Time to head back to space.  Star Trek Beyond is the most original of the rebooted universe, and while it's heavy on action it also gives the characters a chance to shine.

As the movie opens, the Enterprise is three years into its mission of exploration, stopping at the starbase Yorktown, and weariness is overtaking some of the crew.  Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is now older than his father was when he died, and Kirk is considering settling down at the Yorktown and promoting Commander Spock (Zachary Quinto) to captain.  Spock, meanwhile, is upset that his alternate-timeline self has died, and Spock has broken up with Uhura (Zoe Saldana) over helping the Vulcan race.  The rest of the crew is their reliable selves: Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban), Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the movie), Sulu (John Cho) and Chekhov (Anton Yelchin).
The Enterprise gets sent on a rescue mission in an uncharted nebula -- but the Enterprise is attacked by massive swarms of ships led by Krall (Idris Elba), an alien who absorbs the lifeforce of others and seems to have a particular hatred of the Federation.  With the Enterprise literally torn to pieces, the crew winds up in different groups on a nearby planet.  Kirk and Chekhov work on rescuing the remained of the crew in the wreck of the Enterprise.  Bones is assisting the wounded Spock.  Sulu and Uhura interact with Krall.  And Scotty meets Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), a martial artist and engineer who helps him in exchange for his help getting her off the planet.  There's also an ancient starship, a mysterious artifact, a motorcycle, and music from the Beastie Boys.
Director Justin Lin has also directed several movies in the Fast & the Furious series, so it's no surprise that Star Trek Beyond is heavy on action: fast-paced space battles, numerous slugfests on the ground, and that motorcycle turning up in the far future.  But the cast has settled into these near-iconic roles quite nicely, the different groups hearken back to the landing parties of the original series, there are a few surprised with Krall, and Jaylah is a spirited and interesting character.  Star Trek Beyond is another enjoyable movie for the summer.
Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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