VM Movies
IMDB Rating:
Justin Lin
Chris Pine
Zachary Quinto
Karl Urban
Zoe Saldana
Release date:
22 Jul 2016
122 min
MPAA Rating:
Production company(s):
Paramount Pictures, Bad Robot, Perfect Storm Entertainment
Amanda S:

When I heard that Justin Lin was directing the latest Star Trek installment, I was concerned that the franchise was going to veer away from the traditional Star Trek formula and become a pure action movie. After watching the trailer, I became even more concerned with all of the action sequences that were showcased. Having seen the movie, I am relieved to say that the movie was well balanced and provided something for every type of Star Trek fan (new and old).

The chemistry between the cast members seems genuine and effortless. After the Kirk near-death episode/Wrath of Khan reversal, the relationship between Kirk and Spock was well established. In this movie, Karl Urban's Bones character was finally used effectively to establish the strong relationship with his character and Spock as well as Kirk. It was a nice touch that was not fleshed out well in the previous two movies.

Idris Elba did a good job as the villain Krall and the story line was original and interesting. The Enterprise crew is in the third year of their five year mission and The Federation is expanding throughout the galaxy. It is refreshing to see the movies introduce original plots and characters and move away from the safety of "Old Spock" and "Khan" and I really liked the tribute to Leonard Nimoy's iconic Spock revealing the death of the character and giving it the weight that it deserved. I look forward to more original movies in the years to come.


I had really super low expectations for this film thanks to Into Darkness and the awful trailers but man did it surpass them. I'd forgotten how great a good Star Trek film could be. It's been so long. So very long. Sure, the reboot was a good film, but it never really felt like a full Star Trek film. And Into Darkness failed in exactly the area this one succeeded: the sense of optimism. Star Trek has always been quite utopian, at least as far as human society is concerned. One of the recurring themes of the series has been that we've evolved as a species. We've moved beyond wars of conquest and petty violence. While many of the best episodes dealt with human weaknesses, they did so in an enlightened context. And that's one of the basic premises of this film. We used to be unable to contain our violence. Now we've gotten better. The theme is one of teamwork and unity, which is another wonderful improvement on the last ones. The first two films had basically no sense of teamwork or responsibility. Here it feels like a real crew. While they are still individuals it's the team that matters. And that's great.

Better still, the film is filled with Star Trek backstory. Simon Pegg knows his stuff and it really shows. Gone are the awkward faux pas (Starfleet and the Federation being confused, transporters with multi-system ranges, etc.). In their place are flawless references to the films and series. The history in this film is built off the TV series rather than from scratch. We hear reference to the Romulan and Xindi wars. When they bring in an ancient Federation starship it looks a lot like the one from Enterprise (it's even an NX) and has a polarized hull and phase cannons. None of this is vital to the plot and not knowing the backstory won't hurt your understanding of the film, but I feel that even the uninitiated can feel when a movie's working off developed background and when it's winging it. Simon, I'll never question you again.

As a story it's a major improvement over Into Darkness, although it lacks the origin story punch of the first one. One of the best elements (and again, this is in great contrast to Into Darkness) is its placement of characters. Teaming McCoy and Spock up was brilliant as the two can always be relied upon to hit the right notes. In a welcome change, McCoy isn't even underused. Uhura is, unfortunately, although there is at least a reason for it. Kirk and Chekov make a good team too (Chekov even gets one of his 'invented in Russia' moments), and Scotty works well on his own thanks to an external monologue. Our villain also gets some substantial screen time and a good backstory, although I totally called it. I'm a bit less impressed with Kirk's character arc, although a toned down version would have satisfied me. The original series had little room for self-doubt and this one a bit much. Ah well, it does work in the end. The overall question for all characters is whether to move on and go their separate ways or find a reason to stay together. At this stage that works. Much later and it'd seem odd.

