Hard to believe that the new Star Trek franchise is already on it's third film. Star Trek Beyond brings the cast of the previous two films and their evolving plot lines back around. This will be my "spoiler free" thoughts on Beyond.
I saw it in Imax 3-D with immersive technology or whatever they are calling it. What I call it is loud! I felt like Grand Pa Simpsonwhere he's screaming that they need to turn it up and people's heads are exploding.
In terms of movie review, it's quality summer fair.
Sound? Check. Things blow up nice and loud.
Visuals? Check. Colors are crisp and bright and dark and shadowy as appropriate.
Plot? If you overthink it, it's going to go by the wayside. The big "reveal" actually caught one of my friends by surprise but me and another friend were like, "Yeah, I know where this is going..."
Character designs? Space battles? Destruction of the Enterprise?
Solid designs on the bad guys and the new alien ally. There's several nods to the previous Star Trek series in that in the dreaded real world, actor Leonard Nimoy recently died and that is tastefully incorporated into the film at a few moments of introspection.
Space battles are done well giving a sense of different styles of combat that in this particular setting, we haven't seen before.
The albino design on the alien with the blue markings, Jaylah? The new main bad guy Krall? The ship and technology that Krall uses to devastating effect against the Enterprise? All thumbs up.
Of course there are moments for the "Three" if you will, Jim, Spock, and Bones. They are the foundation on which the other members move around. In many ways, most Star Trek movies and stories are not about the aliens, they are not about the dangers. They are about the relationship these three have.
This is true even when there is a push to make things more inclusive. No matter how much the theory of inclusivity is pushed, the standard ring of three remain the backbone in this film from which all things move forward.
Spock having a hard time in his relationship with Uhura? Well, heck, that's not as important as how his relationship with Kirk is going.
Jim thinking of leaving his ship for a promotion? Again, not as important as hanging with Spock!
Bones being bones and providing a nice chunk of humor here?
And it's not that other actors don't get a few minutes here and there. I'd even argue that outside of the big three, the biggest 'star' of the movie is Scotty. It's Scotty who finds a native ally in Jaylah. He gets a nice chunk of screen time and his sense of humor works well here.
If you're a fan of the new cast and want to see a summer blockbuster, this is a great movie to see at the theater to beat the heat.