Star Trek: Beyond

RATED - (PG-13) -122-MIN-2003

                                   "Star Trek Beyond was just ok fun"                                                              

Out of the three Star Trek movie reboots, (Star Trek: Beyond) is my least favorite, but it still delivers a fun ride in the summer. This one, I'm afraid was a little dark and muddled in the IMAX 3D format. I usually don't find this distracting in the wonderful IMAX experience, but (Star Trek: Beyond) had noticeable flaws. It doesn't take away from the movie, but seeing it in straight 2D wouldn't be a mistake.

What makes this newest incarnation of the ( Star Trek) universe, so much fun, is the same as before: the cast. They are all now very comfortable in their roles, having played them twice before. With
J.J. Abrams exiting the director's chair to now just be the producer,
they have turned it over to a very competent: (Justin Lin) who helmed many of the (Fast and Furious) movies. He certainly knows how to push a frenetic energy to his scenes, but I found Abram's first two films had more focus.
One of my big gripes with many action movies (don't believe any review where they tell you this is a more sedate Trek) is that at some point, the story takes a second seat to an almost brain numbing amount of things whizzing by you on screen. (Lin's) film has a group of enemies that act on a hive mentality. What that means to you is, that there a literally hundreds of objects flying around at dizzying speed, and at times it just became noise to me. There, I said it.

Plot...so three years into their five-year journey, the crew of the Enterprise are getting bored. They are about to take a small break from the monotony, by going to a man-made starbase: The Yorktown, for some much-needed rest. Owing a lunch to the ship that orbited the Earth in (Elysium) the Yorktown has buildings that go up and sideways, defying our Earthbound knowledge of gravity...it's pretty cool.

Relationships are a bit strained: Spock (Zachary Quinto) will soon get some bad news and his romance with: Uhura ( a very underused Zoe Saldana) is in a rough patch. Kirk (a wonderful Chris Pine) is trying to figure out his next move as far as where he will go in the federation.
Dr. McCoy (Karl Urban) who has a welcome and very funny expanded role in this film along with Spock, still bitches about everything. It is hard not to feel a lump in your throat whenever you see: Chekhov ( the late Anton Yelchin) and he also has a larger role in this movie. He will be missed. Mr. Sulu (John Cho) greets his family at the Yorktown and we learn he has a male partner with a child....a nice touch. Scotty (Simon Pegg) is a hoot again as comic relief, and he doesn't miss a beat, continuing his role from the first two movies.

Of course, the Yorktown receives a call for help from an alien: Kalara (Lydia Wilson), who says her people were attacked, and now are stuck in a nebula. Kirk wouldn't be Kirk if he didn't set off with the Enterprise crew to save Kalara and her trapped people. Once in the nebula, Kirk, and his crew are attacked by the hive, led by an alien named: Krall (an unrecognizable Idris Elba), who wants an artifact that Kirk has. A large battle ensues and all of the Enterprise must evacuate to a nearby planet.

Once on the planet, and separated into small groups, (Star Trek:Beyond) gets some of the original (star Trek) mojo back. Bones and Spock have the most fun, as they clearly care for each other, but don't get along.Kirk and Chekhov land last and try to find the missing crew. Scotty meets up with another stranded alien:Jaylah ( a very good Sofia Boutella) who is trying to survive, and somehow get off the planet.They have a good banter back and forth in the movie. Poor Uhura got blasted into the same pod as Krall, and she alone learns of what he has in store for the federation. Then it just becomes a big rescue mission for our team to meet up and figure out how to stop Krall and his growing power. The one item which will complete his goal was hidden by Kirk. I was surprised by how much (Elba) who is such a great actor, disappeared behind the mountain of makeup...but he tries.

I was also a bit lost on the whole thing he was trying to do, and that's where the narrative became bogged down by way too many of those eye candy moments that just didn't do it for me. In the end, (Star Trek: Beyond) is fun, but after the first two films from Abrams, I was expecting more than just a polished version of one of the episodes from TV.

If you are a hardcore Trek fan, see it on the big screen.
Otherwise, wait for the Blue-ray.

Watch the trailer: