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,
For a film that retains all that’s good about the
brand without venturing into anything new, Star
Trek Beyond gets a 3* rating.
Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author