CAST: CHRIS PINE, ANTON YELCHIN, ZACHARY QUINTO, KARL URBAN, SOFIA BOUTELLA, IDRIS ELBA, ZOE SALDANA, SIMON PEGG, JOHN CHO, JOE TASLIM & DEEP ROY
RUNNING TIME: 2 HRS 2 MINS
DIRECTOR: JUSTIN LIN
Outside of the Star Wars franchise this action-packed sci-fi adventure has solidified Star Trek as the alternative space opera series – as going to infinity and ‘beyond’ proves to be better than disappearing ‘into darkness’.
After the ho-hum sequel to 2009’s terrific reboot, this third instalment – helmed by acclaimed high-octane Fast Five director Justin Lin – really gets back on track by providing an enigmatic and well-polished space-actioner that is colourfully compelling from start to finish.
It also aided by the majority of the cast – including the late Anton Yelchin (RIP) as Chekov – getting a decent mix of screen-time, headlined by another accomplished turn from Chris Pine’s Enterprise starship captain James T Kirk, an enigmatic performance from up-and-coming actress Sofia Boutella as extra-terrestrial scavenger Jayler, an intriguing ‘bromance’ between Zachary Quinto’s Spock/Karl Urban’s Leonard McCoy, and a notable main antagonist in Idris Elba’s alien leader Krall.
This time the film has kind of gone back to its roots with the USS Enterprise crew exploring the far reaches of space (a la the TV series) and, just when Kirk starts to get disillusioned with the point of their elongated mission, they get attacked by a new alien species which swarms and cuts through the starfleet’s best-known ship, leaving some of the crew marooned on a nearby planet.
With Krall after an artefact that was in the Enterprise’s possession, it’s up to the surviving crew members to re-unite – including Simon Pegg’s Scotty, Zoe Saldana’s Uhura and John Cho’s Sulu – to stop him from using this new device as a weapon against a massive ‘snow globe’ like starbase called Yorktown, which could literally kill millions.
With the help of a consistent and frequently humorous script from Pegg – showing his impressive scribing skills – this all unfolds at a perfect pace with just the right blend of action spectacle, sci-fi homage and character development that makes this, quite frankly, an absolute pleasure to watch.
It still might not quite have enough for Trekkie purists, and may provide a bit too much brawn over brains, but Pegg and Lin (with JJ Abrams exiting the director’s chair in favour of Star Wars) have really pulled to together to make sure this third entry in the reboot shouldn’t be the final frontier.
In fact, Chris Hemsworth – who was Kirk’s Dad in the original – has been rumoured to be returning for a fourth film, so it looks like this enjoyable series may just live long and prosper after all.
What a great way for Star Trek to celebrate its 50th anniversary year – as this boldly goes where Abrams didn’t go before.
Rating: 4/5 Review by Gavin Miller