Evil Movie Reviews: Star Trek IV – The Voyage Home and Star Trek V – The Final Frontier
I’ve got a two for one today. Two reviews for the price of one! I’m quickly getting finished up with all the Star Trek movies, ready to move on to TNG if you ask me. I watched #4 and 5 this past week and want to tell you all about it! Especially since the 4th movie is considered one of the best of all the Star Trek films. Warning, spoilers to follow, but you probably should have already seen these films if you are a Trekkie.
The Voyage Home. Even little old Lilith here, who never really liked Star Trek growing up, and had never seen this movie, knew it was about whales. The Earth is once again being attacked by a strange alien device emitting disturbing cries throughout the airwaves, and its effect on the earth is to start chatostrophically damaging the planet. This time around we have a very small crew: just the favorites on a Klingon war ship as they head back from Vulcan after the events that happened in Search For Spock. So the crew consists of McCoy, Kirk, Spock, Chekov, Uhura, Sulu, and Scotty. As much as these characters are the most classic and admired of all the Enterprise members, this movie felt a little bit like Grumpy Old Star Trek Officers. They have really aged and it is starting to show.
The crew is forced to travel back in time to save the whales (I will refrain from commenting on how they do this, for it is even more unbelievable than Doctor Who or Interstellar). Now the environmentalist in me should have enjoyed the message of this movie: that humans should be ashamed for destroying an entire species, a species that is smart and intelligent and wise, yet in the 20th century we were in the process of annihilating them one by one to use their body parts for various purposes. Kind of barbaric, and the worst part is it’s true! Again, I should have enjoyed the message this movie gave viewers: that whales and other parts of our environment are precious and should be conserved, but sadly since the future lives in a world without whales (we did successfully cause them to go extinct in the 21st century according to the movie), I feel like the message is still going to be missed. Whales are still just a resource to a lot of people, and until people start recognizing these creatures (and all creatures for that matter) as sentient, feeling, intelligent beings people aren’t going to stop consuming them.
Enough of my rant, the movie did try to portray this side of whales as well: specifically through Dr. Gillian Taylor, a woman caring for two captive whales in Sausalito until they are ready for release. This movie was supposed to be set in 1986, and I’ll just comment that no whales have ever been successfully kept in captivity (no folks, killer whales are technically not whales, they are dolphins). But this woman has done it, and has bonded with the whales. The plan is to release them to the wild but she is terrified they will be killed by poachers. Spock and Kirk try to convince her to let them take them back to the future where they will live out their lives in a whale-less ocean and save the humans from the alien that is trying to reach the whales. (Kind of depressing for the whales, right? And I am not going to comment on the chances of them repopulating the species, even though the female is pregnant. That is a whole other lecture for all you non-biology folks, that repopulating a species with two individuals is a bad idea and a recipe for failure).
That is the basic premise of the story. While there were several little details that bothered me, they kept it light and fun. Watching the futuristic crew try to assimilate with the 1986 culture was cute. And those of you who have watched it remember some very famous quotes from the movie, such as Hello computer? Which is Scotty trying to get the ancient computers of 1986 to respond to his voice. Or McCoy going off on a rant about how the physicians of the time were barbarians in trying to do brain surgery on Chekov to save him. All in all the movie was a classic film from the 80’s. How Kirk wooed the young female scientist again is still a mystery to me. And it is nice to have a happy ending, even if saving those two whales will not be a long term happy ending for them. I’m glad I watched the movie, but won’t be watching it again despite its reputation of being the best Star Trek movie of all time. If I had to pick one word about how I thought about this movie: cute.
Next is the fifth movie: the famous The Final Frontier. This was Shatner’s directorial debut. And just in the first scene you can see such a dramatic difference to the way Shatner directs as compared to Nimoy who had directed the two films prior to this. I feel like Nimoy had a more controlled and calculated way with his films. Whereas Shatner embraces the wild and crazy. I should have known it was going to be a painful ride from the opening scene: a man climbing a mountain against the beautiful backdrops of Yosemite. After at least 4-5 minutes of opening credits showing this man we finally get a glimpse of the man’s face it is none other than Kirk. I mean, really? I thought we left the horrible stunt doubles back in the 60’s! Guess not.
This story follows Sybock, Spock’s half brother, as he searches for god the creator and brings along numerous other people along the way. Sybock uses his Vulcan mind meld to convince all those on the Enterprise except for Spock and Kirk to obey him, and hijacking the ship he heads to an unexplored area of the universe where he thinks this creator exists.
Unlike the last movie, whose comic relief and antics were cute, this movie’s were just embarrassing. Like 57 year old Uhura doing a naked feather dance to trick a bunch of local scum while her crew members over power them. I am all for female empowerment, but this was not an example of this. I wish I could forget this scene. Or the corny scene of eating beans around a campfire singing Row, Row, Row your Boat. And the finale, the show down with this god, just embraced all the prior original series episodes where Kirk is again presented with the option of the options of free will or utopia, and as always wants free will above all else.
As you can see I don’t have much to say about the film’s details. To put it plainly, it was just awful. Definitely the worst of the lot I have seen thus far. It was unbelievable, over the top, chaotic, and the characters were miserable. I wish I could take those two hours back. Instead I just have to keep plodding forward towards the last of the Star Trek movies and on to TNG. The good news of Patrick Stewart is at this point I have pretty low expectations for him.
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Posted on May 19, 2015, in Evil Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews and tagged Evil Movie Reviews, kirk, kirk and spock, Sci-Fi, Star Trek, The Final Frontier, The Voyage Home. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.