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Evil Movie Review: Star Trek III – The Search for Spock

It was a very sad moment for the world when we lost Leonard Nimoy last month, and an even bigger loss to the geek community. Even I, the reluctant Trekkie, was saddened by his loss despite my complaints of not liking the original series that much. He was such an iconic man, and his personal quotes and lifestyle really reflected Spock in a lot of ways as well. So it only seemed appropriate that I continue on my quest to watch all Star Trek related films and shows with the next movie in my line up- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

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This movie is such an appropriate tribute to Nimoy. Not only does this movie make us wish the we too could find a regenerated and almost immortal Nimoy, but the film was the first that Nimoy himself directed. And maybe I came in to it biased by the recent loss of the legend, but it was in my opinion my favorite Star Trek movie yet. Now let me tell you why. (*Spoilers*).

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We left off in our last movie, The Wrath of Khan, with Spock dying in an act of heroism and martyrdom to save the ship. His body is thrown out the airlock on a trajectory towards Genesis, the newly born planet just formed by the explosion of the Genesis Project.

Naturally the Federation is reeling over the use of this new Genesis project, but the Enterprise is still devastated by the loss of their comrade. When they arrive back home on Earth they are all treated as a bunch of old-fogies, almost being forced in to retirement. But then Kirk learns that Spock’s soul has been implanted in McCoy’s brain, and in order for Spock to rest in peace as well as McCoy not to go insane they have to retrieve Spock’s body and return to the planet Vulcan with it. Then the Vulcans can let Spock’s soul retire.

love these grumpy old men, back at it again

love these grumpy old men, back at it again

But the Federation won’t authorize this action, and Kirk being the rebel he is hijacks the decommissioned Enterprise with his trusty friends to complete the mission anyways. It really was cute, seeing these now older men act like young rebels as they stole the ship. Scotty, Kirk, McCoy, Sulu, and Chekov are the only ones on board, and Uhura helps the men achieve their mission from Earth.

While on the way to Genesis the men are ambushed by a group of Klingons, led by none other than Christopher Lloyd playing Kruge, their leader! I think one of the reasons I liked this movie more than the previous ones is that I like the Klingons. Everyone needs a good villain, and I know the Klingons are touted as this warrior society that is constantly at odds with the Federation, so I frankly want to see more of them! This movie did not disappoint in that matter. I think the one thing that I look forward to with future movies and shows about Star Trek is that I will get to learn more about the fascinating race of Klingons.

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Now during the Enterprise’s battle with the Klingons it comes to light that they are trying to obtain the Genesis as a weapon (very Cold War-esque). And Marcus (Kirk’s son), Saavik (formerly played by Kirstie Alley, now some unknown actress), and the newly reborn and rapidly aging Spock are all on the planet’s surface, also captured by the Klingon. Kruge and Kirk try to negotiate, but Kruge will have none of it, and before we know it Marcus is killed so that Kruge could make his point. I think that was the only part of the movie that felt awkward for me: Kirk was taken aback by the fact that he had a son in the last movie, and then in this movie he just gets killed with no fanfare whatsoever. Poor guy.

Of course, it also is revealed that the Genesis process in general is unstable, and the crew is informed before Marcus’ death that his planet is a failure. It will collapse on itself in hours. Which means Kirk and Kruge get to have another epic Gorn-style battle on the surface. Kirk wins this battle fairly easily, which led me to wonder why they didn’t draw it out so long like previous battle scenes from the show? I am not complaining, I think short and sweet is better, but I wonder if in his older age Shatner just wasn’t up for it, and the producers were finally starting to realize that their overused stunt doubles are kind of unbelievable.

The crew has successfully retrieved Spock’s body, and they book it onward to Vulcan in their stolen Klingon vessel. The high priestess of Vulcan performs the fal tor pan, and Spock is resurrected, which means Bones is also no longer going down the crazy train. And now that our beloved Spock is back we know Nimoy can entertain us in the Star Trek Universe for a while to come (until 2015 specifically).

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It’s all rather simple, so why did I like this movie more than the others? Probably partially because it was simple. People did the right thing. There was more morality. And it focused on the core characters that we all know and love, allowing them to become more important to the storyline rather than just a familiar face on the ship. It though I wish it had more time to go in to this further, it did briefly discuss the ethics behind creating and destroying worlds. It also had a strong underlying current of friendship.

I also liked that there was more spotlighting of the Vulcans and the Klingons, two alien races that I look forward to learning more about in the future. I am sure the answers to my questions can be found on some Trekkie website, but the movie made me ponder several aspects of Vulcan behavior, like the Mind Meld and the use of pressure points to disable or knock out people. For instance, when Bones is possessed by Spock’s mind and tries to pressure point a man, and his attempt failed- does that mean when Spock does it he is using his mind tricks as well as the pressure point? And even though they were mostly portrayed as a bunch of barbarian soldiers, at least we got to see more of the Klingons. I think this opens up future storylines on this race for sure.

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To sum up: so far this was my favorite of the Star Trek movies yet. I look forward to the next one, also directed by Nimoy. And I will say that I with there was a way that we too could Search for Nimoy and bring that amazing soul back to life. But I guess that’s something for us to look forward to in the future.

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Posted on March 18, 2015, in Evil Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Yes, I have heard that the even numbered movies are the best. II was definitely a step up from I, but I was just not a huge fan of Khan I guess. I’ll keep you all posted on what I think of the 4th one, that’s next!

  2. I really enjoyed the second one and am curious to check out the third one myself, despite having heard that same thing about the odd-numbered ones. However, that theory seems to fall apart for me almost immediately because the fourth film is about the crew of the Enterprise traveling to the 20th century to save the whales…

  3. I’ve just recently watched Star Trek (1979) and Star Trek II. I thought ‘II’ was a significant step up in quality, but I’ve heard the odd numbered ones don’t fare to well. I’m encouraged by your review, though.

  1. Pingback: Evil Movie Reviews: Star Trek The Voyage Home and The Final Frontier | "The Brotherhood of Evil Geeks"

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