Star Trek into the Usual
After stopping off at Starbase Yorktown, a remote outpost on the fringes of Federation space, the USS Enterprise, halfway into their five-year mission, comes under attack and is destroyed by a relentless wave of unknown aliens. With most of the crew falling prisoner, whilst the rest end up stranded on an unknown planet and with no apparent means of rescue, they find themselves fighting against a ruthless enemy with a total hatred of the Federation and everything it stands for. Only a rebellious alien warrior can help them escape the planet to prevent the genesis of a possible galactic war.
After a brief action opening "Star Trek Beyond" starts with Kirk dealing with being halfway through a five-year mission where his wardrobe consists of gold tops and one day is as ordinary as another. On top of that his birthday is rolling around and that also marks his father's death and so he is in a bit of a funk. It is a nicely written opening with just the right amount of humour and cheese to make you smile but at the same time some depth and elements of human nature to look forward to the adventure ahead for Kirk and his crew.
Sadly what follows that opening is a by the number modern crowd pleaser as we have the good guys against the bad, some humour, some action and of course special effects which endeavour to surpass what was delivered in the previous movie. And in fairness "Star Trek Beyond" delivers what modern movie goers seem to enjoy from the famous faces to the humour mixed with action, which wouldn't be out of place in say a Marvel movie. But for me this return to the usual simple humour and action/ good guy bad guy formula betrays the interesting set up of Kirk having a bit of a mid life, or at least mid mission, crisis of sorts. It also betrays the potential depth of a sub plot surrounding Spock and Uhura's relationship and the battle between duty and desire.
What this all boils down to is that you could say "Star Trek Beyond" delivers what the majority want with a formula driven action movie with a flood of special effects frothing up with both humour and action. But for me it wastes some initial clever ideas by sticking to the easy to please action humour formula.