"We got no ship, no crew, how're going to get out of this one?"
"We will find hope in the impossible."
Now this is how you write, shoot, and act in a major Star Trek movie....
One of the advantages of waiting to see a newer movie is that it's done without the context of hype, advertising, or even personal enthusiasm. As a person who's discussed Star Trek on WBEZ twice in one year, I have to admit that I was OK with the films (although my I've grown to dislike Star Trek Into Darkness after repeated views, but still enjoy the 2009 reboot)...but Star Trek Beyond feels like the Star Trek movie that played in my head ever since I was a kid.
Part of why Star Trek Beyond works so well is the screenplay by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung - it integrates so much of Star Trek concepts and mythology that it never feels like an overstuffed fan film. (I'm talking to you, Star Trek Phase Two). Yes, it involves some familiar tropes (alien seeking revenge/doomsday weapon), but the way that Pegg & Jung's script progresses utilizes some really creative twists, turns, and reversals...
...as well as a much better use of the Beastie Boys' Sabotage than in the 2009 film. And without spoiling, there's actually a story reason for that song.
But what's really powerful is the overall message of Star Trek Beyond. With so many "classic" Star Trek fans providing the dismissal that the movies don't have "stories about the human condition" like the series did, Star Trek Beyond has a message that resonates...especially now, in our more tumultuous times.
It's about how hope is important, that struggle might be necessary at some point...but that we can overcome the struggle. That we are never forsaken, and that, ultimately, what drives us is a sense of wonder.
And before you claim that it somehow underperformed at the box office...well, watch Star Trek Beyond for yourself. At the very least, you'll see why I love this movie so much.