The third installment of the Star Trek reboot is for me the weakest yet, relying on big battles and CGI more than the characters and stories that made the first two so much fun. Which is not to say it isn’t entertaining. I mean it is Star Trek! There is still witty repartee between the crew, and lots of derring-do, mostly by Kirk. And an evil nemesis, this time a scaly alien named Krall (Idris Elba). And the future of the universe does hang in the balance. So it has all the elements you expect. But J.J. Abrams is not at the helm of the franchise this time, and Justin Lin (Fast and Furious) doesn’t quite manage the same balance of adventure and comedy. Nevertheless, as escapist entertainment goes, it works.
This time round, Kirk and Spock begin the film each thinking it may be time to move on, but they miss the opportunity to share that with one other. So when they’re drawn into the sphere of the evil Krall whose overpowering assault causes them to crash the Enterprise on a distant uncharted planet inside a nebula, it’s all hands on deck to free their captured crew and safeguard the Federation and the future. And surprise! surprise! It changes their attitudes towards that life change they were contemplating. In between there is bonding and fighting and ingenious engineering by Scottie and a new Black and White striped rebel girl character. (Will she be around in the next installment?) There are some twists in the plot (no spoiler) that didn’t totally make sense to me, but hey! It moves fast (and furious) and before you know it, the universe is safe again.
The characters all live up to their classic roles. But overhanging the whole film is the recent tragic death of Anton Yelchin who plays Chekov and has a rather sizable role this time. And there is a nice farewell to Leonard Nimoy. The film is dedicated to the two of them. I think they’d have both liked it. I liked, not loved it. Trekkie fans, you know who you are. Go see. Share your thoughts. Live long and prosper.