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Star Trek Beyond  

          review by Bobby Blakey

When JJ Abrams took over the Star Trek franchise with his reboot in 2009 fans were concerned about what was coming but it ended up knocking it out of the park and setting up a whole new universe. The second installment Into Darkness was met with mixed results as it took on reimagining easily the most popular film in the franchise. After Abrams stepped into the galaxy far, far away he took on a producing role with the latest chapter Star Trek Beyond being directed by Justin Lin. Could this latest adventure go into a bold new direction for the Enterprise crew that fans will want to be a part of or will it be an away mission they can’t come back from?

Star Trek Beyond follows the first leg of the USS Enterprise's five year mission that takes them into uncharted territory. There the Enterprise is nearly destroyed and strands Kirk and his crew on a remote planet with no means of communication. Kirk must then work with the elements to reunite his crew and get back to Earth. All the cast return along with some new cast members including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Anton Yelchin, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Deep Roy, Sofia Boutella, and Idris Elba. Everyone steps right back into character like they never left and better than ever. While every film gives screen time to the entire crew this latest installment gives each of them more screen time. All of them shine in their own ways bringing all the humor and drama that Trek is known for. The sad news of the always great Anton Yelchin’s passing is made all the sadder by seeing how much more he shines here than in the previous entries. He really embodies this character and could have had some even greater things in store for both his take on Chekov as well as his other work. You could go on and on about how they all have great chemistry and passion for  their characters that shines through all of their performances but it’s the emotion and bonding they get to go through in this adventure that makes it stand out.

Newcomers to the series Elba and Boutella are great new additions. Elba does a great job as the villainous Krall with his body language and vocal dialect coming together with his menacing presence making for a great villain. The real standout is that of Sofia Boutella who stole the show in Kingman and does so again here. Her look is awesome, but mix that with her performance and you have a memorable character that you will hope to see more of in the future. Star Trek has always been more about the characters to the story than the action and this chapter is no different, but have no fear there is plenty of action here. The trailers lead you to believe that it is a full on action piece and there is a lot of it, but it doesn’t overshadow the great characters moments of the film. The action that is here is great on every level, but some may not like the fact that it was so chaotic visually at times. This seems par for the course to this new trilogy so you get used to it, but would be nice to see them pull the camera back a bit to enjoy it more.

This is an excellent new chapter to the series and further cements this new cast in their place as members of the Star Trek franchise. There are some great nods to the passing of Nimoy and the original cast as well as a nice cap acknowledging the loss of Yelchin that makes the end result of such a great film all the better. Who knows what’s in store for the franchise with the passing of Yelchin, but they have already announced the return of Chris Hemsworth for the fourth outing so we are clearly in for something special.

In addition to the film this release will also include a ton of bonus content including deleted scenes, a gag reel, and numerous featurettes that takes you further behind the sci-fi adventure. Take the next journey with the crew of the Enterprise when Star Trek Beyond is available now on Digital HD and then on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 3D Combo Packs November 1st from Paramount Home Entertainment.  

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