Star Trek Beyond (2016)
This movie kind of reminded me of Star Trek: Nemesis in that there was no leading "hook" to the storyline. It's not "the first" with a new cast; it doesn't have Klingons, or Khan, or the Borg. It doesn't tease a major character's demise. It is pretty much a standalone story with original aliens and villains.
The film picks up where we find the crew of the Enterprise 3 years into their 5 year exploration mission. The crew, and the ship, are getting somewhat frayed around the edges and some of them are looking to assignments beyond their current exploration mission. When they dock at the "Yorktown", Starfleet's newest monstrosity of a starbase, a distress call comes in to rescue a marooned alien ship hidden in a nearby nebula. The Enterprise goes to investigate.
Like the previous Star Trek movies in this incarnation of the series, the action is amped to the detriment of character development and exposition. In a script co-penned by Simon Pegg, there are a few personal stories that are treated in a perfunctory manner, but the focus of the movie is on the action; which is kind of a shame since that was not really the spirit of Roddenberry's creation. Also, as directed by Justin Lin, many of the setpieces suffer due to a lack of sense of geography. Groups of people scamper from point "A" to point "B" or fall from ledge "W" to platform "X" but we lose a sense of where they are in proximity to others or to where they are supposed to be going.
Finally, while much of the action is rooted in comic book style heroics (where people can fall or slide great distances with nary a limb sprain or a "rug burn"), that kind of pales in comparison to the engineering feats that one Montgomery Scott can achieve in no time at all and with limited to no resources on equipment that is out of his wheelhouse. (But then, look who penned the script.) I know he is a "legendary engineer" and all, but come on!
HOWEVER, for all its faults I still enjoyed the movie. The cast themselves have grown into their various roles and everybody is given something to do for the most part. The death of Leonard Nimoy plays into the proceedings and there is a credits mention of Anton Yelchin's passing. There is even a nice nod to the original actors who originated these parts. I also applaud them for having an original story and giving the stock enemies a break.
3.0 / 4.0