Star Trek Beyond12¦ Blu-ray, 3D, DVD
There have been lots of famous space men but none can be more spacey than J.J. Abrams. After successfully rebooting the Star Trek franchise he jumped ship - literally, from the Enterprise to the Millennium Falcon - and boldly went to a galaxy far, far away.
Although handing over directing duties to Justin Lin, Abrams has still managed to keep his space fingers on this long-running franchise as a producer and therefore still have a strong presence in both space camps. What this means is that this third instalment in the current rebooted series isn't a million light years away from what has gone before.
After three years of zipping back and forth across the universe, keeping the peace and trying to maintaining inter-galactic diplomacy, James Kirk (Chris Pine) is reconsidering his career options. But just as he's thinking of handing over the keys to the Enterprise, a new foe rears its ugly head on the horizon.
Having only briefly docked at the shiny Yorktown space station, Kirk and his crew are sent on a mission into uncharted space to aid a stranded ship. Before the words of a certain admiral from another sci-fi franchise can be uttered, the Enterprise finds itself heavily under attack and ill-prepared to deal with the consequences.
The crew are splintered and find themselves scattered across the planet, where many of them are taken prisoner. They are being held by Krall (Idris Elba), who now has a powerful artefact in his hands, which he plans on using to deadly effect. With the Enterprise out of commission, Kirk, Spock (Zachary Quinto), Bones (Karl Urban) and Scotty (Simon Pegg) have to pool their resources and space brains to save not only the crew but the entire federation.
With Abrams off doing Jedi stuff, trekkies might have been concerned as to how the future looked for their favourite franchise. After all, Lin has mostly steered four of the high octane/low expectation vehicles from the Fast and Furious series. they need not of worried though, as he appears to have handled the upgrade and passed the test with flying colours.
He was probably helped by a sharp script, co-written by Pegg himself, that not only contains a fair amount of well-needed humour, but also sees a growth in the relationships between the main characters. The story also has a retro feel about it, and could easily have been lifted from an episode of the classic TV show. In keeping with the original, the music also has a deliciously familiar sound to it; Michael Giacchino's score taps into the overly dramatic soundscape often heard in the long-running show, which matches well with the action on screen.
Lin may have learned his craft from fast motors, but he's managed remarkably well with the new tools at his disposal. Space is a shiny CGI world these days, and it's polished beyond belief. Lin does extremely well balancing the warp factor action, with all the computer generated whizz bangs, with the human/vulcan elements that need to be developed.
As far as this reboot goes, this third instalment goes above and beyond what's expected of it. It has all the thrills and spills you could wish for, and shines brightly in the on-going Star Trek resurrection.