4 out of 5 stars
The adventures of Kirk and the Enterprise crew continue in Chris Pine & co.’s third outing as they once again stand in the way of pesky villains who are hell bent on destruction with dubious and bordering on ridiculous motivations. After plundering the old Star Trek movies for inspiration last time, Simon Pegg (and Doug Jung) went further back and deliver a solid, competent but rather familiar plot that would have sat nicely next to the Roddenberry TV series. They’ve kept the plot and structure as simple and uncomplicated as possible and while the narrative will never make perfect sense in these films, Pegg seems to know when to rein in the nonsense while keeping the pace brisk and mood jolly, with even a few emotional moments for older fans. What’s more surprising is how Justin Lin’s physics and gravity defying stunts seem to make more sense here in outer space than in his Fast and Furious films. The set pieces and special effects are entertaining and done well enough that overall, the initial fears of Lin and Pegg being director and writer proved in the end to be unfounded and the new blood even manages to inject a somewhat fresher look for the franchise. In this increasingly crowded field of big science fiction blockbuster franchises, this third outing manages not to disappoint and held steady its course and quality of output – now let’s see if they can boldly go somewhere new in the inevitable fourth outing and make a fan out of this non-Trekkie once and for all.