Posted on 5/16/13 07:55 PM
J.J. Abrams has been making quite a name for himself. He brought back the Star Trek franchise from the grave. While it was received with critical acclaim, a box office success, and paved the way for new Star Trek fans, it has remained to this day, polarizing among those who grew up with the television series and older movies. He then went on to direct Super 8, a sci-fi movie that was a homage to several of the sci-fi movies from the 70s and 80s. It has also been revealed that he will be the director of Star Wars Episode VII coming in a couple of years from now.
Now, J.J. Abrams is directing the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. But unlike the previous first sequels to Star Trek, this one has more riding on it unlike Wrath of Khan and First Contact. Unlike The Motion Picture and Generations, this one is coming off a movie that was well-liked among the public. If there is anything to expect from this movie, it's plenty of action scenes and flashy visuals. Star Trek Into Darkness does more than that, though. What I think I see here is probably the best Star Trek movie to come to theaters since Wrath of Khan. While it doesn't quite reach its heights, this is the closest that a Star Trek movie has come to it since First Contact.
The movie takes place sometime after the events of the previous film. The crew of the Enterprise is on a mission to observe a primitive civilization. But when Spock (Zachary Quinto) was but into a life-threatening situation, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) breaks "Prime Directive" to save him, which exposes the ship to the planet's civilians. Because of this, Kirk is demoted and Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) takes his place. But during a meeting, they are attacked by a terrorist by the name of John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), a former Starfleet agent.
In response to this tragedy, Kirk requests that Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller) allow him to pursue Harrison along with the rest of the Enterprise crew, along with new crew member Carol Marcus (Alice Eve). As they come to find Harrison, it appears that not all is what it seems to be.
Like its predecessor, Star Trek Into Darkness is a more action-oriented movie. But this feels more like a true Star Trek movie than it did. As with the previous movie, the action scenes were engaging and some of these sections are among the best pieces seen in any of the movies. The visuals are at an all-time high thanks to the $185 million budget. The musical score is also really good.
But this movie may stir up some controversy over taking a lot of elements from previous Star Trek movies, one in particular. While some elements may have been taken, I thought that for how they were, Abrams do the scenes really well in his own way. Fans will either see them as a homage to the movie or as direct copying (particularly one scene towards the end). If there was one thing about it I didn't like, it was the use of one iconic Star Trek line as it came off a little cheesy (you'll know when you hear it).
But like with his previous two movies, J.J. Abrams doesn't forget about the characters. The returning cast are more comfortable in their respective roles. Chris Pine is much like he was in the first movie, but portrayed as a more flawed character who must learn from his mistakes. Zachary Quinto gives a performance that outdoes his first take on Spock, and his character acts in way that was never seen out of Spock before. McCoy gets more to do in the movie. Zoe Saldana's Uhura is the strong female character she was in the first movie and her relationship with Spock was less awkward.
As for the supporting cast, Anton Yelchin is more tolerable in this movie with his Russian accent. Simon Pegg provides plenty of comedy relief, though there are some other chuckles from the other characters. Bruce Greenwood gets a few good scenes with Chris Pine. Peter Weller does an adequate job as Admiral Alexander Marcus. If there was one performance I didn't like, it would be Alice Eve as Carol Marcus. Though she was only in one movie, those who remember her would know that she was a character from Wrath of Khan who was Kirk's lover and had a son with him. If a romance does take place between the alternate timeline incantations, it won't happen until another sequel. As it was, Alice Eve was mostly mediocre, but her role is limited.
But the one actor who overshadows all the others is Benedict Cumberbatch as the movie's villain. Never has there been an excellent portrayal of a villain since Ricardo Montalban's Khan. This is the closest that the performance for a Star Trek villain has come to matching Khan. In fact, I think he is among the best villains in a blockbuster film in the past five years. The only movie villain I can think of during that time period that he doesn't outrank is Heath Ledger's interpretation of the Joker from The Dark Knight.
Star Trek Into Darkness is the most entertaining movie of the year so far. It might not win over some of the old time Star Trek fans who were disappointed with the 2009 film, but this was a very good movie and may even be the best of the three movies that J.J. Abrams has directed. While I may still be somewhat skeptical about the new Star Wars movie, I believe that with Abrams sure-handed directing, Star Wars is in more than capable hands.
