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More From The Final Frontier: Star Trek Beyond
Three years into their five year mission of space exploration, the crew of the USS Enterprise makes plans to take a break at their starbase Yorktown. They also use the break to get more provisions. That break gets interrupted when Kalara (Lydia Wilson), arriving at the starbase in an escape pod, claiming her spaceship has been stranded on a nearby planet. The Enterprise leaves to investigate, only to run into a trap. The Enterprise runs into a swarm of ships commanded by Krall (Idris Elba), who wants an artifact that Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine) unsuccessfully tried to give the beings of another planet. The ambush tears apart the Enterprise as the crew uses escape pods to avoid a certain death.
Some of the crew become captives of Krall, including Lieutenant Nyoto Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Hikaru Sulu (John Cho). On another part of the planet, Kirk and navigator Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin), learn of Kalara's intention to steal the artifact for Krall. Enterprise doctor Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban), meanwhile, tends to a badly wounded Spock (Zachary Quinto) while looking for other survivors. Elsewhere, engineer Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg) gets help from Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), a native of the planet fearful of Krall. She makes her home in the wreckage of the Franklin, one of the first Federation ships to explore space that had disappeared 100 years earlier. Once rescued and reunited, the crew and Jaylah devise a plan to stop Krall from his ultimate intention against the Federation.
Star Trek Beyond is another respectable entry in the franchise reboot series. The emphasis in Beyond, though, lies primarily on action and personal relationship stories. One familiar relationship changes, while another develops, and viewers get a chance to see crew members with their families. The leadership also ponder opportunities beyond the Enterprise. The script, co-written by Pegg, also contains moments of humor. In the opening sequence, Kirk gets attacked by beings smaller than he. When the crew beams him back to the ship, with a couple of the beings still attacking the captain. The moments with Kirk and McCoy alone also generate some laughs. The direction comes from Justin Lin, whose best known works are his entries in the Fast & Furious franchise. Beyond has some fast and furious moments, especially when the Enterprise finds itself waylaid by Krall's vessels. While I prefer the first two reboots, I still enjoyed the story and action of Beyond.
The ensemble still clicks in Beyond. Pine shows a man still growing as a leader in Kirk. He keeps his late father's legacy in mind while wondering the sort of name he can make for himself in Starfleet. At Yorktown, he gets a leadership offer for that starbase. He also shows himself to be a skilled investigator as he learns of Krall's intentions. Quinto, as Spock, has to deal with injury, as well as dealing with personal issues, which include news from Vulcan. Urban has fun as the loud and cynical McCoy, trying to help Spock on more than one level. Saldana shows resilience as Uhura, who doesn't back down from Krall, even as his captive. Cho, Yelchin, and Pegg also have fine limited moments. Elba is very good as Krall, an alien with a hatred for all things Federation, as their existence goes against his beliefs. I also enjoyed Boutella as Jaylah, a scavenger and reluctant warrior who aids the Enterprise any way she can. The original Star Trek actors can be seen briefly in photographs.
The release of Star Trek Beyond coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the first airing of the Star Trek TV series. Beyond adds to the staying power of this franchise, which continues to thrive all these years after its initial launch. They never see any mission as one against an unstoppable force, though they are skilled in combat. They take their encounters as learning experiences, even when others find them hard to understand. The crew of the Enterprise doesn't wish to be a conquering force, but they make the effort to be a unifying force with any civilization they encounter. Star Trek Beyond is one more journey into a huge universe that holds an equally huge variety of experiences.
On a scale of zero to four stars, I give Star Trek Beyond three stars. One more voyage, taken boldly.