Star Trek Beyond arrives in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gene Roddenberry's science fiction franchise. Justin Lin (Fast & Furious) takes over from J.J. Abrams for the third adventure of the rebooted crew of the USS Enterprise. After Star Trek into Darkness went into a more action-packed direction, Star Trek Beyond is a bit more of a back to basics adventure. In fact, of all thirteen Star Trek films, Star Trek Beyond is probably the closest the franchise has come to bringing an episode of the original series to the big screen.
The plot splits the crew up for much of the running time, with Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Sulu (John Cho) spending most of the film as prisoners of Krall. However, the film does feature expanded roles for Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the film, and Anton Yelchin as Scotty and Chekov respectively, with the latter being somewhat tragic, given Yelchin's tragic death last month. The film also features a standout performance by Algerian actress Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) as the incredibly clever scavenging alien Jaylah.
While far from the best film of the franchise, Star Trek Beyond is a solid stand alone big screen adventure. While the film still features some of the greater emphasis on action added by J.J. Abrams, as well as the use of a certain Beastie Boys song, the film also regains some of the classic Star Trek spirit that may have been lost in previous films. Also, the big message of the film is that the crew of the Enterprise can persevere through any situation, if they all work together. That is a very optimistic message that I can live by.