Posted on 5/16/13 01:13 PM
With the box office and creative disappointment that Star Trek: Nemesis was, the movie franchise had gone to the grave. The TV incantation of Star Trek didn't last either as Star Trek: Enterprise (which I haven't seen any of) had been cancelled in 2005 when the ratings were getting lower. There was going to be a movie called Star Trek: The Beginning that would try to continue the Enterprise story. But it fell through.
So what do you do when a franchise had reached the deep end? With a new crew and cast, the studios had decided to give it the same treatment that was given to Batman and James Bond: reboot. But not only that, it's also trying to appeal to a mass audience. To do this, they add more action to the movie but also do away with the lessons on morality and humanity that was prevalent on the TV shows. This movie will probably not suit the old time Star Trek fans while it will entertain the casual moviegoers and the less demanding fans.
The first twelve minutes represents one of the best openings for a Star Trek movie. It starts in 2233, the USS Kelvin investigates a "lightning storm" in space. But it actually turns out to be a portal where a Romulan ship, called Narada, emerges and begins to attack the Kelvin. It's commander, Nero (Eric Bana), is searching for Ambassador Spock. George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth), knowing the ship won't survive, evacuates the ship which included his pregnant wife, who gives birth to James Kirk as they escaped and during George's final moments.
Several years later, we see Kirk (Chris Pine) as a young adult as well as Spock (Zachary Quinto). While Spock is a mature but emotionally insecure student, Kirk, on the other hand, is reckless despite being a high-ranking student. He is encouraged to join Starfleet by Captain Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) and makes friends with Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban). Spock, upon hearing that his human mother (Winona Ryder) put him at a disadvantage with the Vulcans, decides to join Starfleet as well. For the mission, they are to stop the Narada who seeks to destroy the planet Vulcan despite being outmatched. Along the way, Kirk gains an unexpected ally.
To help gain more box office numbers, Star Trek was made into more of an action movie. This is more like The Wrath of Khan and First Contact than the other Trek movies. While the action is really engaging, particularly the opening scenes, making this movie into that takes away most of the moral lessons that the most of the other Star Trek films had. While the themes of friendship and choosing to do what's right are apparent through the interactions between Kirk and Spock, there aren't any messages or ideas. So it isn't pure "Star Trek."
However, director J.J. Abrams handles the project really well. Some people may say that he ruined Star Trek. While they may have done away with the "true sci-fi" elements of Star Trek, at least Abrams doesn't go complete overkill on using action scenes and lots of explosions. He actually cares about how the movie turns out. He isn't a teenager-in-his-mind director like Michael Bay and Paul W.S. Anderson.
On a technical level, this is the most visually amazing Star Trek movie since First Contact. It's pretty clear that most of the $150 million budget went to making the effects. They are very breathtaking, but J.J. Abrams doesn't forget to use actual set pieces instead of going all-out CGI like George Lucas did with the second and third Star Wars prequels.
But Abrams doesn't forget about the characters, though. Unlike Bay and Anderson, he hires capable actors instead of models for eye candy and those with little to no acting talent. The actors will never be able to match the depictions made by the original actors since they had played and practically lived in their roles for 25 years (28 for William Shatner since he was in Star Trek: Generations). But that doesn't mean that the actors in this movie can't bring in their own incantations of the iconic characters.
Chris Pine does a surprisingly good job as Kirk and even has a little bit of Shatnerism in him in playing the character. Zachary Quinto does really well in capturing Spock, as well. And It was good to see him struggling with his half-Vulcan and human heritage. The chemistry between him and Pine worked really well and among the movie's highlights. Leonard Nimoy also gets to play an elderly version of his Spock that goes beyond being a cameo. Karl Urban is good as McCoy, just don't expect a lot of the interactions with Kirk as Shatner and the late DeForest Kelley had.
