Justin Lin (Fast & Furious) takes the crew of the Enterprise into deepest space, where they encounter a new menace that threatens the entire Federation. Because, well, that’s what you do in Star Trek movies.
This third instalment in J.J. Abrams’ rebooted ST franchise comes with all the requisite big-screen action mayhem (cool spaceship crash), unfortunately edited in Lin’s frenetic F&F style.
Chris Pine effectively reprises his role as Captain Kirk, Zachary Quinto again aces Spock, and a heavily made-up Idris Elba does the villain honors with freshness and believability. Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, the late Anton Yelchin, and (co-writer) Simon Pegg are all back; a cast of characters you don’t mind spending time with. The crew is successfully reimagined to focus on its “family” aspects. It works.
The title notwithstanding, it’s best when it goes retro, even if it may seem to some to just be going through the motions. For Trekkers that’s often enough. It’s faithful to the original TV show’s ideals and values, to the point where it seems in spots a little like an extended TV episode. I mean that in a good way.
The writing is smart and fan-focused, and there’s plenty of wit along with the spectacle (something Into Darkness conspicuously lacked). The film engages in a bit of the required philosophical musing, but this one is more fun than deep.
So, a good fanboy time at the movies, but ultimately it doesn’t boldly go anywhere cinematically risky, placing it in the entertaining but forgettable category. (122 min)