Decimated during an attack, the remnants of the USS Enterprise crew must battle their way back to the nearest starbase. Hunted by an alien leader who controls a devastating swarm of drone ships, it seems the crew of the Enterprise has finally met their match in "Star Trek Beyond."
Trekkies & Sci-Fi Fans: Glorious CGI and special effects leap through tireless action sequences. The beauty of the original Star Trek installations was the ability to boldly stretch our imagination and creativity. "Beyond" is no exception as we travel to the Starbase Yorktown and feast on the eye candy of interlocking city-rings, dizzying landscapes that defy gravity, and millions of diverse residents. Attack sequences from drone ships are visually overwhelming with piercing detail and jarring accuracy.
Family Audiences: There are substantial explosions, interesting lifeforms, and visual spectacles to keep young viewers quiet - I mean interested. Fights, phasers, motorcycles, and gravity-defying pursuits are sure to entertain parents and the young ones. The pacing is consistently energetic so there are few allowances for boredom.
If you are a viewer who requires a solid foundation of plot, characters, and a respectful pace, you will find character development is, unfortunately - and shockingly - lacking. The heroine of this epic - Jaylah (Sofia Boutella, the razor-legged assassin of "Kingsman: The Secret Service") has managed to survive undetected on the planet by cloaking a starship from Krall's henchmen. She's basically a female, alien MacGyver. However, she gets no credit for saving the crew or the Federation. That adoration is reserved for James T. As usual.
Spock and Uhura also have a rift in their fledgling relationship, which provides for much banter between Spock and Bones, but it remains superficial and does not delve into the complexities of their half-Vulcan/human relationship that is aggravated by multi-year catastrophes in space. In contrast, we endure an entire Captain's Log from James T. about the stress he endures as a lonely starship captain in space.
Yet, the meatier story is also glossed over with a rosy lens. Krall's previous encounters with the Federation have left him a tad bitter. What is missed is an excellent opportunity to weave an intelligent nuance into the plot where the perception of the greater good does not prove to be good for all involved parties. Instead, Krall's plight falls on deaf ears and he's dismissed as a disgruntled maniac. Idris Elba's Krall is reminiscent of Louis Gossett Jr.'s Jeriba Shigan, from "Enemy Mine," which may pull at the nostalgic heart strings of sci-fi fans.
Trekkies will also notice a few lazy goofs in this film which are glaringly careless but they are quickly overshadowed by the generous Easter Eggs you can find. To find all of these little treasures, visit: https://www.inverse.com/article/18618-star-trek-beyond-complete-easter-eggs.
Aside from character development, no detail goes unnoticed. In the final scene, Kirk raises a glass to "friends we've lost" which parallels the lost crew in the movie as well as the real-life deaths of beloved Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin.
4 out of 5 Miners