As for the supporting cast, they were also mostly good. Zoe Saldana makes a good Uhura, but the romance she develops with Spock comes off as rather awkward. John Cho was decent as Sulu. Simon Pegg was a little funny as Montgomery Scott. Eric Bana was all right as the villain, but was rather one-dimensional. He isn't Khan or Chang, but he's better than villains like the God imposter and the throwaway villains from three of The Next Generation movies. Anton Yelchin was okay, I guess, but his Russian accent was kind of silly.
While old time fans of Star Trek may not like what was done with their beloved universe, it's far from a bad movie. It's not completely brain-dead like Transformers and the director at least cares about the execution of the characters. This is one of the more entertaining movies, even if it isn't pure Star Trek. May the franchise live long and prosper.
Posted on 5/16/13 11:05 AM
So, what can be done with Star Trek at this point? Well, there isn't much to go. We've already had the Enterprise crew fighting against Klingons, Romulans, and the Borg. But at its tenth film, Star Trek is starting to look tired being around for more than three and a half decades.
With the Star Wars prequels coming to theaters after two outings, not to mention crushing competition with The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, people were less interested in Star Trek and it looks like that the box office would cause the series' end. Though it feels more like a finale for the crew than The Undiscovered Country, it doesn't have a good payoff.
The film opens with an uprising in the Romulan Senate. A human named Shinzon (Tom Hardy) usurps the reins of power and pretends he wants to make peace with the Federation. Then we cut back to the Enterprise crew, in which they are bidding farewell to Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Counselor Deanna Troi-Riker (Marina Sirtis) as they are about to wed. The starship Enterprise is dispatched to the planet Romulus on a diplomatic mission. While on the mission, they discover another android that looks much like Data (Brent Spiner) that goes by the name B-4.
Upon reaching Romulus, Picard discovers that all is not as it seems to be. Shinzon's identity surprises the Enterprise crew, and the telepathic abilities of his viceroy (Ron Perlman) allow the Romulan Praetor to invade Troi's mind. It soon becomes clear that peace is the last thing on his mind. He intends to use his seemingly invincible warship, the Scimitar, to dispatch the Enterprise, then move to bigger targets. Eventually, a massive space battle gets underway, and, as always, the Enterprise's shields are collapsing and the warp drive is out.
The visual effects in the movie are really good, much better than those in Insurrection. The action scenes are also adequately done. The makeup was better than those used in Insurrection as well, but still nothing great. But where the movie really falls apart is the story. There was some promise in the premise of Picard fighting against a clone of himself. But it was not very well executed. This also feels more like an action-oriented movie than a Star Trek movie with a lesson to it.
The old crew do their usual job, but that's to be expected of them. The newcomers are not as good. Tom Hardy in particular was not a very good villain. He tries to be to Picard what Khan was to Kirk, but he gives a dismal performance.
With Star Trek: Nemesis, Star Trek seems pretty much dead. Their best years have long past. With the Star Wars prequels coming to theaters, people are less interested in Star Trek. But while The Next Generation may not have gone out on a high note, at least the franchise didn't continue and get worse than this.
Posted on 5/15/13 10:40 PM
After the very rousing Star Trek: First Contact helped the franchise back onto its feet, The Next Generation brings in its third installment. So you'd think that things would get better for Star Trek? While I wish it was that way, Star Trek: Insurrection actually takes a humongous step down. It tries to be like The Voyage Home, but it falls back into the territory that Generations was in. And that does not foretell a good outcome.
The movie takes place on the peaceful planet, Ba'ku. However, while on an undercover mission there, Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) malfunctioned and started randomly shooting. His actions cause the hidden presence of the Federation and Son'a to be revealed. The Enterprise crew is sent to capture Data, or disable him if they can't. Investigating why this happened, they seek to find out why Data acted the way he did. That's when they discover of a plot by the Son'a and the Federation to remove the Ba'ku from the planet because they want to tap the radiation being emitted by the nearby planet's rings which have regenerative properties. Picard (Patrick Stewart) then airs his objections to Dougherty (Anthony Zerbe) who tells him that everything they're doing is within the Federation guidelines. Picard must decide between leaving the affair alone, or he could help the Ba'ku, which could cost him his career.
The message of the movie is like that of The Voyage Home. The Son'a are destroying a peoples' way of life in order to obtain what they want. It also has the decision between doing what's right or avoiding a situation for the sake of reputation, which is what Picard faces in the film.
