Star Trek Beyond, the third entry in the new franchise that began with J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot, feels in many ways like an apology for its predecessor, 2013’s messy Star Trek Into Darkness. Although it’s hitting theaters with seemingly little fanfare or expectation, Beyond is better than it has any right to be and has personally renewed my faith in this franchise, which was shaken considerably by Into Darkness. Beyond is better than that film in pretty much every way that matters, with a new creative team in the form of director Justin Lin and screenwriters Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, who seem to both adore Star Trek and understand what longtime fans of the series want out of a blockbuster film. It may not be quite on par with Star Trek 2009 (it will take a bit of time and repeated viewings to know for sure) but it is the turnaround this franchise badly needed. Here are 10 reason why Star Trek Beyond is superior to Into Darkness.
10. It Feels Like An Episode Of The Original Series … And That’s A Good Thing!
Of the three reboot films released so far, Beyond feels the most like classic Star Trek, especially when compared to its direct predecessor. The tone of Into Darkness was all over the map, as it felt too dark to be a proper Star Trek film and more like J.J. Abram’s audition for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens directing job than a worthy follow-up to his surprisingly good 2009 reboot.
Beyond’s tighter focus on the Enterprise crew and smaller narrative reach make it feel like an episode of the original series; albeit one with a significantly bigger budget and more action. It’s actually kind of a shame that Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and the rest of the modern cast are part of a movie franchise and not a TV series because I could easily get on board with spending multiple seasons with this particular cast, thanks to Beyond doubling down on establishing the right tone.