Seeking out the

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Star Trek Beyond

Directed by Justin Lin
Produced by J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Justin Lin, and Lindsey Weber
Written by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung Based on the television series "Star Trek" by Gene Roddenberry
With: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella, and Jeff Bezos
Cinematography: Stephen F. Windon
Editing: Greg D'Auria, Dylan Highsmith, Kelly Matsumoto, and Steven Sprung
Music: Michael Giacchino
Runtime: 122 min
Release Date: 22 July 2016
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
Color: Color

Star Trek Beyond is the third installment of J. J. Abrams’ reboot of Gene Roddenberry’s iconic sci-fi space adventure series.  Despite the clever ability of Abrams and his team to recreate this franchise for a new generation while still maintaining critical links to the original series (and the old fans), the new Star Trek movies have traveled from uneven-but-promising to so-bad-they-should-be-avoided in just three installments.  Star Trek Beyond (the nonsensical title is evidence that this series has run out of ideas) is the first of the new films not directed by Abrams himself—who relinquished the captain’s chair to relaunch that other space saga Star Wars.  Taking the helm this time out is Justin Lin (director of the last three The Fast and the Furious pictures).  Lin’s flashy but inconsequential aesthetic doubles down on the vapidity of the screenplay by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung.

The less said about this movie the better. Almost every choice reaches near Phantom Menace levels of wrongness. Nothing about the movie feels even remotely substantive. The character relationships, the themes, the humor, the credible feeling of being in space; everything that made the original television show and movies special and significant is absent from this new franchise. Like so many contemporary blockbusters, it lacks any and all dramatic stakes—life, death, duty, destruction of what characters hold near and dear—everything is temporary and easily remedied.  The witty banter is labored and the action sequences are tedious. This movie explores nothing but the shallowest of surfaces.