Star Trek Beyond jumps ahead three years into the Enterprise’s five year mission and it finds James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) having a bit of an identity crisis, he’s seriously thinking of giving up the captaincy to Spock (Zachary Quinto) so he can take the position of Vice Admiral, but unbeknownst to him Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) has died and young Spock is planning on leaving Star Fleet to take up the mantle of Vulcan Ambassador. He’s also broken up with Uhura (Zoe Saldana) because he believes it’s his responsibility to pop out Vulcan babies to help his near extinct race. Being he is only half Vulcan this kind of makes his “sacrifice” a tad stupid.
“Sorry dear, I can’t risk diluting our race any further.”Now that is some decent drama, and it was kind of interesting to see how long space voyages effect people in different ways, but that’s not really what this movie is about. It’s about things blowing up. And they blow up real good. The main plot of this installment has to do with an alien artifact that Kirk ended up with after a diplomacy mission went down the crapper. It turns out this little item is the key to a weapon of mass destruction and the villainous Krall (Idris Elba) needs it to wreak death and destruction upon the Federation. So basically a space terrorist needs a space McGuffin to do villainous space stuff, nothing we haven’t seen countless times before, but by god does Justin Lin do a good job with it. When Krall lures the Enterprise into a dense nebula, and unleashes his swarm of deadly fighters against the Enterprise, it is a visual feast of action not yet seen in this series. Seeing the Enterprise torn to shreds was simply breathtaking, and almost makes one forgive how generically boring the villains were.
Note: This is the third installment in the Trek reboot and so the destruction of the Enterprise can be considered and homage to the original movie series as it was destroyed in the third installment as well.
When the survivors of the doomed Enterprise make it down to the planet’s surface, deep inside the nebula and out of contact with the Federation, they find themselves split up and hunted by Krall’s forces. One of the common criticisms of the original movies was that most of the focus stayed with Kirk, Spock and McCoy, and the rest of bridge crew would occasionally get a bone thrown their way, but in Star Trek Beyond the screen time is divided up a little better. Kirk and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) are teamed up for some good action and laughs, Spock and McCoy (Karl Urban) capture the classic chemistry from the original series as Bones tries to keep his severely wounded Vulcan nemesis alive, Uhura and Sulu (John Cho) are captured along with the bulk of the Enterprise crew, but they briefly escape to try and call for help, and finally we have Scotty (Simon Pegg) who encounters Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), a beautiful alien woman that has managed to escape and elude Krall’s soldiers while working to fix an old crashed Federation starship. And as boring and generic as the enemy Stormtroopers in this film are Jaylah is fresh and exciting. She is a total badass, and every moment she was on screen I was riveted. That Simon Pegg co-wrote the screenplay probably has something to do with Scotty being the one to pair up with her.