Epic! is the only word for the latest addition to the Star Trek franchise, Beyond. Sadly this movie was the final frontier for two of its actors, Leonard Nimoy who played Spock Prime and Anton Yelchin who played the young Pavel Chekov, which is probably the reason for the minimal promotion surrounding its release.
Chris Pine is back as Captain James T Kirk in command of the Starship Enterprise. Spock (Zach Quinto) and Bones (Karl Urban) steal the show with their twisted relationship that brings comic relief. Meanwhile, Scottie (Simon Pegg) Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Sulu (John Cho) are all comfortingly familiar.
New faces include Idris Elba as the baddie, Krall, who wants to destroy the Federation, and Sofia Boutella as Jaylah in the obligatory “Katniss” role.
While a lot of the film’s awesomeness is down to special effects, JJ Abrams still brings the drama. Even though we know who will survive in the end, we are invested enough in the character to enjoy the gasp-worthy cliffhangers.
It’s not really a spoiler to say the good guys win, it’s kind of a no-brainer. Those of us who have grown up watching the TV episodes know the main characters as well as our families. That could have made Beyond a bit boring, but the writers have included plenty of insider jokes for veteran Trekkies to feel smug and enjoy the show.
The opening scene is hilarious: Kirk’s ambassadorial mission to an alien nation goes spectacularly wrong after he tries to give them an artefact that scares them.
Kirk has been going through an existential crisis that prompts him to ask for a transfer to a desk job, while Spock is also thinking of resigning over the news that his father has died. But when a castaway drifts out of a nebula to say her ship is stranded and the crew needs help, Kirk and crew saddle up to ride to the rescue.
Beautiful shots of Enterprise docking and setting sail make it all the more tragic when the ship is attacked and the unthinkable happens. Turns out that someone wants that artefact very badly.
The crew are forced to eject and land on an alien planet, bringing them into their enemy’s lair.
They encounter Jaylah, who is living as a rebel in a home that turns out to be a very old star ship, the Franklin.
A lot of the crew are captured when the castaway, who originally begged for their help, reveals that she lured them into a trap. The scene is set for an impossible rescue and escape mission.
The crew have to come up with brilliant schemes and bald-faced bravery to save the good guys and make it home. Yay!