Picking up three years into a five year journey, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is still commanding the Starship Enterprise, along with the help of his very large crew, most notably consisting of Spock (Zachary Quinto), Bones (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and a few others. When voyaging through space, the Enterprise is attacked by an alien known as Krall (Idris Elba), who takes Kirk's crew captive and destroys his ship, forcing everybody to evacuate onto a nearby planet. It's up to Kirk and the few crew members not yet captured to find out what Krall wants, put a stop to it and save his crew, but this may not be as easy as it sounds.
Right from the get go, this film is a tonne of fun. With a plot that constantly moves forward, and characters with investing stories to be told, Star Trek Beyond never has a dull moment. It's explosive, fast and completely riveting, all the way up until the closing credits. It may not be as action heavy as the last two films, but it's certainly a lot more character driven, and these are some wonderful characters to be stuck with for two hours. Not all of them are given an awful lot to do, especially the ones being held prisoner, but they all get their moment in the spotlight.
As for Jaylah, she's yet another well designed alien who certainly knows how to kick ass. She's fun and developed, even if some of her dialogue can feel a little clunky at times and she just so happens to miraculously speak English for no reason whatsoever. Her character interacts with a lot of primary crew members, and she fits right in, adding to the story and helping to further it along, excluding the film's third act where she kind of disappears for a little while, just watching as everything unfolds before her. But that happens with a lot of the characters, as this third act, while not necessarily personal, really focuses in on the dynamic between Krall and Kirk.
To sum up, Star Trek Beyond is a fast paced, exciting, character driven mix of the new franchise and the old. It's entertaining right from the opening scene, all the way until the closing credits, and while the villain's motives could use a little work, this latest installment in a 50 year old franchise went up and beyond all expectations that had been set.