Star Trek: Beyond

Before I go any further, I’m going to say it: Star Trek: Beyond is a fantastic film and you should see it. Justin Lin has delivered the best this franchise has seen in decades.

J.J. Abrams all but resurrected Star Trek with his reboot of the franchise. You can criticize his use of lens flare as much as you want, but that is the absolute truth. We probably just wouldn’t have Star Trek if he hadn’t delivered a pair of fun action adventures that have entertained millions.

That said, though, the Abrams’ films diverge heavily from the meat of the source material. Objectively, this series is comprised of action movies that felt like Star Trek.

Given Justin Lin’s filmography, it would be fair to expect more of the same, and I don’t think many people would have complained at that. These have been good so far, so why change the formula? That is not what we got, though. What Lin delivered is so much better.

Justin Lin has given us a Star Trek film that feels like an action film. A lot of people wont even notice the difference. If you’re the type of viewer that keeps thinking about what you’ve seen after you walk out of the theater, though, you will notice the difference.

There are a lot of great aspects of this film, but where it shines is the layered story telling. The themes of identity that draw on the original crew, thoughtfully approach the affects of a changing world, and push the emotional conflicts of the movie all build upon each other.

Lin treats us to the most complex exploration of these characters that we may have ever seen by pairing them off early and letting each group of characters play off each other with excellent effect. I do mean it when I say he treats us. The movie never feels like it stops for this, even when it gives the viewer time to absorb what is happening. And on top of this, it gives the audience time to think about what they have seen before it clarifies and resolves its narrative.

This effect of using exposition by distantly separating it from the events that provoke it is profound. It keeps the movie transparent while at the same time not punishing viewers for paying close attention early on.

We get to see all of this compounded as Lin heavily weaves metaphor into every aspect of the adventure as well. It is really refreshing to watch a well paced action adventure movie that doesn’t fall apart from all sides as soon as you leave the theater and reflect on what you’ve watched.

I know I’m gushing about the story. It’s really hard not to, but some things have to be said about the other aspects of the movie as well: the acting is playful, engaging, and spot on, the special effects are stunning and expertly crafted, and the music is fun, light, and helps keep up the frequent action.

A really special nod goes to Anton Yelchin, who finally had a chance to really put some personality into Chekov. He really brought something excellent to the current crew, who all have as entertaining of a chemistry as the original crew. His outstanding performance is just another highlight around the incredible potential that has been lost too soon.

It is worth repeating: Star Trek: Beyond is an exceptional film that is easy to recommend to absolutely every type of viewer. A fan would be perfectly justified to consider this one of the best Star Trek movies of all time, one of the best movies of the year, and every single minute of it is worth your time.

Final Verdict:The best of the rebooted franchise, and a must watch for all sci-fi fans that satisfies in a way the series has been lacking.
Rating:B