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Star Trek Beyond  : Goes Where Everybody’s Gone
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Friday, July 22, 2016
Justin Lin
Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana

The proud part about being aboard star ship Enterprise is that it’s such fun going where no one else has.


But the screenplay by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung goes precisely where every sci-fi franchise has been going in the last decade or so. Spectacular set pieces, effective camerawork and imaginative prosthetics and makeup, are all de rigueur. Sprinkle a bit of wit in the dialogues, bonds of affection tying the crew together with a mission to save the earth, and Star Trek Beyond is ready to go into a familiar world of fantasy.


But within that played-out story, director Justin Lin of Fast & Furious fame, keeps the Enterprise crew hurtling around space for a little over two hours without letting the pace drop at any point.


First catch up on your old friends who’ve spent over three years as the Enterprise family, space miles away from home. Spock has something up his Vulcan sleeve, girlfriend Uhura is miffed with him. Captain Kirk tells drinking companion Dr Bones that he’s ready to be his own man now and not keep going where daddy did. But moods, accents, colours and cultures, are all dropped as the crew hops aboard to go off on a rescue mission together.    


Oh, oh, Captain Kirk and crew have been swept into a trap. Lizard-looking Kraal and his army, droves and droves of destructive metallic bees, attack to break up the Enterprise. And the crew splits up. Thrown together, Dr Bones and an injured Spock’s banter makes life and death moments easier to face. Jaylah, a feisty alien with stripes on her face, rescues Scotty just in time and leads him to good old American starship USS Franklin that’s been lying around this strange planet. Once the crew finds one another, all accounted for and intact, it’s time to jumpstart Franklin.


But Captain Kirk must first get on a Fast & Furious bike and rescue the rest of the team held captive by Kraal. And Spock must save his woman.


Heavy on bonds and ties, sentimental back stories about fathers give Kirk, Spock and Jaylah a father moment each.


There’s also evil philosophy versus good. Kraal sneers at the unity of the crew and says, “Your unity will be your weakness.”  At the end, Kraal is told, “It’s better to die saving lives than to live taking others’.”


Every major character gets his moment especially Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Sofia Boutella as Jaylah and Karl Urban as the doctor with wit in his first aid kit. Simon Pegg as Scotty and the late Anton Yelchin as Chekov add their own appeal while Idris Elba’s voice goes heavy to give menace to Kraal.    


Earth saved, Enterprise is ready for a new adventure. We only hope that the next time around it really will be to unexplored, uncharted territory.


For a film that retains all that’s good about the brand without venturing into anything new, Star Trek Beyond gets a 3* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author


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