On a technical level, this felt rather second-rate. It didn't fall to the levels of failure that The Final Frontier did on the visuals, but the effects were not very impressive. The only times when they seem fine were those done of the Enterprise. The same goes for the makeup done on the Son'a. It looks a little laughable. Not only that, but Insurrection feels more like a two part episode of The Next Generation with a few more minutes added to it.
Besides Patrick Stewart and Brent Ratner, there aren't really any performances that stick out. Stewart's depiction of Picard is more kinder than the one we saw in First Contact due to the film's lighter tone. Brent Spiner has most of the best scenes in the movie as he tries to deal with some child-like emotions as he interacts with a little boy.
The other crew members do their usual. But none of the characters exclusive to Insurrection were interesting except for maybe the boy that Data spends time with. Just like Kirk was given a love interest in The Voyage Home, Picard gets one in the form of the Ba'ku Anij (Donna Murphy). But they had little to no chemistry whatsoever. Ahdar Ru'afo (F. Murray Abraham), was an unimpressive villain that was more like Malcom McDowell's Soran.
After something as thrilling as First Contact, Insurrection is kind of a letdown in comparison. It's not necessarily a bad movie like The Final Frontier, but it feels just as by the numbers. There was potential in the premise to be as fun as The Voyage Home, but it doesn't work to those levels. While some things do work, Insurrection is a mediocre effort for a Star Trek movie.
Posted on 5/22/13 06:51 PM
First Contact is the first movie that is fully about The Next Generation. There isn't a single character from the original series in sight. There's no Captain Kirk. Here, Captain Picard and his crew take all the spotlight. Not only that, but this time, the excitement in a Star Trek movie is at its highest since The Wrath of Khan.
The movie opens with Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) having a nightmare about what he went through during the episode "The Best of Both Worlds." Then we go into another battle against the Borg. There is a cube-like Borg vessel. With Picard's knowledge of the Cube's weak spot, the crew destroys it. However, a small part of it escapes and plots a course directly for Earth. The Enterprise chases it and enters a time distortion created by the Borg. They end up in the mid-21st century, and their only chance of stopping the Borg from assimilating Earth is to help Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) make his famous first faster-than-light travel to the stars.
Never has Star Trek been this fun since The Wrath of Khan. Just as that was to the original series, First Contact is The Next Generation's Wrath of Khan. The action scenes are the best that we've seen since the battles in that movie. Same goes for the special effects, which are exhilarating during the space battles.
But like the previous Star Trek movies, it doesn't forget about having a moral lesson that drives the mythos of the Star Trek universe. There are of elements from numerous sci-fi movies like Aliens, Terminator 2, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But the one movie it takes the most inspiration from is the book Moby Dick. Picard's character in this movie is comparable to Captain Ahab. Just as Captain Ahab obsessed over getting revenge against a whale that wronged him, Picard is hell-bent on destroying the Borg. But one must eventually realize that revenge can destroy who you are and even those around you.
The acting in this movie is much better than it was in Generations. Stewart's Picard is a darker character than he previously was as he is becoming consumed with vengeance. The rest of the crew get a lot more to do than just sitting around and doing very little. Some help with the fighting, while some help with Zefram. James Cromwell was also good. The Borg are very effective villains against the crew. The "queen," though looks very impressive, isn't quite as menacing.
Star Trek: First Contact will entertain both Trek fans and those who haven't converted to the fandom. It is the closest to Wrath of Khan that a Star Trek movie ever has achieved.
Posted on 5/15/13 06:53 PM
Although Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country ended the adventures of Kirk, Spock and McCoy, there was still plenty to go around for more Star Trek movie incantations. The Next Generation, which started back in 1987 and ended in May 1994. It had garnered the Star Trek universe a lot of fans. So, there was inevitably going to be a movie about the crew from that TV series (which I have to watch).
Star Trek: Generations would have been a fresh start for the franchise. With a cast including Patrick Stewart, Malcom McDowell, and William Shatner (who returns for one final movie), this could have made a really good movie. Alas, it was not to happen. While the movie does boast good visuals and having two characters from two different TV series collide, it's a mediocre beginning.
