Film Review – STAR TREK BEYOND (2016)

STAR TREK BEYOND (2016, USA, 122m, 12) ***
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
dist. Paramount Pictures; pr co. Paramount Pictures / Bad Robot / Skydance Productions; d. Justin Lin; w. Simon Pegg, Doug Jung (based on the TV series Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry); pr. J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Roberto Orci; ph. Stephen F. Windon (Colour | 2.35:1); m. Michael Giacchino; ed. Greg D’Auria, Dylan Highsmith, Kelly Matsumoto, Steven Sprung; pd. Thomas E. Sanders, Andrew Murdock; ad. Don Macaulay.
cast: Chris Pine (Captain James T. Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Commander Spock), Karl Urban (Doctor ‘Bones’ McCoy), Zoe Saldana (Lieutenant Uhura), Simon Pegg (Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott), John Cho (Sulu), Anton Yelchin (Chekov), Idris Elba (Krall), Sofia Boutella (Jaylah), Joe Taslim (Manas), Lydia Wilson (Kalara), Deep Roy (Keenser), Melissa Roxburgh (Ensign Syl), Anita Brown (Tyvanna), Doug Jung (Ben), Danny Pudi (Fi’Ja), Kim Kold (Zavanko), Fraser Aitcheson (Hider), Matthew MacCaull (Blue Shirt), Emy Aneke (Blue Shirt).
The third of the Star Trek reboot series is a visually stunning but often hollow experience. A surprise attack in outer space forces the Enterprise to crash-land on a mysterious world. Left stranded in a rugged wilderness, Kirk (Pine), Spock (Quinto) and the rest of the crew must now battle a deadly alien race, led by the lizard-like Elba, while trying to find a way off their hostile planet. This big, action-packed blockbuster is helped considerably by the great chemistry between the cast but is hampered by a weak, often contrived, story and the anaesthetizing effect of its grandstand set-pieces. The dizzying camerawork makes it more difficult to feel attached to the action and as a result, we become desensitised to the threat. Lapses in logic and the frequent use of convenience suggest laziness at scripting and a certain contempt for the audience. Pine, Quinto and Urban spark off each other superbly, however, managing to generate much of the spirit of the original series. Boutella also scores as a female alien who works with the crew. Elba has little to work with as the villain and resorts to snarling and shouting whilst his motivation is muddled. Also shot in 3-D.
AAN: Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling (Joel Harlow, Richard Alonzo).