David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter is more positive, calling it "welcome relief from a summer of stale popcorn." Picking up from J.J. Abrams' arguably disappointing Star Trek Into Darkness, Rooney writes that Star Trek Beyond "regains momentum, and not just in the obvious area of its muscular action set-pieces. The script injects a welcome strain of humor that's true to the original Gene Roddenberry creation, delivering nostalgia without stiff veneration."
Rooney has some reservations for Lin, whom he says "directs with his foot often jammed on the accelerator, careening from one physical or aerial clash to the next where the densely packed movie could sometimes stand to take a breath." Still, he claims that the "pacing, structure and crescendos of suspense are assured." Conceding that the end result "isn't without confusing elements," he adds, "as warmongering intergalactic blitzes go, it's coherent enough"—which may go down as the most back-handed compliment in Trek review history. "While Beyond won't unseat 1982's thrilling The Wrath of Khan as the gold standard for Star Trek movies," Rooney concludes, "It's a highly entertaining entry guaranteed to give the franchise continuing life." Hey—we'll take it.