“Star Trek Beyond” The Best Episode of The Original Series To Hit The Silver Screen

By Scott Kurland
Film: Star Trek Beyond
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Sofia Boutella, and Idris Elba
Rated PG-13
Director: Justin Lin

Note: This Review Is Dedicated To The Memory and Spirit of Anton Yelchin. Live Long and Prosper Old Friend…

I love “Star Trek.” Who am I kidding? I love anything set in space. I sat through both version of “Solaris” because they took place on a spaceship. I don’t know whether it’s  due to the vast endlessness of space, or the fact that it truly is the final frontier. “Star Wars”, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, and “Firefly” would not be here without “Star Trek”. When J.J. Abrams rebooted the series in 2009, he created a version of “Star Trek” we couldn’t possibly fathom. This week’s film “Star Trek Beyond” continues the voyages of Pine's Kirk and Quinto’s Spock, under the direction of, not Abrams, but Justin Lin. Let’s see if the man who made four “Fast & Furious” films can navigate the U.S.S Enterprise, shall we?

  “Star Trek Beyond” continues the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the Enterprise (Quinto, Pegg, Saldana, Cho, Urban, and Yelchin), as they continue their five year journey to boldly go where no man has gone before. Kirk begins to have a crisis of faith as he starts to wonder if he is half the man his father was, or if his position as commander is just a matter of luck.  Spock appears to be in a similar dilemma as Vulcan continues to be on his mind. Their problems take a backseat when they come across Krall, (Idris Elba) an all powerful warrior who strands the crew on his planet and hold them hostage as part of his nefarious plan. Luckily for Kirk, Scotty has found help in the form of  Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), another castaway who knows the secrets to Krall’s fortress. Will the crew win? Or, is the galaxy doomed?

I love the direction these films are heading in, and I was surprised at how Simon Pegg & Doug Jung’s script felt like an actual episode of “Star Trek”. This might be the funniest of the three films in the new series and the one most accurate to Gene Roddenberry’s original vision. Director Justin Lin really hits all the right notes in regards to pacing and visual storytelling. He lets the script really speak for itself. Pegg’s comedic wit shines in all the right places whereas Jung was the one who added heart and right amount of drama where it was needed. 

I think this might be my favorite of the three new films. The first “Star Trek” is the best because it sets the stage. However, “Star Trek Beyond” re-establishes many things we forgot. We see Bones and Kirk’s true friendship in the form of drinking buddies, Spock’s constant logic overshadowing his true meaning, and most importantly, how evenly all the leads get story arcs when paired together. Scotty finds Jaylah which leads to the climax. Kirk and Checkov must trace the signal of Krall. Bones must save Spock and form a friendship. Finally, Uhura and Sulu must protect the hostages from Krall. This is the most meticulous and well plotted “Star Trek” film.

This was Anton Yelchin’s best role in any film I’ve seen him in. You really see him shine as Chekov as he embraces the camp that was “Star Trek”. I wrote Yelchin’s obituary a few weeks ago, but not until I saw this film did I realize how much I missed him. He truly helps make this film better than I ever imagined it could be. But, with that said, this is the best performed film in the series. Pine keeps looking more and more like Shatner as these films are released. Like Shatner, Pine knows how to balance a Captain’s duties with the right amount of cockiness. The entire cast is phenomenal, especially Urban as Bones and Pegg as Scotty. They bring their A-game every time they do these films and get they get lost in their iconic characters. I used to think there was no one better than James Doohan and DeForest Kelley. I thought no one could top them, that is until I saw these two. I know I say that in every review, but it’s true. Urban is by far my favorite thing in this film, but Pegg is close behind him.

Idris Elba’s Krall is probably the most original and classic villain to enter the series. Krall is a new villain, never before seen, but he has that classic “Star Trek” vibe. He needs to prove something to the Enterprise crew, but he won’t give away what that "something" is until it’s too late. Elba is amazing in every film, but Krall is so different. I mean... how do you play a space sociopath alien convincingly and make him empathetic? Honestly, you can’t. Yet, Elba somehow succeeds. You aren’t rooting for him, but you see his point of view pretty well. Elba's Krall isn’t as iconic as Cumberbatch’s Kahn, but he’s way better than Bana’s Nero.

“Star Trek Beyond” is one of the best films of the summer. Besides “Captain America: Civil War” and “Ghostbusters” we haven’t had too many blockbuster summer films that are worth your time or money. “Star Trek Beyond” is one of my favorite “Star Trek” films in the entire series. It's better than “Wraith of Kahn” and “Star Trek: First Contact”….well.... it’s up there. “First Contact” is pretty freaking sweet. “Star Trek Beyond” is a must see film. See it on the biggest screen possible with the best sound system you can, because that final battle is visually stunning.

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