A surprise attack in outer space forces the Enterprise to crash-land on a mysterious world. The assault came from Krall (Idris Elba), a lizard-like dictator who derives his energy by sucking the life out of his victims. Krall needs an ancient and valuable artifact that’s aboard the badly damaged starship. Left stranded in a rugged wilderness, Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of the crew must now battle a deadly alien race while trying to find a way off their hostile planet.
Another one off my list of most anticipated films of 2016, for obvious reasons. This film picks up with the crew of the Enterprise in the middle of their mission of exploring new worlds and going where no man has gone before. To replenish its supplies and give the crew a break, the ship docks in a new Federation starbase called Yorktown. Their stay is short lived once they are called upon for a rescue mission. Things don’t quite go as intended, obviously, leading to what we already knew with the crew stranded on a strange planet with seemingly no way out.
They are there because a lizard-like alien named Krall (Idris Elba) needs a powerful, ancient artifact that is aboard the Enterprise. Now stranded and scattered on this strange, new planet, it is up to the crew to find each other once again and work together in order to escape. During this time, we got to spend time with different clusters of crew members who were in different areas of the planet. These moments were fun to watch with the best being the ‘Bones’ McCoy (Karl Urban) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) pairing. While we had glimpses of this in the trailers, just the difference in personalities playing off of each other provided many hilarious moments and this thankfully continued through the whole film.
They were not alone, however, as a new character named Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) also helped because she had dark history of her own with Krall and that they can help each other escape the planet. She was an interesting character whose history could have been expanded on, but she could definitely take care of herself, if the trailers are any indication. Her interactions with Scotty (Simon Pegg) were fun as well as it was another play on different personalities. Others did not fare as well with some crew members being captured by Krall which included Sulu (John Cho) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana). They didn’t really have much to do here as it felt like they were mostly setting up Krall.
It was mainly up to Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin) to get everyone back together. They were also fun to watch as they were the most active, driving the plot forward. Past Star Trek films (at least the most recent two) were great because of their balance of sci-fi and action. This one continues that trend and does not disappoint. The sci-fi stuff was great and obvious and the action was great too. A lot of the action was great to watch and entertaining which a scene hinted at in the trailer, featuring the song “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys being the standout. The buildup to it was quite silly but it sure looked cool. An argument could also be made that the camera moves a little too much.
The plot is pretty straightforward but it does take a while before we get to learn anything substantial. It feels like it spends most of its time leading up to something and it would have been nice if it occurred more quickly but this was okay since the buildup was entertaining enough. After working together for now 3 films, all of the actors have developed great chemistry it was even better here. This was the main reason for everybody being fun to watch. The other being the script, co-written by Pegg, which played to the actors’ strengths and benefitted from the chemistry. It also had the balance between the action and often changed the pace with more comedic moments to lighten things up.
The acting was great again and can be attributed to the chemistry and the script. Each of the characters had their own moments, as mentioned above, so there was less of a “crew” concept here but that was okay since we had two previous films worth of that. Some characters had more to do than others but they did the best they could with what they had.
Overall, this was a fun, action-packed adventure with a good story and great character moments.