Thursday Night Movie Club
Star Trek Beyond
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Release Date: 22 July 2016

Director: Justin Lin
Chris Pine
Zachary Quinto
Karl Urban
Zoe Saldana
Simon Pegg
John Cho
Anton Yelchin
Idris Elba
Sofia Boutella
Joe Taslim
Lydia Wilson
Deep Roy
Melissa Roxburgh
Anita Brown
Doug Jung
Captain James T. Kirk
Commander Spock
Doctor 'Bones' McCoy
Lieutenant Uhura
Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott
Ensign Syl
Star Trek Beyond movie poster Star Trek Beyond movie poster Star Trek Beyond movie poster
The U.S.S. Enterprise in Star Trek BeyondFinally, an original Star Trek movie!!! Star Trek Beyond begins with Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) recording his Captain's Log. Fans of the original television series will immediately recognize the parallel to that shows first pilot episode starring Jeffrey Hunter. Three years into the starship Enterprise's 5-year mission, Kirk laments the boredom that has set in. With nothing to do but the daily routine, Kirk wonders if he made the right decision.

Kirk has come from a meeting with the Teenaxi as a peace envoy between the Teenaxi and the Fenopians. He carries with him an ancient Fenopian artifact that was once part of a powerful weapon. The mission is a failure. Kirk returns to the Enterprise and stores the artifact.

A brief layover at the Yorktown star base is interrupted by a distress signal from an unidentified spaceship carrying a previously unknown intelligent life form. Kalara (Lydia Wilson) is a member of a crew whose ship suffered a critical malfunction. She asks The Federation to help launch a rescue mission.

The U.S.S. Enterprise is under attack in Star Trek BeyondThe Enterprise is the best sensory-equipped starship at Yorktown. Captain Kirk and crew set out across a vast asteroid field to come upon a Class M planet. Class M is comparable to Earth's atmosphere and gravity. The Enterprise is suddenly attacked by a swarm of small vessels intent on crashing into the Enterprise's shield. The ship is not designed to handle such an attack. The shields fail and the small attack crafts begins smashing into the Enterprise's hull slowly destroying the flagship of The Federation.

The leader of the attacking force, Krall (Idris Elba) boards the Enterprise in search of the same artifact Kirk presented to the Teenaxi. The artifact is actually a part of a bio-weapon called the Abronath. Krall needs this to finish building his weapon. But what does the weapon do? Kirk takes the artifact from Krall and successfully hides it.

Thus begins the cat-and-mouse game, or McGuffin, of Star Trek Beyond. The artifact is the object the bad guys are after but is not the main point of the movie. What do people do when faced with insurmountable odds? Do you blindly follow your Captain's orders or save your skin? Do you sacrifice your life to save someone else's or hope someone else sacrifices themselves to save you? Why would someone sacrifice themselves to save another? This question, and several answers to it, re-arise throughout the film.

Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek BeyondStar Trek Beyond finally goes where no Star Trek film has gone before. The movie is much larger than simply a grand-scale action film. It is a personal film. Kirk isn't sure if he is the right man to captain the Enterprise. Spock (Zachary Quinto), in a tender tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy, learns about the death of Ambassador Spock. Spock's news has put a strain on his relationship with Uhura, (Zoe Saldana). Dr. "Bones" McCoy (Carl Urban) is thrust into one unimaginable situation after another and tries, unsuccessfully, to remain unemotional and detached. Sulu (John Cho) has moved his family to Yorktown and wonders if he made the right decision or did he put his family in harm's way. Can a father truly keep his family safe?

Screenwriters Simon Pegg and Doug Jung successfully captured the dichotomy of the original series as well as the using the talents of the new cast to create an excellent adventure. This is the Star Trek fans have been anxiously waiting for. There is no overlap with the original series just to get screen time for an aging actor or to cater to fans. There is no time travel. There aren't rehashed characters like Khan. Star Trek Beyond is an original storyline complete with a nice mystery, character development, interactions and some truly touching moments.

Carl Urban (Dr. McCoy) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) in Star Trek BeyondStealing the show in acting is Carl Urban. Urban has perfectly captured the spirit, heart and mannerisms of DeForest Kelly. He made them his own and expanded on the character. When McCoy gets rattled, Urban rails on incessantly. Each line he utters is funnier than before. His final rant to Spock is cut short by the transporter beaming just before he earns the film an R rating. Cleverly hysterical!

Also chewing scenery is Simon Pegg as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, chief engineer on the Enterprise. Kirk might steer the ship into danger. It is up to Scott to get the ship out of danger. Pegg is every bit as funny as Urban. Scotty blurts out one-liner after one-liner in describing the ship's condition. Pegg's pacing is wonderful. The ship and crew might be in real danger, but the audience is still laughing.

Krall is an evil and very dangerous adversary for Kirk. Like Kirk, Krall was an explorer. A mishap in his past has lead Krall to make some radical decisions to survive. The science on Krall's planet has prolonged his life but at an extremely personal cost. He is a shell of his former self hell-bent on revenge against those who he feels abandoned him to his fate. Krall needs the artifact as the final piece in reconstructing an ancient weapon of epic destructive power.

Idris Elba as Krall in Star Trek BeyondIdris Elba is wonderful as Krall. Krall has been under the strain of a huge burden. Abandonment issues aside, Krall must think about the survival of his crew. Being on his own for so long, Krall has exhausted all plausible plans of rescue. He has lost all hope. His final act of survival transforms the remainder of his crew and himself into revenge-seeking monsters. But Elba also weaves in a little sadness into Krall, lamenting the life he could and should have had. Krall's anger is overpowering and all-consuming.

Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) is a sympathetic young woman who saves Scotty and decides to help him find the rest of the Enterprise crew. Jaylah's ship was also attacked by Krall. Her family survived but became slaves of Krall. One day, Jaylah's father sees an opportunity to escape. When it became apparent that he would not escape, he sacrificed his life for her freedom. As a young girl at the time, Jaylah is continually bothered by her father's actions. She is not mature enough to understand parents will do anything to protect their children.

Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) and Simon Pegg (Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott in Star Trek BeyondSimon Pegg and Boutella make a wonderful pair. She has learned to become self-sufficient due to her predicament. Scotty befriends Jaylah and tries to explain to her what being part of a team really is. Jaylah does not need to be alone ever again. Living life alone is stagnant. Living with friends, the possibilities are endless.

Sofia Boutella is very good depicting the subtle shift in Jaylah. She trusts Scotty only because he is also an enemy of Krall. She reluctantly helps Scotty locate and rescue Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Chekov. The men form a plan to free the remaining captive crew members. But they have no chance of success without Jaylah's help. Again, Jaylah reluctantly helps because it is her only chance to get of this hell hole in space. Only when Jaylah is locked in mortal combat with the soldier who killed her father does Jaylah understand the whole truth. The needs of the daughter outweigh the needs of the father. Teamwork with, and trust in others can make a person greater than he/she thought possible. By trusting Kirk, Jaylah's self-sacrifice helping the Enterprise crew need not be in vain!

Star Trek BeyondStar Trek Beyond is also a mystery. The opening sequence, although played for laughs, introduces the artifact that Krall desperately needs, long before his character appears in the film. When Scotty is saved by Jaylah, she recognizes the Star Fleet emblem. She takes Scotty to her home, which is actually the wreck of the lost Federation starship, the U.S.S. Franklin. How did that ship end up way out here? No wonder it was never found. Further investigation of the ship leads to some disturbing and shocking revelations.

Star Trek Beyond has finally gone where no one has dared go before. Like its namesake, the film does indeed go beyond. The universe has expanded. The possibilities are endless!