Director: Justin Lin
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban
Release Date: November 1, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
In STAR TREK BEYOND, the Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.
Serving as the third installment in the recent reboot franchise, ‘Star Trek Beyond’ rejoins the crew of the USS Enterprise, now approximately three years into the five year voyage which they embarked upon at the conclusion of the previous film; the crew now starting to feel the effects of such a lengthy space exploration. Upon coming into contact with and agreeing to help a member of an unknown species, the crew of the Enterprise is promptly shot down by the terrifying Krall. After crash landing on a mysterious and uncharted world filled with hostile inhabitants, the separated members of the crew must relocate one another and survive the constant danger surrounding them, only to hopefully uncover a way of stopping the villainous Krall who seems intent on eradicating them all as part of his own twisted revenge plot.
The third entry in the recently revamped series sees a few behind the scenes changes; this time around directed by Justin Lin (Fast & Furious, Fast Five) from a script penned primarily by Doug Jung (TV’s Dark Blue) and franchise star Simon Pegg who also portrays Scotty in all three entries. Lin does an excellent job at the helm of ‘Star Trek Beyond’ and manages to make the film very much his own, while also capturing so many of the wonderful elements introduced in the first two entries. The latest installment features nearly all of the new cast members reprising their roles from the previous two movies accompanied by a few franchise newcomers and includes Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella, and the recently passed Anton Yelchin, plus more, nearly all of whom deliver solid performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Star Trek Beyond’ is an action packed, visually beautiful and heartfelt film that makes a welcome addition to the recently rebooted ‘Star Trek’ film franchise and while notably different in many aspects from the previous installments directed by Abrams, it still maintains the most crucial elements we’ve come to appreciate from these new entries while additionally contributing a tremendous amount of unique and fresh material. While it may not come as a huge surprise considering that director Justin Lin and screenwriter/star Simon Pegg are both huge Star Trek fans, ‘Star Trek Beyond’ certainly comes closest to capturing the overall tone and style of the original series and films. While I’ve never been a tremendous fan of ‘Star Trek’, I’ve certainly enjoyed plenty of its classic offerings and I’m fairly certain many of the diehard fans will be thrilled to see so much of that charm and style brought to the forefront this time around. Those who preferred the recent additions largely for their minimal resemblance to the originals should nonetheless still have a great deal of fun with ‘Beyond’, even if they may not be quite as impressed with it as they were with the last two films. Nonetheless, this is one entry that should more easily find that desired middle ground and Star Trek fans in general as well as those specifically fond of this particular reboot series will both definitely want to give this one a whirl.
The fellow 3D lovers out there should have a tremendous amount of fun with ‘Star Trek Beyond’ on Blu-ray 3D as Paramount continues to prove themselves one of the most impressive studios when it comes to post conversion 3D and this film is certainly no exception as it provides a consistently gorgeous and thoroughly immersive 3D presentation throughout that contains some impressive depth and no shortage of pop out effects such as the spanning of a ship that almost feels as if you could step onto it and spears that give the impression of nearly reaching the viewer’s nose; not to mention the space sequences which send ships and other elements front and center, almost appearing entirely detached from the screen in their intricate detail. Any fans of the franchise and especially those who appreciated the 3D Blu-ray edition of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ should find the 3D Blu-ray release of ‘Star Trek Beyond’ to be quite the treat; it will undoubtedly be the version I personally opt for watching with all subsequent viewings of the film.
Overall, ‘Star Trek Beyond’ is a stylish and action packed adventure that captures so much of the visual spectacle introduced in the previous two films, while also providing the largest amount of likeness to the original classics and the characters that inspired these reboots. Director Justin Lin does a wonderful job guiding the film along and making it largely his own, contributing a much more adventurous and Star Trek like tale than the last two installments, yet still making sure to deliver enough explosive excitement to appease those who enjoy these recent films far more than the original Star Trek series and films. I would strongly recommend ‘Star Trek Beyond’ to fans of the originals and newer movies alike; both are likely to appreciate it in a number of ways and won’t want to miss out on this thrilling and gorgeous ride.
The Blu-ray 3D release of ‘Star Trek Beyond’ features a full 1080p High Definition MVC encoded 3D presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio. The 3D video presentation looks outstanding and delivers a sharp, detailed and immersive presentation throughout. It holds up impressively even during the darkly lit and fast paced sequences, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. The depth is quite expansive and the pop out effects always look clean and smooth, suffering no discernible crosstalk or other negative elements at any point. Overall, this is another phenomenal 3D high definition video presentation from Paramount that should easily blow away the fellow 3D fans.
The 2D Blu-ray release which is also included in the 3D Blu-ray combo pack features an AVC encoded full high definition video presentation also representing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The standard Blu-ray release also provides a sharp, gorgeous and nearly flawless presentation itself and holds up beautifully even during the more frenetic and darkly lit moments. While I wasn’t able to go through the 2D disc in its entirety, I tried to check out a number of noteworthy scenes and everything I viewed looked fantastic and should easily thrill fans who might not have the option of 3D, or simply aren’t fans of the format.
The Blu-ray release (both the 3D & 2D disc) features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a crisp, clean and often insanely aggressive audio presentation from start to finish. Frequently utilizing all seven available channels in order to send a barrage of debris, space and nature activity, along with a great deal of action related auditory effects and more whipping throughout the various speakers, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted, let alone rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a spectacular Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that should easily thrill the fans and casual viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Star Trek Beyond’ includes a number of enjoyable extras, all of which can be found on the 2D Blu-ray disc (no bonus content is included on the 3D disc). Included on the release are a couple of ‘Deleted Scenes’ (running approximately 1 minute combined), and a ‘Gag Reel’ (running approximately 5 minutes) from the film. We are additionally treated to a collection of behind the scenes Featurettes that take you deeper into the creation of the film and include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Beyond the Darkness’ (running approximately 10 minutes), ‘Enterprise Takedown’ (approximately 5 minutes), ‘Divided and Conquered’ (8 minutes), ‘A Warped Sense of Revenge’ (5 minutes), ‘Trekking in the Desert’ (3 minutes), ‘Exploring Strange New Worlds’ (6 minutes), ‘New Life, New Civilizations’ (8 minutes), To Live Long and Prosper’ (8 minutes), and ‘For Leonard and Anton’ (5 minutes) a tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin.