For Reel

Star Trek Beyond (2016)
August 5, 2016, 10:00 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Justin Lin
3.5 Stars
Star Trek BeyondThe best villains often serve as mirror images of the heroes they face, with their evils rooted in a particular resentment or character flaw that the protagonist knows a little too well. Krall (Idris Elba) may not be a good villain—he’s underwritten, with his character motivations coming late in the film as a twist—but what Star Trek Beyond does particularly well is using him as a catalyst to bring change in Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine), who in the early-goings has been growing complacent and lost in the expanse of the universe. Just as the underrated Star Trek Into Darkness allowed Kirk a glimpse of the corrupt egotistical leader he was in danger of becoming, Star Trek Beyond allows him to reframe his sense of purpose and redeem his growing sense of disenfranchisement. That this newest installment is the most warmly received by fans likely has much to do with the fact that it is a film about teamwork and cooperation—the ensemble is well-served, with the film wisely breaking up the team into smaller groups fairly early into the proceedings. While director Justin Lin knows how to demonstrate the camaraderie between a team of strong characters, where he struggles is in staging the action sequences, with several of them rendered nearly unintelligible due to the frantic camera movements and tight framings (a confrontation between series newcomer Jayla (Sofia Boutella) and an adversary she has a history with is particularly bad). Regardless, Pine continues his great work as Kirk, and his angst from the previous films transitions well into this jaded characterization.

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