Just as the crew of the Starship Enterprise was about to head out into the final frontier on their five-year mission, the captain decided to leave his post and move to another galaxy. No, not Captain James T. Kirk played by Chris Pine, but the real maestro behind the reimagined Star Trek franchise director J.J. Abrams. The visionary director landed his dream gig directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which caused him to hand over the keys to the ship for Star Trek Beyond to Justin Lin who helped reinvigorate the Fast and Furious franchise.

Done with all the new origin story and honoring past villains, Star Trek Beyond plays more like an old episode of the classic Star Trek TV series with the crew given a mission to rescue a ship and its crew that are in the far reaches of space out of Federation Territory. The crew encounter a group of adversaries led by a being named Krall (Idris Elba) who wants to end Starfleet’s expansion across the universe. The Enterprise team must use their wits, fists and lasers to take out this new enemy with a score to settle with the rest of the galaxy.

Knowing he’s standing in the huge shadow of the director he replaced and the franchise he left Star Trek to be a part of, Lin turns Star Trek Beyond into a huge Sci-Fi action spectacle. From start to finish, the film is all entertaining intergalactic combat whether it’s in space battling a swarm of ships or on the ground with new welcome new characters like Jaylah played by Kingsman star Sofia Boutella who’s making a name for herself as a female action star. Lin even uses his Fast and Furious shooting style to make the Enterprise look cooler and faster this time around as it zooms through the darkness of space.

It’s a good thing that Star Trek Beyond is a visual extravaganza, because it will distract the audience from some of the film’s problems concerning the scope of the story. The film is quite funny at times, especially when Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the scene stealing Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban) are paired together, but fails to dive deeper into our beloved characters. The villain’s motives are not explained well and the third act seems very rushed when some of the big reveals take place. There’s not much of a fresh mystery element to this story which we have become accustomed to with our Star Trek installments. This sequel chooses just to have a simple premise of the good guys taking out the bad guys instead. Star Trek Beyond is definitely a fun time in terms of summer movies, it just lacks the depth J.J. Abrams brought to the franchise in terms of story and characters.

Overall, I give Star Trek Beyond 3 out of 4 stars.

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Read all T.M.’s reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell



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