Boldly going where we’ve gone before, Star Trek Beyond is a thrilling ride that manages to push the Trek frontier forward and remind us why we loved the series in the first place.
Following on from the rather lacklustre Star Trek Into Darkness, Beyond begins with our crew three years into their deep space mission, pushing the frontiers of the Federation forward and bringing peace to the galaxy.
On board, however, both Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) have begun to question their commitment to the mission, believing their efforts may be better spent off the Enterprise.
But before either can act, the crew are drawn into the terrible machinations of Krall (Idris Elba), who believes the Federation’s belief in unity is a weakness.
I think we can all admit that Ghostbusters aside, it’s not been the best summer for cinema, so I’m happy to say that the fun and exciting summer blockbuster we’ve all been waiting for is finally here.
Director Justin Yin does what he does best, bringing exciting and bonkers over-the-top action to the Star Trek franchise, while also at the same time celebrating the history of this venerable franchise.
You see, one of the main criticisms of Abram’s original reboot was that it was too ‘actionised’ and was, rather ironically considering his recent career moves, a Star Wars film dressed up as Star Trek.
Well, as a long term fan of Star Trek in all its iterations (even the hilariously cheap animated series), Beyond was an absolute delight and reminded me of classic Trek while updating the action in new and delightful ways.
Thematically, Beyond focuses on belonging, specifically where the crew belong in the galaxy. Without spoiling anything, Kirk, Spock and the whole crew grapple with this concept throughout.
It’s an interesting theme for a series that many believe lost its way in the last film, and a really introspective idea worthy of any of The Next Generation or the original Trek’s loftier episodes.
The cast do an interstellar job and it was wonderful to see the expanded crew of the Starship Enterprise all get something to do and interact in ways we haven’t seen before.
Special mention must be given to the sadly no longer with us Anton Yelchin, whose performance of Chekov is a highlight and reminds us all why he’ll be sorely missed.
Idris Elba also gives his best performance in a while as Krall, managing to be both fresh and new, while at the same time feeling like a threatening classic Trek villain.
Is the film as cerebral as the TV show? Not by a mile but I was grinning like a loon throughout.
As a whole, Star Trek Beyond is a wonderful film that I can’t recommend enough, and helped me fall in love with Star Trek all over again.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to binge watch Deep Space Nine on Netflix…
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.