Director Justin Lin of Fast and Furious fame has been handed the delicate task of directing the latest instalment in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek Beyond.
Starring Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, Karl Urban and Simon Pegg as the usual suspects, Beyond shipwrecks the crew on a strange planet. From here they must fire up an old Starship and save one of the Federation’s outposts from destruction by the villain, played beautifully by Idris Elba.
Interesting, and already controversial in the plotline, is the brief introduction of a same-sex relationship for Sulu (John Cho). However this slight nod to diversity does not make up for the fact that, other than Sophia Boutella as Jaylah, the film lacks female characters and most certainly fails the Bechdel Test.
For fans, the film will be tinged with sadness as star Anton Yelchin died in a freak accident only two weeks before the world premiere in Sydney on 7 July 2016. Cast and crew were so shaken by this that media were under strict instructions not to ask about the tragedy.
Lin’s hand is obvious in the sharp and pacey action scenes, one of which appears oddly early in the piece. The expected visual effects are there, along with the standard Trekkie science. However, the script, by Pegg and Doug Jung, seems weak, even for a genre-piece such as this. Much of it is clichéd and corny, and although humour was evident, it is too little and too thinly spread. Most of the cast seem to be merely saying their lines and hitting their marks, but whether this was character-burnout, or another effect of the poor scripting, it is hard to say.
Overall though, this is an enjoyable and reasonably plotted addition to the Trek opus and will, undoubtedly, please the fans.
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Rating out of 10: 7
Star Trek Beyond opens in cinemas today.