Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 31, 2010
The voyage home is the return to the status quo now that Spock is back to the crew that he belongs to, and this is the lightest of the Star Trek movies, a delightful yet not-that-original incursion into comedy with a hilarious dialogue and a very welcome ecological story.
Super Reviewer
July 1, 2012
This was the first Star Trek movie I saw at the cinema, and to top that I think I saw it whilst in the US of A too. So the story continues from where it left of in 'The Search for Spock' with Nimoy again at the helm. What can one say about this Trek outing, it certainly took a different route and clearly went for a more comedic approach. I believe this was the first movie to be set on Earth in the present day (at the time, 1986), I think that might also count for the TV series too.

Was this the right approach? well maybe, I can't deny that the film is very entertaining with some well crafted family fun moments that make all the veteran actors even more endearing in their now historical roles. How can anyone fail to love these guys? look at Spock in his hippy outfit...hilarious right?...right?!! Quite literately old age pensioners in space (with Shatner and Doohan getting fatter by the sequel and Koenig's hair piece becoming more obvious) and still saving the Earth, what a team! So yes kudos for the alternate direction and some lovely amusing moments which can't fail to make you smile but...

On the other hand did this film really do much to bolster Star Treks sci-fi rankings within the sci-fi hall of fame? I'm not so sure really, we all know Star Trek has that little niche of semi-serious logical sci-fi mixed with blatant fantasy but for me this plot just took one step too far. There is really only so far you can go before you have to step back and say hold on, and I think the whales went over that mark.

Earth is in trouble (again), oh geez! A weird object in space that looks like a black cylinder connected to a football by a beam of intense white light is headed to Earth. Note the rather blatant '2001' obelisk clone conveniently changed to a cylinder...well that's what I think. Unsurprisingly this foreign object is draining everything of its power as they usually do. When in orbit around the Earth the object knocks out the global power grid and starts tearing the planets weather system apart...inadvertently. This alien thing is seemingly calling to humpback whales which are currently extinct in the year 2286 so the ageing crew simply decide to use a time warp into the past to casually pick up some humpback whales and bounce back to the their present before anyone knew they were there.

Now is it me or is this premise just a tad beyond the realms of a reasonably sensible film? The last film saw a main character resurrected because they needed to keep the franchise going after the surprise blockbuster and now they can jump through time to fix problems...with whales, these guys can't be beaten!
The story is indeed an ingenious creation (they do tend to come across a lot of unknown energy sapping problems don't they), a good message about the environment and endangered species but for me the time travel thing just never sat well. Its too convenient and renders the Enterprise crew almost insurmountable in any given situation. Problem? well we'll just pop back in time with a time warp and hocus pocus every things gonna be OK. Don't even get me started on how they managed to somehow transport these massive whales in massive tanks of seawater...Jesus!

All that aside its a completely new breathe of fresh air to have the film set almost entirely on a planet surface, especially our own. This does infact render special effects almost obsolete for most of the film...almost. Being set on present day Earth (1986) Nimoy was able to do a lot more without worrying about the confines of space limitations and real science. This movie really felt like a far out comedic fantasy where anything goes and Earthbound visual gags were a tour de force. Naturally being set in the 80's you can't not have a gag utilising a stereotypical 80's punk...that's virtually an obligation.

Alas there are still many many typically nasty Star Trek bluescreen shots, hokey sets, some hideously obvious whale footage crowbarred in and pretty obvious matte paintings. On the other hand you do still get a solid array of decent looking starship models and the ever lovely Earth Spacedock. We also get to see much more interior of a Klingon Bird-of-Prey ship which up to this point had never really been explored much. On the whole I did actually like the misty atmosphere of the ship, the dark green colour palette set against various red LED panel lights, it looked mean and aggressive.

I can see why this did well upon release as its a fun film with a good message and happy ending. True it does feel like a long tourism advert for San Francisco and the humorous side makes the entire feature come across like something as daft as 'Crocodile space'. For me the plot has gone from generic in the last two films to completely outlandish in this film, such a sweeping change in concepts and tone! much suspension of disbelief required here.