The first 15 minutes take place in 2293. James T. Kirk (William Shatner), now retired, attends the maiden voyage of the USS Enterprise-B. But it turns into a rescue mission from a strange energy ribbon. But in the chaos, it was presumed that Kirk had been killed.
Fast forward 78 years. This is where The Next Generation crew comes in. Led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), the crew is on a rescue mission to save some scientists from Romulans. One of the survivors is Dr. Soran (Malcom McDowell). There is some kind of realm known as the "Nexus," which is something that Soran is trying to get into. But how he plans about doing that endangers an entire planet.
While competently made on a technical level, I can't say the same about the directing. David Carson's inexperience with directing does show plenty of times. He tries a dramatic moment at the end of the movie. While the death of Spock in Wrath of Khan was very dramatic, the ending in Generations doesn't have anywhere near as an impact. But a couple of scenes like Picard talking about his family, when inside the Nexus, and the scene where Picard meets Kirk were handled well, though.
When it comes to the technical aspects, Generations is competently done. The visual effects are decent, though subpar in some places. The action scenes are handled fine, but were lacking in excitement.
With the exceptions of Stewart, Shatner and Brent Spiner, none of the other characters show much personality. Patrick Stewart gives the most effective performance. The scenes between him and Shatner were done good except for their last scene. However, Shatner's weakness as an actor is more evident without him interacting with Leonard Nimoy's Spock and DeForest Kelley's McCoy.
But out of the other crew, the only one that really had personality was Spiner's Data, which is ironic considering that he's an android. Malcom McDowell was a disappointing villain, who is more in line with the God imposter from The Final Frontier than with Khan or General Chang.
Generations had promise to start off the adventures of the Next Generation crew in film format. But it is a so-so start along the lines of The Motion Picture (though not as boring). While it gets the job done on the visuals, its lacking in most of everything else.
Posted on 5/15/13 12:28 PM
The Undiscovered Country is the final film about the original crew of the Starship Enterprise. After 25 years of playing the roles, the cast is saying goodbye to their beloved roles. Since the actors are starting to get on in their years, it's getting close to retirement. The next movie's will revolve around the crew from The Next Generation.
The premise of the movie is that the Klingon Empire are searching for peace. The Enterprise crew escort Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner), battle commander General Chang (Christopher Plummer), and their entourage, through space to a conference to take place on Earth. But only the way, things go awry. The Enterprise fired on a Klingon ship without provocation, in which no one of the crew was responsible for but could not explain without evidence.
After this and the Chancellor being fatally wounded, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) are put on trial. They are sentenced to life on the frozen asteroid Rura Penthe in a prison workplace where the outside in the wasteland is uninhabitable. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), who is joined by his protégé, Valeris (Kim Cattrall), now acting captain of the ship, can do little for them since doing something would be considered an act of war.
There is a political category in this movie. The Federation is the US, while the Klingon Empire represents the Soviet Union. They try to find peace, but there are numerous problems along the way. The plotline is interesting and the action scenes are nicely done. The makeup done on the non-human creatures is really good. The visual effects are much better than those in The Final Frontier.
But this feels more like another Star Trek adventure than the final farewell to the characters of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Sulu, and the other crew. It would have been good to explore how the crew felt about retiring from being on the Enterprise and going their separate ways. But that was cast aside for a peace treaty with the Klingons and getting stuck on a frozen wasteland. The plot was fine, but it would have been good to explore the characters more.
The actors all do their job going back in their roles. William Shatner gives an effective performance as Captain Kirk. Spock does his usual, but is sitting around for most of the movie. McCoy is also pretty effective.
As for the newcomers, it was a mixed bag. Christopher Plummer is the standout as General Chang. Most of the others were fine, but nothing noteworthy. The only uninteresting character was Valeris. She was no Saavik.
All in all, though it isn't the finale that it should be, it was a major improvement over The Final Frontier. It was an entertaining movie and gives the characters a somewhat satisfying send-off. But it could have been a lot better.
Posted on 5/15/13 11:13 AM
Like every long running series, everyone of them gets a lackluster entry at one point. The Final Frontier fits that category for Star Trek. The Star Trek universe was becoming much more popular with the success of The Voyage Home and The Next Generation (have yet to watch any of that show). Leonard Nimoy got to direct the previous two. Now, William Shatner is directing the movie. Big mistake.
