Just when you thought the filmic interstellar journeys were done and dusted, Star Trek Beyond, the latest instalment in the global blockbuster science fiction franchise, blazes gloriously once more across our movie screens. As a fan of the television series and the Star Trek films, I was eagerly anticipating a bold new adventure for the crew and I was not disappointed. Of course I was prepared for the mind blowing special effects that are synonymous with such blockbuster films, but I was not prepared for the unusual camera angles. Many times during the film, the camera would oscillate and spin in an almost 360 degree angle, and together with the rapid succession in frame editing, the close-up shots and the surround sound, I felt quite disorientated. But these innovative filmmaking techniques are part of the new immersive cinema style and are designed to draw the viewer into the action. They create a kind of kaleidoscopic effect where the cinema screen seems like it’s moving independently to all the diegetic on-screen action.
The plot stays true to the familiar Star Trek narrative: Captain James T. Kirk and his close-kit crew are seeking to “boldly go where no man [or woman] has gone before.” The film provides non-stop action and the battle to the death with a psychopathic villain with a universal grudge from his conflicted past. But this time the screenwriter, Simon Pegg (aka Scotty) and Doug Jung, delve a little deeper into the life of the crew and the relationships between the main cast.
The highlight for me was the sarcastically friendly banter between Spock and McCoy, but also the omniscient narration that is provided by Kirk at the beginning of the film, where he provides his intimate perspective on life on-board the Enterprise. There are twists and turns in the story-line and a few surprises in store, as well as a heart-warming tribute to the the original Spock/Leonard Nimoy.
Star Trek Beyond is wildly entertaining, and whether you are a Trekkie fan or just a science fiction buff, you will enjoy this latest Starship Enterprise adventure.