Yet much like the previous two films I neither overly dislike or overly like this fourth effort. Its a movie of its time, I accept it for what it is and the movie itself knows what its aiming for, so to that degree I can't really moan. It is a typical Star Trek plot...but one of the more stupid plots, the classic TV series always did have good and bad plots. I can't really score this very high because apart from the childish funny moments that are indeed sweet the rest is pure dodgy hokem that still doesn't really look any better than the last two movies (the original still looking the best at this point).
Super Reviewer
½ May 4, 2014
Ambitious, exciting and memorable, The Voyage Home, being the fourth installment further the increasing quality in storytelling in the series, and is another good sequel that is directed yet again by actor Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy's direction is terrific and bring some much needed depth to the plot that makes it that much more enjoyable. There are hints of humor strewn throughout the film, and it complements the thrills and action perfectly. There are plenty of improvements in this entry, most notably the film's special effects and more layed back tone. I feel that the filmmakers were much more confident with this release, and it shows on-screen. The story is good, and the cast deliver some good performances. I really was surprised by this one, and like I said, it's an entertaining Science Fiction picture worth seeing, and it's a well crafted affair that is sure to delight fans. Nimoy does impressive behind the camera, and he helped make two outstanding films in the film adaptations of the classic TV show. It's rare for a fourth film in a series to be entertaining, but in the case of The Voyage Home, it's a highly engaging film going experience that manages to be amusing for a good two hours of entertainment. There are aspects that could have been improved upon, but overall, it's a solid sequel worth seeing and it's one that stands out among the franchise's very best films. This is a different type of Star Trek film, and it works well on many levels. With good performances, a well thought out story, and good direction, The Voyage Home continues the quality of good films in the series. This is one of the better movies I've seen, and though a bit different, is a refreshing idea that is thoroughly engaging.
Super Reviewer
November 21, 2006
The crew of the Enterprise return to Earth to find it under siege from a mysterious probe trying to communicate with the now extinct humpback whale and so travel back in time to 1980s Los Angeles to find some whales and save Earth's atmosphere from destruction. As you can tell from the extremely hokey premise, The Voyage Home is Star Trek with tongue placed firmly in cheek and is the closest the series skirted to outright comedy. There are plenty of laughs to be had in the culture clash between our old favourites from the crew and 80s L.A. and each member of the team gets their moment in the sun with some affectionate fun-poking and knockabout farce with a heavy handed but sincere eco message attached. It works better as humour than drama as the plot has holes you could sail a nuclear wessel through and the story itself becomes overly drawn out and a little dull when the jokes are put on the back burner for the finale, but it's still an entertaining exercise in camp that fans of the original series cannot fail to enjoy. Very silly but lots of fun.
Super Reviewer
½ June 14, 2006
The most charming and funniest of the Star Trek films brings Kirk's crew to our San Francisco on a rescue mission for whales. As silly as it is that future earth is attacked by a gigantic cylinder who only speaks Whale, the film just goes with it and has fun with that premise. The culture shock jokes mostly work and even though things never get too awfully exciting, this is most certainly much better than the dull first Trek films, despite of the actors' receding hairlines.
Super Reviewer
½ May 14, 2013
Tiresome. Thank God the cast started to die off by this date.
Super Reviewer
March 30, 2013
Taking a unique turn for the franchise, Kirk's team must go back in time to find Humpback Whales who can communicate with a found foreign species, causes for some belief issues among the human race and some hilarious understandings between Spock and humans. It was a very odd change of pace, sending them to earth for most of the film, exploring new languages and learning new thigs about the past, and I quite enjoyed that. "Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home" boasts very very strong visuals (they keep getting better) and a very talented cast who just seem to nail it every time. This franchise can go on and on, I haven't even had close to enough yet! A very solid entry!
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2007
If Star Trek is, as many fans critique it, the second cousin to "real" space operas (a George Lucas concern comes to mind, I forget the name) then this is the best of that series, the series spawned from the first Roddenberry television show. Why? Because its less concerned with saving the galaxy than with the gentle, often comic, interplay between the characters - that which made the series shine in the first place - and there's plenty of that here, more so than in any other. Its the human touch that makes this one shine. Hear Chekov say "nu-kle-ver wessels"! Its worth the admission price alone. And then they save the galaxy.
Super Reviewer
½ September 6, 2010
My favourite Star Trek picture, this one has the crew going back in time (as they sometimes did on the show) to get a bunch of whales so they can save the future. I love this movie, it's very funny and it has a message too.
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2010
Super Reviewer
½ May 8, 2009
This is the final part in the so-called "Trek Trilogy", and it's a really good film. Not as good as Wrath of Khan, but better than Search for Spock, this films is quite funny, and I like the fact that they did something different with it, like putting the Kirk and Co out of their element as they try to save the world in an environmentalist way. Like the previous two films, this one has a great theme and recurring motifs throughout. To paraphrase James Rolfe, TWOK was about death, Search for Spock was about life, and The Voyage Home is about communication, or lackthereof. I like it when movies do stuff like this, especially science fiction. There are basically two type of sci-fi films-those with shooting and battles, and those without. Both have their own merits, but the latter kind, like this one, have an importance which cannot be stressed enough. They are entertaining AND thought provoking.

Enough rambling.

The acting is great, the pacing is good, hilarity is everywhere, and the happy ending makes one feeel all warm and fuzzy inside. Nimoy is a good director, and it's a shame he didn't end up directing any more of these films. I think he should go back and give it another try. Oh yeah, one more thing. The plot, like the specifics, ispretty weird, and I kinda onder what kind of drugs Nimoy was on when he came up with this stuff. Not that I'm complaining, but seriously, wtf man.
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2008
Even though it takes place mostly on Earth, it is very much entertaining.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2009
"Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home" isn't like you'd expect it to be if you're familiar with the original series and the other Star Trek movies. It has a lot more comedy to it when you compare it to the previous Star Trek shows.
Admiral Kirk and the crew discover a signal in humpback whales' language that earth will be destroyed unless they can discover a way to find two humpback whales from the 20th century and transport them to the 23rd century.

