Star Trek Beyond (2016)
Filled with numerous references to the original Star Trek series, packing sufficient dose of action-laden moments, and making brilliant use of its blockbuster ingredients, the third instalment in the rebooted Star Trek series is no memorable entry but it does enough to qualify as one of the most enjoyable, amusing & satisfactory blockbusters to surface on the big screen, this year.
The story of Star Trek Beyond finds Captain James T. Kirk & his crew aboard the USS Enterprise in the middle of its 5-year mission as they continue to explore the uncharted realms of space. Things are set in motion when they encounter a new ruthless enemy who destroys their ship, strands them on a remote planet with no means of communication, and is in possession of an ancient bioweapon.
Directed by Justin Lin, Star Trek Beyond is the first in the rebooted series to be not helmed by J.J. Abrams but his absence isn’t strongly felt as Lin brings all his experience from The Fast & the Furious franchise to give this sequel a full-throttled push that keeps the plot running at swift pace & is consistent in its delivery of action segments. The story follows a darker route yet for the most part, it is a risk-free journey.
Lin’s kinetic direction makes sure that boredom never sets in, its sense of adventure is never lost, and there’s a welcome attempt to balance its different genre elements, at which it succeeds. The set pieces are grand & eye-popping, the dynamic camerawork & vivid use of colour palette gives its images a vibrant look n feel, Editing is finely carried out, while Michael Giacchino’s lively score infuses a flavour of its own.
Coming to the performances, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho & Zoe Saldana exhibit better comfort in their reprising roles and chip in with fine inputs. The new additions include Idris Elba & Sofia Boutella, with former managing to give an intimidating vibe to his character on few occasions while the latter is an absolute show-stealer. Urban, Yelchin, Cho & Pegg get a major upgrade in their screen time and all of them utilise it brilliantly.
On an overall scale, Star Trek Beyond is guilty of travelling a predictable road without risking much but the positives clearly outweighs the negatives here as this second sequel is darker, bigger & surprisingly more engaging than its predecessors and has plenty in store for both Trekkies as well as casual filmgoers. It doesn’t add much to the revitalised series but it doesn’t take away anything either and keeps alive the momentum that was generated by the last two entries. A well-rounded blockbuster, this sci-fi adventure is a perfectly fine addition to the ever-expanding universe of Star Trek.