Star Trek Beyond

Justin Lin capably moves the Star Trek franchise forward with a film that pits militarism against humanism, albeit with a predictable outcome. Idris Elba, the kind of actor I wish Sam Jackson was, joins the stable of performers introduced by J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot as the energy-devouring war lord Krall, who draws the Starship Enterprise into a trap with the intent of using Kirk and crew to destroy the Federation of Planets. Lin’s staging of the destruction of the Enterprise is spectacular and ingenious, as it represents not only the imperiling of the ship’s crew but the near demolition of the idea of exploration and peaceful coexistence. Elba’s speech at the film’s climax, and the big reveal that comes immediately before, is intelligent screen craft and worthy of the venerable series’s legacy.

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