If you like the other Star Trek movies, you will probably like "The Voyage Home." Unlike the other movies in the classic series, it is just as much of a comedy movie as it is an adventure. I thought a lot of the movie was funny, especially the part where the crew pretends to be doctors in a hospital and are chased by the police. "The Voyage Home" isn't my favorite Star Trek movie, but it is a great movie and one of the best. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000. This one packed in more of a comedic touch and I'd rank it 3rd out of the first 4 movies.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2007
If I dare say so, I actually liked this movie a lot. Shatner's qurkey jokes and robot spock combined with a joyus propoganda ploy to stop whale hunting made for a great 2 hours.
Super Reviewer
½ September 2, 2006
I'd forgotton what a great Star Trek film this was after watching it today. Very funny a times when we see the team arrive in San Francisco and expecially Spock's one-liners after getting confused.
"You must be out of your mind?"
"Is there something wrong with the one I've got?

Really this is the perfect film for all trekie fans, myself included. Highly recomend!
Super Reviewer
½ May 2, 2009
This is pretty good for a sequel. The Star Trek with the whales. Still has all the old characters - Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhuru, Sulu, Chekov, etc.
Super Reviewer
½ March 9, 2008
When going over the Star Trek films part four is always summed up with one sentence:

This is the one with the whales.

Star Trek IV continues the work of the previous two and starts off where three leaves off. The crew is preparing to leave Vulcan in their Klingon vessel, but while they're gone a mysterious probe has come to earth and is disrupting electronics and weather on the planet all while sending an odd sounding message that Spock (Leonard Nimoy) figures out is whale songs. All they need is whales to return the message right? Wrong. Whales were killed to extinction in the 21st century. The only answer now is to time warp back to the era of Reagan and bring back some whales.

As you can tell Star Trek IV is going to be a fish out of water film akin to Back to the Future only a little more pronounced. Every other scene entails some member of the crew facing 20th century culture in the weirdest way. That's to be expected, but it does get old after awhile. It's also rather telling that the plot is basically taken from the first film just jumbled up a bit. Another mysterious probe threatens earth. Jesus, why is everyone so pissed off at us.

Nimoy returns to direct again and does so adequately. There's no real flash and as I said in the other reviews the actors are the same as they had been for twenty years. Overall Star Trek IV is an average film that plays to much on the fish out of water. It's a preachy film and with that comes the responsibility to allow the viewer to understand that something is a problem without slamming it down your throat and not sacrificing the story. This film fails on both fronts.
Super Reviewer
October 29, 2008
Still on the Vulcan planet awaiting repairs to their captured Klingon ship, Kirk and his crew are summoned to earth by the Federation to stand trial for making Star Trek 3 so very dull. However a deep space probe is approaching earth sending out a communication signal that is disrupting power and damaging the whole planet. When they find that the signal relates to the now extinct humpback whale, Kirk decides to travel back in time to the 1980's to recover and bring back a whale.

Part 2 of the series is easily my favourite to this day of the Star Trek movies, so part 3 was a major problem, being so very dull and heavy, but part 4 was an improvement simply because it was so much more light hearted and fun. The plot is potentially very silly and a barely hidden ecological subtext that threatens to sink the film, but it is delivered with tongue in cheek and it is that saves it. The mocking humour is gentle and really carries the film as fish-out-of-water gags abound and the contrast between the crew and their surroundings is used well.

While the plot is nonsense, the cast all enjoy themselves in whatever roles the script gives them. Shatner has the biggest role of course but has the least fun as he has to carry the unlikely love interest. Nimoy is good fun despite having a follow on from the last film that is a little heavy and he does a steady job as director. The rest of the crew have small roles but each is funny - whether it's Chekov appearing to be a communist spy, McCoy berating modern doctors as the Spanish inquisition and Sulu happily flying helicopters for some reason.

Overall this is not the best Star Trek film as it lacks any real action, excitement or tension, but what it lacks in this area it makes up for in terms of gentle laughs. Looking at it alone it is only reasonable but after watching the dull `Search for Spock' this is a fun relief.
Super Reviewer
½ January 30, 2007
This is the funny one. I think they needed to make one of the movies on a way smaller budget and this is what we got. The crew time travels to the present day (at the time of filming anyway) and they interact in everyday time with the people of the past. A lot of what we see is played out for jokes and the rest of what we see is preaching to the viewers about the plights of the humpback whale.
All that aside, it is a fun adventure and once you push aside the preaching you can see that the actors had a lot of fun making this flick.
Also, the music is great.
Super Reviewer
½ January 2, 2007
One of the better Star Trek films with a decent story line.
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