★★★★★ – “Explosive, action-packed fun.”

Star Trek Beyond is directed by Justin Lin and stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella.

The USS Enterprise crew encounter a new enemy in the furthest reaches of uncharted space that will push them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

With a director such as Lin in charge of a beloved franchise – reignited with Abrams’ previous two vibrant instalments – and having only been widely recognised as being the helm of many Fast & Furious movies, I was worried. Yet, only now I realise how wrong I was to be worried. Lin’s direction in this movie is deeply and firmly rooted in the ground of which Abrams set during the making of the first two instalments. This may be due to him looking over Lin as he takes the producing credit, but Lin’s vision is clear and wonderfully thought-through.

The returning cast of Pine, Quinto, Urban, Saldana, Pegg and Cho are as great as ever. But, the role that felt really huge and important in contrast to the previous movies, was Anton Yelchin’s final performance as Chekov. A truly brilliant actor, always taking the screen whenever alongside other cast members, giving us his very best in the trilogy. The franchise will not be the same without him. Another highlight was Urban and Quinto’s undeniable chemistry throughout. It was very grounded and touching to watch. Newcomers Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella, are both energetic additions to the story. Elba’s villain, Krall, is a powerful and evil force, creating many problems for our heroes. Boutella is awesome as Jaylah and quickly became a favourite of mine during the running length of this movie. Beautiful, bad-ass and perfect for her character.

Michael Giacchino returns with another heavily explosive score with many new leitmotifs paired with the colourful visuals and locations, whilst bringing back the main theme from the 2009 movie, re-recorded with new directions in mood and texture. My love for his music lives on as expected, delivering another soundtrack to add to the collection.

While the special and visual effects are amazing throughout, there were some moments where I felt they could have been touched upon just a little more. However, this doesn’t distract and never impacts the overall enjoyment of the movie.

One of the reasons I was more intrigued and excited for this instalment was having Simon Pegg as a writer. The screenplay is fun, dramatic and comedic. Straight away, you can tell you’re watching a film written by someone as genuine and diverse as Pegg. Some of his efforts haven’t always been so rewarding, but I believe he has done a fantastic job with this and should definitely take control of the fourth instalment. He has a deep understanding of the characters and it shows. The story is great and kept me fully entertained throughout. This is honestly some of his best work yet.

Another thing this movie delivers is a gentle tribute to the original cast of the Star Trek series, including Leonard Nimoy’s well-known portrayal of Spock. Following the sad death of Nimoy, the writers had to work on a way of rounding off his story in the franchise, and they do this wonderfully. 50 Years of Star Trek is celebrated perfectly and I’m sure the fans will greatly appreciate it.

Verdict; Star Trek Beyond is fun, action-packed and visually stylish, surpassing the greatness of the previous two instalments. This is a treat for all movie-goers and Trek fans alike. Pegg has done an impressive job and I hope he will return as writer for the next outing. Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin will be greatly missed.

Star Trek Beyond – ★★★★★ (9/10)

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