Star Trek Beyond (2016)

JUSTIN LIN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

USA, 2016.  Paramount Pictures, , , , , , .  Screenplay by , , based on the television series Star Trek by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , , , .  Academy Awards 2016.

The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are bounding along through space, a healthy team of workers even if interpersonal relationships between the likes of Spock and Uhura are strained and Kirk is wondering if there is any point to spending your life searching an endless universe.  His contemplation is stalled when the rescue of an alien race under attack puts the Enterprise into the destructive path of a villainous group of warriors whose swarm of ships spare no fire power in attacking our peaceful voyagers.  Their goal is a mystical stone in Kirk’s possession, one he meant as a Federation regift to another planet and did not think very dear, but it seems that a very angry warlord (played under impressive makeup by ) will do whatever it takes to get a hold of it.  After the crew crash land on a planet and are taken hostage, they slowly realize the dreadful plan that the bad guy has for this object.  Joining the cast is a good-natured, capable fighter () who helps our plucky heroes; other than her wonderful performance and some fun lines, there’s nothing all that special in this passable, decent but not memorable adventure in the series.  The actors are all comfortably spry in their roles (including , who sadly passed away after completing production), but that’s no surprise to anyone who enjoyed the previous two entries.  Justin Lin’s direction moves ahead with ease and wastes no time, but there’s something luckluster about everything from the bland lighting to the weapons design that makes this one feel like something you’re better off watching on a small screen.  The daring panache of Into Darkness is nowhere to be found, while the plot, well worked out as it may be, hits all the standard cliches like it was made from a stencil.

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