FILM REVIEW: Star Trek Beyond

3 Piranhas

“Didn’t do it for me

– but I’ll still go and see a fourth Star Trek movie.”


I really enjoyed the first two films in the rebooted Star Trek series featuring Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock.  I was therefore happily anticipating another fabulous episode with the third one, Star Trek Beyond, but sadly I was disappointed.  This film is nothing like as good as the previous two and I blame the scriptwriter.

The story in summary – The USS Enterprise is on a five-year mission to seek out new planets in uncharted space, but when they stop to take on board new provisions etc on a new space station, things start to go wrong.  They encounter a new, powerful, enemy and when they answer a plea for help and go to a remote planet, the Enterprise is destroyed and the crew are stranded without any means of communication.  They are also separated into various groups and some of them are taken prisoner.  Captain Kirk has to try and reunite his crew and find a way to get back to the space station, while simultaneously defeating the new enemy.

I found the plot very convoluted and hard to follow right from the start.  It takes ages before it all begins to make sense and by then it’s almost too late.  As soon as the crew of the Enterprise reached the new planet, the film became very dark, to the point where you could barely make out what the characters were doing and where they were.  And although the main characters were still there, they lacked their previous chemistry.  It was as if all the joy had gone out of it, the humour lacking.

For instance, in the second film, Kirk and Spock argue incessantly in a very amusing way which shows the differences between them, but also their deep friendship.  In this film there was very little of that verbal sparring and they each seemed sunk in their own thoughts/misery while contemplating their future.  And the love affair between Spock and Uhura, which was going so well in episode two, goes completely pear-shaped here and the viewer doesn’t quite understand why as they don’t seem to discuss the reasons or try to work things out.  Very disappointing.

Separating the crew into smaller groups didn’t work for me, as they are best when working together.  Some of them (secondary characters) had too much air time this way, while we didn’t get enough of Kirk and Spock.

The ending is also not very satisfying – even though things are resolved, there were precious few explanations.

So I’m afraid this one didn’t do it for me.  I would still go and see a fourth one, if they decide to continue the series, but I sincerely hope they can find a better script-writer and inject some of the former fizz into the next story!

Pia x

Pia Fenton writes contemporary romantic YA stories and her Northbrooke High series features UK heroines clashing with US heroes in an American high school setting.  The latest one is New England Dreams.

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