Similar to Guzmán's previous film, Nostalgia for the Light, this explores sprawling aspects of Chilean history and identity, all loosely contained around a central theme, which in this case is water. He uses this device to bring together the disparate narratives of the culture of indigenous Patagonians, our exploration of the cosmos and the crimes committed under Pinochet's regime in the 1970s. Guzmán's narration helps to unify these stories, which often is reminiscent of Herzog in his subjectivity and tendency towards profound/hyperbolic statements. It doesn't quite hang together as effortlessly as Nostalgia did, but still represents a filmmaker presenting important stories with a singular aesthetic.
In a summer of mediocrity, it's a real pleasure to see something that's unabashedly entertaining and optimistic. Even as a Star Trek rookie, it seems clear that this film is motivated by the spirit and idealism of the original series, rather than more cursory hat tips of the previous two (still very enjoyable) films. In doing so, we get a much broader look at the whole ensemble, instead of focusing just on the Kirk/Spock dynamic. Also Sofia Boutella's scene-stealing Jayla…