The film, which opens in theaters July 22, received an 86 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics praised the dynamics of the cast and how well they play off each other. The latest incarnation following the U.S.S. Enterprise crew also scored high marks for keeping the fantasy-action film true to the original TV series and celebrating a sense of diversity without hitting “the audience over the head” with it.
“Star Trek Beyond” installment stars the returning cast of Chris Pine (Captain Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Commander Spock), Karl Urban (Bones), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), John Cho (Sulu) and Anton Yelchin (Chekov). New to the adventure are Golden Globe winner Idris Elba as the powerful and evil leader, Krall, and Sofia Boutella, the otherworldy Jaylah.
Here are five reasons why critics like “Star Trek Beyond”
Russ Fisher, TheWrap
“‘Beyond’ is quite familiar, with a structure that marries modern blockbuster form to a plot outline that could easily be at home in the 1960s original series. This episode cuts right to the core of the series’ original appeal, giving the terrific cast a chance to play against one another in a straightforward story. It’s not exactly bold, but ‘Beyond’ does satisfy.”
David Sims, The Atlantic
“Lin never hits the audience over the head with the crew’s sweeping sense of diversity and the power they draw from their egoless camaraderie. Early on, as the crew takes some shore leave on a space station, you catch a sweet, subtle glimpse of Sulu embracing his husband and child; when Uhura is captured by Krall, she doesn’t need her boyfriend Spock’s help in escaping his clutches; and there’s a continuation of the brotherhood between Scotty and his three-foot engineering assistant Keenser, a beady-eyed, fungus-resembling creature who sneezes acid any time he has a cold.”
Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
“There’s only one thing we really want from a summer movie and that’s fun. ‘Star Trek Beyond’ is just that, and it keeps reminding you that’s what it is. Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is a thrill-seeker, a fun-loving guy, and that’s why he never hesitates to take on a questionable mission. We know it’s dangerous, the stakes are apocalyptically high, but this crew just seems to have too much fun doing it, and that’s best expressed in this latest installment of a series that could be called ‘Star Trek: The Abrams Generation.'”
Ty Burr, Boston Globe
“‘Star Trek Beyond’ plays like an episode of the old ‘Star Trek’ TV series. This, I submit, is what’s enjoyable about it. It’s longer, of course, with a different cast, a more hectic pace, and state-of-the-galaxy digital effects. But those boulders strewn across the planet on which the characters have landed look like Styrofoam even if some of them are real, and the dramatic stakes are the kind that get resolved in an hour with commercial breaks rather than two hours-plus of epic cinema. It might even feel like you’re back in your rec room, circa 1967, drinking Tang and waiting for the Tribbles.”
Daniel M. Kimmel, New England Movies Weekly
“John Cho, as Sulu, and the late Anton Yelchin, in his final turn as Chekov, make the most of still underwritten parts, but Zachary Quinto as Spock and Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy absolutely soar, playing off of each other as well as off of Pine. Zoe Saldana gets to kick some alien butt as Uhura and newcomer Sofia Boutella is a welcome addition as the complex alien spacefarer Jayiah. She would be good to keep on in future entries.”
Dana Stevens, Slate,
“Among other things, the series included one of American television’s first interracial kisses–even if Kirk and Uhura were being compelled to smooch by evil godlike aliens. In our arguably more inclusive age, expanding that universe to include a gay character feels right — especially when that character is Sulu, played in the original series by the out-and-proud actor George Takei, who has insisted that his recent remarks objecting to the character’s newly revealed sexuality were taken out of context.”