In Review: Star Trek Beyond

A surprise attack in outer space forces the Enterprise to crash-land on a mysterious world. The assault came from Krall (Idris Elba), a lizard-like dictator who derives his energy by sucking the life out of his victims.

Star Trek Beyond Synopsis: A surprise attack in outer space forces the Enterprise to crash-land on a mysterious world. The assault came from Krall (Idris Elba), a lizard-like dictator who derives his energy by sucking the life out of his victims. Krall needs an ancient and valuable artifact that’s aboard the badly damaged starship. Left stranded in a rugged wilderness, Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the crew must now battle a deadly alien race while trying to find a way off their hostile planet.

Review: At long last we have a ‘Star Trek’ film set within the new Kelvin Time Line that both average movie goers and established ‘Star Trek’ fans can enjoy.

This latest offering, which is written by Simon Pegg and directed by Justin Lin fuses fast and furious action with character beats that are very, very ‘Star Trek’ and worthy of that name. This film more than redeems the ‘Star Trek’ name after the mess, which was ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’

And the movies title ‘Star Trek Beyond’ is very fitting given that they go beyond the call in providing solid character beats, a plot, which while a very typical plot for ‘Star Trek’. It doesn’t tie itself in knots or go so far as to contradict itself.

Idris Elba goes beyond the call the duty with his role of Krall and thankfully we do not learn who Krall really is to the final 10 minutes of the film. A new villain for sure, but one with a past and one that is more lost than he is outright evil.

Aside from the action and story we see a film in which Captain Kirk is searching for answers about who he is. He joined Starfleet on a dare and has been trying to do his fathers name proud. But now he finds his career is at a point where he has determine what Captain James T. Kirk wants and indeed who this James T. Kirk is.

It’s a film about change, but also about family and how these changes can effect family. Its also about strength in unity verses ones individuality.

You can tell that this script has been written by someone that gets the deeper meanings of ‘Star Trek’. It has action, but it also has character beats that make you care for these new versions of Kirk, McCoy and Spock. Which is something its two immediate predecessors never quite managed.

There was literally no fat on this movie. It was slick, fast, furious and full of characters.

You didn’t have any gratuitous scenes like the introduction of Coral Markus (Alice Eve) in the last film. Not a single moment is wasted.

Better still. Not a single member of the main cast is sidelined in this offering. McCoy (Karl Urban) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) finally get some decent character beats and we finally get to see the playful love/hate relationship played out. This pairing, which was so successful in the original series and films finally gets to shine in the Kelvin Time Line.  Both Urban and Quinto play off each other brilliantly.


Sofia Boutella as kick ass alien babe Jaylah

Kirk, Checkov and Scotty with some help from Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) an alien who was also taken captive by Krall set about using old Starfleet Technology to mount a rescue of the crew and try and stop Krall’s plan to destroy the Yorktown space station. 

Yes there is a Yorktown Space station, which goes beyond a station and is more of a massive world, which doubles as a space station to service starfleet. I was totally blown away by the visuals used to introduce the Yorktown. It was pretty awesome. It’s more of a massive city complex than it is a town and It’s a very long way from york as well.

Sofia Boutella is the surprise package of this movie. Her role of Jaylah is the character the helps link all the plot threads together and the bond that she forms with Scotty and the rest of the crew is really nicely done. This was the first time had really seen Boutella act and she didn’t disappoint.

If you read Chris Pine’s recent comments in SFX concerning this film. Ignore them. Sure ‘Star Trek Beyond’ isn’t perfect. But it is the best of the three new films in every department. Many reviewers have placed this film as second only to Wrath Of Khan. Which places it as the second best ‘Star Trek’ film ever made. I’m inclined to be somewhat ambiguous about that. But I will say this much. If the Kelvin Time Line has a ‘Wrath Of Khan’ film. This is it.

Star Trek Beyond removes the shitty skidmarks left by ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’.

This film goes about redeeming the last one without having to bend over backwards to do so and if that isn’t enough. There is a really nice scene towards the end that both pays a beautiful tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy and the Original series crew.

Anton Yelchin also did excellent work here and its sad that this was his last time playing Checkov. When you see this film. You’ll realise how much you’ll truly miss Yelchin’s presence in future instalments. He really put his stamp on the role, and did so without disrespecting Walter Koenig’s original portrayal. Yelchin’s accent was always better. And his youthful energy was truly infectious. When you see this. You’ll understand why the films makers have chose not to recast the role.

So to anyone that felt burned by ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ and decided not to go see this newest entry in the ‘Star Trek’ film franchise. I strongly encourage you to reconsider because you will be missing out.


Star Trek Beyond
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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