The writing here is very good. We never see our heroes fail without seeing them dynamically trying to handle it. Successes feel similarly earned. Kirk's a lot more clever than he has been in the past and actually finds a way to improvise a solution before we even realize the problem. And the final solution to what seems an unsolvable problem is both clever and believable. Even if it's a bit simplistic. Direction is good too, despite the trailers trying to sell us a Fast & Furious style adventure film. But the sense of scale and adventure is well handled. There are several inventive action sequences, including one where the camera takes us in and out of a disintegrating Enterprise to follow different crew members fighting.

There were things I disliked of course. The destruction of the Enterprise is one. Already? Is that just a thing that always happens in the third movie? At any rate, it's not likely to be permanent. Another is the limited sense of scale. We do very little traveling and have a very limited scope. And the endings seem to last a bit too long. But these aren't major issues. I'll gladly put up with them to get a real Star Trek film again. I hadn't realized just how much I needed that in my life until I got it.

Patricia D:
When they decided to do a re-boot of this franchise in 2009 I was skeptical, but is was spectacular. Then the second installment in 2013 proved to be equally amazing. And then this one... Which continues to be near perfection. They have kept the heart and soul of these characters in tact and perfectly aligned to the originals (in the 80's). This storyline is great and easy to follow. The effects and relationships between characters continue to improve and develop. I do have to say, there was something a little off with Chris Pine (Captain Kirk) in this movie. He either looked sick, considerably older, or just different (maybe hair). His character seemed less happy, in control, and motivated? Regardless, this is a must Watch!
Heather P:
There was one brief moment, thee most important moment, in this story when 'Quinto' Spock opens some personal belongings of the now deceased 'Nimoy' Spock and sees a memento; a photo of the original 'Prime' crew as they were in their 'Prime' universe - I.e. Deforest Kelly, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, etc. For me personally, this was of Primary significance for establishing the logical integrity of the 'Abramsverse' as a whole as an legitimate part of canon, AND as an legitimate alternate universe both unique and independent, yet 'familiar' in essence to the original Prime universe. To most this belaboured point I've been making since 2009, might seem silly and trivial, but to the true Trekker... the fact that we, whom truly love and acknowledge the original series and respect the notion of canon, can now sit back and enjoy a seemingly 'UN-selfplagerized' bastardization of Star Trek knowing the original universe was never intended to be raped, pillaged, and dispensed with by Paramount Pictures.... this was indeed an important and much needed adjustment/ correction in the conceptual foundation of the Abramsverse. A simple tribute. A 2D family photo, but a photo which told all the fans out there that both universes exist. That Nimoy Spock is NOT and doesn't have to be related to Quinto Spock (and indeed, he is not). That Takei Sulu is NOT and doesn't have to be related to Cho Sulu (and indeed, he is not), and therefore doesn't have to share the same sexual orientation..(and indeed, Mr Takei, he does not). because they are entirely separate, unrelated instances of those characters in separate universes. Different people. Different pasts. Different timelines. Different universes. The fact the new TV series, ST Discovery, is set in the Prime universe again, should also be gratifying to ALL true fans of Star Trek. Paramount CAN have their cake and eat it too - or so it seems. ST Beyond is the best of the Abramsverse trilogy so far - BECAUSE it acknowledges the continued existence of the Prime universe and comes closer than ever to its heart.
Liam P:
The original five year mission of the Starship Enterprise ended after only three years. Fittingly, this new adventure picks up at the beginning of its fourth year. However, all is not well with Kirk and Spock. While their partnership seems strong, unknowingly to each other, both are considering "career changes" that would take them on different treks. Before they have a chance to act, they are thrown into this new adventure that has dire consequences for the Enterprise and her crew. Several times throughout the movie, we are reminded of its previous incarnation with sly references, uncanny likenesses in appearance and speech, and a brief tribute to Leonard Nimoy's Spock. Never before have I seen a reboot that consistently comes so close to the original. All this while breaking the "Odd Number Curse" that caused every Trekker to grimace in the past. It draws in the viewer and allows him or her to be part of the experience. In short, it's a blast!

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