The Film (4/5)
The rebooted Star Trek film series has been off to an interesting start to say the least. The film has been an action sci-fi hybrid that has been largely removed from the series more cerebral and pulpy science fiction origins. That being said the first film in the J.J. Abrams rebooted sequence at least had a sense of fun and adventure, while the sequel Star Trek: Into Darkness fell into the trap of trying to tie itself into Star Trek's most popular all time adventure (1982's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan).
Star Trek Beyond, however, feels different, and I mean that in the best way possible. It feels like they made a modern version of the original Star Trek TV series, and made a movie from that. Obviously that means it has all the action that one would expect from a modern science fiction film, but Star Trek Beyond is steeped in the character moments that help make Star Trek what it is as a franchise.
Star Trek Beyond takes place 3 years into the legendary 5 year mission of the crew of the Star Trek Enterprise. The crew are on a mission to investigate a strange nebula near a star base. Upon approach they are attacked by an alien swarm that destroys the Enterprise and forces them to crash on a planet, where they must work together with Jaylah a former prisoner of Krall the villain who crashed the Enterprise and is attempting to take on and destroy the Federation.
Star Trek Beyond in many ways feels like the 2 films that came before it. However, the extended interlude on Altamid gives Beyond a feeling more in line with Star Trek: TOS which is a refreshing change of pace from the prior 2 films. It also allows the film to have a series of more interesting character moments. If there is one thing about these films that is consistently strong it is the cast that has been assembled for them, and after 3 films their chemistry is uniquely powerful, and moments like these work very well between them all.
The action sequences by series new comer Justin Lin are really series best. The opening battle that crashes the Enterprise is tremendous, and that just scratches the surface of the great action on display here. The whole thing is anchored by a pitch perfect script by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung who understand what Star Trek was, and what it needs to be. They also approach it with a sense of humor that is both fun, and at times absurd.
Paramount presents Star Trek Beyond in a excellent 2:39:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer. Everything here looks solid with blacks being inky and deep, detail being solid for the most part, and colors popping from the screen.
The audio is presented with a DTS-HD TrueHD track in English. The track is quite serviceable with dialogue, score, and ambient effects coming through nicely.
There are behind the scenes featurettes, interviews, deleted scenes, trailers and more.
I haven't fully been behind the rebooted Star Trek series, but Star Trek Beyond was enough of the Star Trek I love to finally get me. The Blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic, and has a decent slate of extras. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.