Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Sofia Boutella, Idris Elba, John Cho
Director: Justin Lin
The 3rd and latest instalment from 2009’s rebooted hit space adventure franchise has its heart in the right place as it goes to where no man has gone before in the firmament: it mourns the death of Leonard Nimoy’s Ambassador Spock and honours the original multi-racial team lead by William Shatner’s Capt James Tiberius Kirk. I am pleased to say Mr Pine is as dashing and smashing as sweet William (minus the silver-flecked beard he was sporting on the Jimmy Fallon show the night before) and Mr Quinto steps smartly into Spock’s shoes. Actually, that applies to the rest of the (new) gang. (The end credits memorialise poor Anton “Chekov” Yelchin, beamed up to Heaven after a tragic accident, gone too soon).
Themes of hope, bravery, courage, tolerance, teamwork, loyalty and unity resound in this thrilling and visually spectacular installment, as the crew of the “Enterprise” proceeds on yet another intergalactic mission, this time around to rescue a stranded ship, only to realize it’s a dastardly ambush.
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The magnificent ship is first crippled, section by section, then destroyed by the evil Krall (Idris Elba) and the split-up crew must regroup while battling diverse dangers. Scotty (Simon Pegg) encounters the scavenger Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), who finds refuge in a downed US spaceship after the murders of her parents. Scotty convinces her to join their efforts to get off the planet and fight Krall who refuses to heed Lt Uhuru’s (Zoe Saldana) plea that there is “strength in unity”. This fictional Federation is akin to our UN: it strives to promote peace. I’d like to add the European Union, which I humbly submit, is worth preserving, just like the Federation. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Sci-fi films and literature have always addressed political and social concerns, and Star Trek Beyond makes a most apt and timely assertion in these fractious times: that strong alliances and enduring friendships work best for survival on earth as in Space: the final frontier. BTW, a new Star Trek TV series – not related to the film franchise – is scheduled for airing next year. And Capt Kirk’s reference to his late Dad in this instalment will see the emergence of a full-fledged character in an upcoming film with Chris Hemsworth in the role.