Short reviews for clear and concise verdicts on a broad range of films…
Star Trek Beyond (Justin Lin / 2016)
The Enterprise blasts back into our universe with an exciting, action-packed adventure with our Star Fleet explorers. A diverse cast in Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin and Karl Urban (all in their respective roles from Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness) lead the enterprise to Starbase Yorktown. An MC Escher planet of skyscrapers, it’s a feast for the eyes. Over three years into their mission, they’re approached by an alien who needs their help. Though losing steam, Captain Kirk is happy to help until they’re attacked by a swarm of spaceships that destroy the USS Enterprise. Star Trek Beyond, as the third in the rebooted canon, could’ve been a trilogy bookend to the new series. Instead, it is merely another fast-paced escapade of fights, explosions and sci-fi set-pieces. Idris Elba confidently plays Krall, and strikes fear in others through his control of the hive-like capsules and his desperate need to feed off the people he encounters. Keeping with the TV-series style, we have one team on the planet while another is stranded to figure out how to help. Alien scavenger Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) is a welcome addition, with a primitive but expert technique for survival. There’s an intriguing subtext that may lift this fun experience to another level, but I fear many may miss this parallel to the events that currently play out in America. Ultimately inferior to its two predecessors, Star Trek Beyond is still a terrific addition to the series.