After the 2009 franchise reboot of Star Trek got things back on track, and the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness consolidated its success, it was always inevitable that the series would continue and start to settle into a rhythm. Commitments to some other sci-fi movie saw director JJ Abrams depart, but his capable replacement Justin Lin (who had injected new life into the Fast and Furious films) brings some effective skill with action set-pieces to the fore as a result. Three films in, and this particular strand of the Star Trek universe is starting to settle into formula, just as other iterations eventually did in the past, but there’s still much to admire and probably life left in the crew for one more.

It helps that the solid supporting cast have settled further into their respective roles and bounce off each other with familiar chemistry, and Lin more than delivers what was probably his mission statement to amp up the action. The film’s large budget really shows as well – it’s often easy to take visual effects for granted on movies with this type of scale, but there are detailed and intriguing attempts at world-building on display. Simon Pegg’s script also shows an admirable respect for Trek tradition while not taking itself too seriously. So even if it’s all starting to feel a little familiar, it’s still hard to resist being taken for a ride by this thoughtful and fun popcorn sci-fi.

A nicely-written mixture of the franchise's traditions and summer blockbuster action8
Still the same old familiar Star Trek type of story though5
An engaging sense of humour and fun, with a terrific music gag8
There are probably enough characters and ideas in this series to warrant another film...7
...providing they actually try something a little different next time5
Bechdel Test passes
  • Features more than one named female character
Bechdel Test failures
  • None of the named female characters talk to each other
7Overall Score

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