Star Trek is one of the biggest TV and Cinema franchises in history. To say that the franchise has a huge fanbase is a complete understatement. Many fans treat it like a religion and proudly call themselves Trekkies. The original series was created by Gene Roddenberry and broke boundaries when aired for the first time in the 60's. There has been a heap of spin-offs which to some seemed to slowly dilute the brand somewhat.
As a fan of Star Trek the original series and movies, I had become a little despondent with where the franchise had headed. But once the publicity surrounding the reboot of the franchise had hit me in 2009 I could not wait to see the movie. J.J. Abrams produced and directed this film, taking it right back to the original concept. He included the original characters but adding some extra darkness and amazing effects. The second film Into Darkness resurrected a legendary baddie from the original series too in the form of Kahn.
One of the biggest strengths of the original series was the focus on the relationships between the lead characters. The new franchise focuses heavily on this chemistry and we are treated open conversations over some Romulan Ale between, Dr. McCoy and Captain Kirk. Dr. McCoy is equally as abrasive towards Spock if not more than in the originals. The cast is just brilliant and Chris Pine captures the essence of Captain Kirk perfectly. Zachary Quinto is brilliant as Spock. But the real stand out is Karl Urban. His portrayal of Dr. McCoy is uncanny and famously Leonard Nimoy was brought to tears after watching Urban play the character. The other cast members all bring something special to their roles and it is clear that they all have real chemistry off-screen, especially when Paramount releases the outtakes from each film.
Star Trek Beyond hit the screens in 2016. Abrams did not direct this film due to other commitments but Justin Lin did a tremendous job. Where Abrams may have taken the Darkness a little too far in the last movie, Beyond pulls the focus back to the characters again. We see the relationship between Spock and McCoy develop with Kirk questioning his motives after a constant five-year mission. And the romance between Spock and Uhura grows stronger. All this pulls the audience back closer to the crew and you once more feel a connection. That is not to say that there is no darkness in this film though.
There are heaps of battle scenes with spectacular effects throughout. The new baddie has a deep-seated hatred towards the Federation and will stop at nothing to destroy it. This character is named Krall and is played brilliantly by Idris Elba. We even get to see Captain Kirk have a fistfight with the new baddie, just like to old Captain Kirk we all love.
The great thing about Star Trek Beyond is that it has something for everyone, you don't need to be an out an out Trekkie to watch this film. The plot is relatively simple, but the effects, the acting and even the soundtrack are brilliant – who on earth would have thought you would hear the Beastie Boys on Star Trek. The hype surrounding the fourth Star Trek movie has already begun, with the media suggesting that Chris Pine may not play Captian Kirk lets hope this is fake news. If you are looking for two hours of fantastic entertainment or need to get back in the mood before the new film comes out – give Star Trek Beyond ago on Netfix tonight.
Update: Unfortunately, Star Trek Beyond is no longer available on Netflix. You can rent it on Amazon but it is not included with the Prime subscription.