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Photo source: UIP Singapore

In this third installment of the rebooted Star Trek franchise, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and crew are sent on a rescue mission, only to discover a deadly alien race who have developed a super weapon that could wipe out the entire galaxy.

Frankly, I didn’t care much for the Star Trek Beyond trailer when it first made its debut. It was all action and had hardly any plot to show for it, and with director Justin Lin at the helm, I figured this would be Fast and Furious in Space. I was wrong.

So let this be a lesson to all you cinephiles out there: Never, EVER judge a movie by its trailer. Star Trek Beyond not only packs in the action, but backs it up with a strong emotional core. This film actually plays out like an extended episode, and I mean that as a compliment. All the thrills and mystery are jam packed into a two-hour span that doesn’t make it feel bloated or over done.

Star Trek Beyond
Just what we needed, a Spock and Bones road trip movie. Photo source: UIP Singapore

Simon Pegg (Scotty) and Doug Jung (who also plays Sulu’s husband), both Trek fans themselves, have chiseled out a script that manages to balance not only the ensemble of characters that make up the USS Enterprise, but also something that is reminiscent of what Star Trek is supposed to be: Exploring strange new worlds.

I really think Justin Lin stepped up his game for this movie. With Lin’s track record of the insanely popular popcorn flicks from the Fast and Furious series, I was honestly expecting   by-the-numbers action set piece after set piece. Instead, I was treated to a Hollywood blockbuster that took its time with developing the characters, funneled them through impossible odds and in the thick of it all, still had time to infuse Gene Roddenberry’s message of unity in the face of adversity.

The thing I really loved about the film is that each and everyone had something to contribute to the story. Of course, some had more critical roles than others, but this has to be one of the more refreshing Trek movies where the plot did not just revolve around said Captain of the Enterprise.

Sulu
#starringjohncho ©Paramount Pictures

Having said that, I did wish for Chekov (the late Anton Yelchin) to have a bit more to do in this film, given that he passed away so suddenly just weeks before the premiere. There was a scene, which I will not spoil too much for you guys, between Kirk and Bones (Karl Urban) where they share a drink in the mess hall, that feels like a subtle tribute to the Yelchin.

There were some sequences that could have been better lit, as it was a bit difficult to follow all the action that was taking place. I would advise anyone to sit further away from the screen to enjoy the full visual spectacle.

This also marks the last time Leonard Nimoy (Spock Prime) makes an appearance in a Star Trek movie, given that he passed away last year. Coupled with the loss of Anton Yelchin, Star Trek Beyond is the perfect send off for these two remarkable actors, as it preserves the very essence of what makes Star Trek great.

Star Trek Beyond is playing in Singapore now. Tell us what you think of the movie!