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Star Trek Beyond (3D in some cinemas) (DQ)


Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Idris Elba, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Sofia Boutella, Lydia Wilson, Shohreh Aghdashloo

Director: Justin Lin

While emphasising a return to old values and camaraderie, this is well up to the best of the Star Trek films since the series was first rebooted in 1979. It has a good script, part-written by co-star Pegg, now well into the role of Scotty, a no-nonsense plot and a strong villain in Elba's Krall, out to obtain a gizmo with which he can control - well, what else? - the universe of course.

Out to put a stop to his inter-galactic game are Captain James T Kirk (Pine, blue eyes gleaming) and the crew of the good ship Enterprise.

After a slowish beginning, things soon pick up as the Enterprise is dispatched on a rescue mission through nebulae to a distant planet, where the captain (Wilson) of a starship insists her crew are being held by Krall and his villainous horde, who quickly unleash hundreds of mosquito-like fighters against the Enterprise, which is forced to crash-land, putting its crew at the mercy of the planet's predators.

Lots and lots of action follows, including Kirk doing a Steve McQueen on a super-hyped motorbike; but there's also time for some nice interplay between Kirk, Spock (Quinto) - the latter two for various reasons considering leaving the Enterprise - Bones (Urban) and Scotty, and for the introduction of a new character, a stripy-faced spacegirl (Boutella), whose trap-protected home on the hostile planet is an old spaceship which is to play a vital role in the conclusion of a story that leaves you wanting more.

Sadly, it's the last Star Trek appearance for Yelchin (Chekov), killed so tragically at the age of 27. The film is dedicated to him and to Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock, who died last year (or in 2263 in starfleet years) and whose character is decisively laid to rest here. Neither man could have wished for a better send-off.

David Quinlan

USA/Canada 2016. UK Distributor: Paramount. Colour by deluxe.
121 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 20 Jul 2016