Star Trek Beyond marks the fiftieth anniversary of the first airing of the show back in 1966, it also marks the thirteenth film in a list spanning decades, and the third film in the new Kelvin Timeline. Shot entirely on digital, this space adventure is best enjoyed on the scale provided by Imax 3D.
It is day 966 of the Enterprises five year mission, and they have stopped off at the Starbase Yorktown, on the fringe of Federation Space. Kirk (Chris Pine – Star Trek Into Darkness, Z For Zacharia, Into The Woods, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) is contemplating leaving the ship that has been his home for the last few years. Spock (Zachary Quinto – Hitman: Agent 47, Star Trek Into Darkness) is dealing with the surfacing of some emotion, and personal issues. The crew have been out in deep space for so long, and need to refocus themselves in order to follow the axiom of exploring new worlds and civilisations, and boldly going where no one has gone before.
The Enterprise and her crew are soon sent out on a rescue mission into an uncharted nebula, giving them a new purpose, and here they encounter a horde of unknown aliens, over a strange planet, soon coming up against Krall (Idris Elba – The Dark Tower, Zootopia, Pacific Rim, Avengers: Age of Ultron). Finding an ally on this planet, they team up with Jaylah (Sofia Boutella – Kingsman: The Secret Service) and take on the Krall and his men.
Star Trek Beyond pays much homage to the original series, and while the computer effects that fill every frame of film are exceptional, these do not take centre stage, rather relying on plot and character to drive the story forward. While there are no major plot twists that will leave movie-goers confused, there plot is not one that one would predict in the first few minutes of the movie, yet as it meanders along with the exploits of the crew of the Enterprise, as each crew member overcomes personal obstacles, we are presented with a well rounded story.
Apart from being dazzled by the digital effects, and engrossed in the story, audiences are sure to feel a tinge of nostalgia to the many homages, easter eggs, and hidden Star Trek trinkets littering many scenes. For one, there are fifty alien species present in the film, one each marking a year that this global franchise has been with us. The film also pays tribute to the passing of Leonard Nimoy, know as Spock Prime on the new timeline, and the tragic death of Anton Yelchin seen here for the last time as the new Chekov.
Star Trek Beyond is an engrossing story, that impresses with the scope of its digital effects. The nod back to feeling a bit more like the original television series, yet with updates for the new timeline, will leave viewers with a sense of nostalgia coupled with a feeling of adventure. A well rounded, entertaining film. An adventure for the whole family.
Star Trek Beyond opens 26 August 2016 in South African cinemas.