Sunday, August 7, 2016
It really won't matter what reviewers say about Star Trek Beyond. Star Trek completists like me will want to see it regardless of reviews (mixed in this case). Star Trek skeptics won't be convinced. Star Trek agnostics will find it enjoyable summer fare. It's as inevitable as a warp core breach.
Once again, the Enterprise crew is sent on a rescue mission to a planet at the galaxy's edge. And once again, they encounter a mysterious foe, with mysterious motives, who gets the upper hand. In fact — no spoiler here — the Enterprise goes down early. Most of the crew is captured, and the rest — conveniently, the stars — are separated and stranded on the planet.
Our villain, Krall (surprise: under that makeup is Idris Elba), believes the Federation's focus on unity among the races will be its undoing. The Enterprise crew believes it's their strength. They must make a believer out of their only ally on the planet, Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), a clever and resourceful survivor who has made it on her own and who aims to visit vengeance on Krall for killing her family. Can they hang together, or will they hang separately?
Of course you should see it. Even if you've never seen any of the previous movies or TV series (theoretically, there must be a few of you), you'll be able to follow the story as Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) try to bring the downed Enterprise back to life. And Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban) and Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto) bicker nonstop while trying to avoid the bad guys. And Scotty (Simon Pegg) befriends Jaylah, who turns out to hold the keys to their ride back home.
This is inarguably the best crew of actors ever to don Federation uniforms. But even they are outdone by Boutella, who is feisty and funny without overplaying her alienness. And it's fun to watch her fight with a dancer's grace. If she's not in the next Star Trek movie, I may have to revisit my commitment to being a completist.