by Henry Hill
Stringer Bell from HBO’s The Wire vs. Captain Kirk, who wins? We all do. This is my spoiler-free review of Star Trek Beyond.
Since J.J. Abrams gave us the fantastic 2009 reboot of Star Trek, we’ve all been reminded just how fun it can be to beam up into space and enjoy creator Gene Roddenberry’s space adventures. The new cast with Chris Pine at the helm as Captain James Tiberius Kirk have a great chemistry on screen together and they make you willing to follow them wherever they choose to boldly go. The sequel, 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, solidified the staying power of the new crew and gave the Federation a worthy adversary in the form of Benedict Cumberbatch’s John Harrison (Or was it something else, hmm…).
J.J. Abrams returned to helm the second installment and while it wasn’t quite as enjoyable as the first movie, it went on to gross nearly $100 million more at the box office, so Star Trek Beyond was quickly green-lit. Initially, the producer of the first two films, Bob Orci, was hired to pen the script but ended up bowing out. Montgomery Scott himself, Simon Pegg was brought in the write the screenplay for the new adventure. Director Justin Lin, who directed Fast & Furious 6, came on board to direct the film. The result is a Star Trek film that brings back the same wonder and adventure from the original series.
This time around, the story picks up with the crew in the third year of their five year journey into deep space and Captain Kirk is feeling burned out seeing the same endless space and able to interact only with those on his ship day in and day out. Luckily, the ship is going to be docking at a large space station and the crew will get the chance to get off of the ship for awhile and recharge their batteries. Kirk has been thinking of stepping down as captain and recommending Spock as Captain. Of course the crew doesn’t get long to relax before a new threat emerges. A ship approaches the station with a distress signal and the creature aboard the ship pleads with Kirk for their help. Kirk being Kirk doesn’t take long to contemplate the situation but immediately gathers the crew on the ship to head out to where the trouble is. The ship is attacked by Idris Elba’s villain Krall and the match is made. The crew will need to work together and find help in the form of Jayla (Sofia Boutella from Kingsman: The Secret Service), an alien who is in need of a favor from a certain engineer in return for helping them against Krall.
I’ve always been more of a Star Wars fan than I am of Star Trek, not to say that I’m not a fan of Star Trek, because I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s just that I went out of my way as a kid to own every single edition of the original trilogy that George Lucas released on VHS (on retrospect, I wish I would have kept that $25 I paid for that craptastic special edition trilogy with added scenes and full of unnecessary cgi). These new set of Star Trek films are just a lot of fun and I feel like J.J. Abrams deserves most of that credit for putting together this great cast and for making these movies full of funny dialogue and great interaction between the characters. Star Trek Beyond is full of jokes that will make you smile from my two personal favorite characters, Scotty and Bones, played by the fantastic Simon Pegg and the underrated Karl Urban. It’s also action packed, and Director Justin Lin directs some really impressive action sequences here. One sequence in particular towards the end of the film features Kirk on a motorcycle creating a diversion so that they can be rescued. It wouldn’t be a Star Trek film with some really wild and crazy looking aliens, and their are a wide variety of them in this film. Speaking of variety, kudos to Simon Pegg for adding in more diversity into the film in the form of the female character Jayla and by casting Idris Elba as the villain. Star Trek has always been about bringing together all walks of life and existing and working together in the name of peace.
I give Star Trek Beyond 4/5 hairpieces and can’t wait for the fourth entry that has already been announced and that will bring back Kirk’s father from the 2009 film, played by Chris Hemsworth. Cheers!