The USS Enterprise crew, led by Captain James T Kirk (Chris Pine), have been attacked by a powerful unstoppable wave of unknown aliens, who destroy the Enterprise, leaving them stranded on a new planet where they find themselves in conflict with a new ruthless enemy.


Following several underwhelming trailers for Star Trek Beyond I was worried that the finished film was going to have more in common with the disappointing X-Men Apocalypse than just being the third instalment in a reinvigorated franchise.

Thankfully that's the only similarity between the two as this is superior blockbuster entertainment. From the hilarious visual gag reveal in the opening scene to its moving twin dedications to Nimoy and Yelchin during the end credits this is a definite success.

A great mix of action, humour and suspense that moves the franchise further towards the original feel of the series.

It was also good to see each of the main characters getting their moment in the spotlight. The likes of Sulu, Scotty and Chekov given more to do here than in the previous two films, while Sofia Boutella makes an impressive entrance as kick-ass warrior Jaylah (On the subject of Sulu, that much publicised reveal is beautifully done and pleasingly matter of fact and low key). Any worries that Simon Pegg's writing credit would mean more Scotty slapstick are thankfully unfounded. If anything the funniest moments here are the ones between Urban's Bones and Quinto's Spock. As fine a comedic double act as you could hope for.

Also the film's action scenes don't disappoint. The extended first attack by Idris Elba's villainous Krall on the Enterprise is thrilling, often breathtaking stuff. While Michael Giacchino's score is suitably rousing and a familiar piece of 'classical' music makes a triumphant return.

On balance I'd say this was an improvement on Into Darkness (which I liked), even if Elba's villain doesn't quite have the same impact that Cumberbatch's Khan did. Overall though this is a highly enjoyable film and one of the more pleasing surprises of the summer blockbuster season.

By Kevin Knapman

Star Trek Beyond (12A)

2h 12m

Starring: Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella

UK Release: Friday 22nd July 2016