“Fear of death is what keeps us alive.”
Directed by: Justin Lin
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba
Synopsis: After a rescue mission gone awry, the USS Enterprise, along with its crew (led by Chris Pine’s Captain James T. Kirk), crash lands on an unchartered planet. A planet that is home to the nefarious Krall (Idris Elba), who will stop at nothing to punish those who have betrayed him.
The crew of the USS Enterprise faces a more dangerous threat than any they’ve ever overcome in the modern era: the dullest of villains imaginable. Despite Idris Elba’s best efforts, his vengeful bad guy Krall is nothing short of plain. With his face contorted into a permanent snarl thanks to layers of prosthetics, it’s difficult to find any connection with what is supposed to be a relatable antagonist. Unfortunately I found myself switching off more often than not when he was on screen.
Thankfully, the arsenal Krall has at his disposal to use against Kirk and company is more impressive, making for some spectacular action, and ensuring that he doesn’t completely derail the generally zippy adventure. For all of the bluster and explosions though, what really pulls Beyond through is the characters. Care is taken to give each crew-member a significant moment, to allow each of them to show their individuality. The renewed focus on the crew as a whole is welcome, and this partnered with dollops of humour and homages to Star Trek’s past ensures that it’s a solid effort all round.
Chris Pine is also worthy of individual praise. Whilst for the crew of the Enterprise the old saying, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is fitting, Captain Kirk may be the exception. He’s the heart of the franchise, its leading man, and it’s a role which Pine seems to grow more and more confident with every time he dons the character’s uniform.
Rating (out of 5):