The movie opens on Nimbus III, where Vulcan Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill) is building an army to invade the only city on the planet. We then find the Enterprise (now rebuilt) crew on short leave. Captain Kirk (Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and McCoy (DeForest Kelley) are beside a campfire in Yosemite. But then they receive orders from Starfleet that they are to rescue hostages taken captive by Sybok. But they are also pursued by Klingons led by Captain Klaa (Todd Bryant).
Despite a promising beginning, once we find the crew camping out, it goes downhill from there. What turns into rescuing hostages eventually turns into the search for God (a plotline that was sort of part of The Motion Picture, but for a creator instead of God in particular) and Eden. The Motion Picture may have been boring, but it presented the search for a creator better than The Final Frontier did. The finding later in the movie fares no better. The Eden found is more of a barren wasteland than the Paradise described in the Bible.
The action scenes are rather perfunctory and lack excitement. Since Industrial Light & Magic was occupied with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Ghostbusters II, visuals designer Bran Ferren had to do his own effects. The results are not very good. The visuals in this are stale and not convincing, like the scene of where Kirk is falling from the mountain with Spock trying to save him early on in the movie. The musical score was fine, though.
The original actors return for a fifth time, but most of the time they seem a little bored to be in this movie. Kirk and Spock had some nice scenes in the movie, but they are hardly compensations for the rest of the movie. Laurence Luckinbill was all right as the villain and had different motivations than other Star Trek villains. Klaa was a useless character and had really poor motivations (just finding a worthy opponent). George Murdock wasn't very convincing as playing the entity that was being searched for.
The Final Frontier is a poor and by the numbers Star Trek movie. It wasn't an outright terrible movie, but it was really weak.
Posted on 5/14/13 10:41 PM
Star Trek's fourth installment is the one that has reached out beyond the fanbase, becoming the highest grossing Star Trek film in its time. Though the premise deals with the Enterprise crew trying to acquire a few whales sounded ridiculous, it was actually really entertaining. This is one that both fans and those outside it can enjoy.
The Voyage Home takes place soon after Spock (Leonard Nimoy) was revived. With the Enterprise destroyed in the previous film, the crew is stranded on Vulcan. Spock spends his time recovering and regaining his knowledge in the ways of logic. Once he has recovered, the crew are told to come back to Earth to face charges for the regulations they broke in the previous film.
Before coming home, they find that an ominous probe comes close to Earth and causes damage to the planet's climate. It seems unstoppable. Seeing the transmissions match with an extinct species of hunchback whales, they go back to the 20th century to acquire one. The crew find themselves in San Francisco, and get involved in some misadventures along the way.
The Voyage Home is a more lighthearted adventure than Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock. In addition, it is also the most comedic of the Star Trek movies. The ways in which the crew act in the city of San Francisco can be funny most of the time. The most amusing is when Spock is having trouble using profanity. There isn't all that much action in this. But the comedy is amusing enough to get by that. The visual effects, while not quite used as often, are good. But this revolves more around the characters than the visuals, which is a good thing. The movie also has the theme of conservatism since the crew are trying to keep a whale species from dying out.
But the one thing that The Voyage Home is really lacking is a villain. While the probe is causing damage and there are whale hunters shown for a few minutes, a villain is mostly non-existent here.
As with the previous movies, the movie is competently acted. The crew do their usual stuff only that they get a lot more time on land than in space. The scenes with Shatner and Nimoy were the most entertaining as Kirk tries to teach Spock about how humans communicate on Earth. McCoy and the others also have their moments. In addition, Kirk gets a love interest from a marine biologist (Catherine Hicks). She was a decent character and I liked the scenes between them.
Unfortunately, for a movie that started to reach to a wider audience, the franchise went mostly downhill from here. With a couple of exceptions, the Star Trek films after this are rather stale when paired against the likes of this and Wrath of Khan. But while it lasted, The Voyage Home was a very fun Star Trek movie.
Posted on 5/14/13 09:09 PM
In the third installment of Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Spock, is directing. As most would remember, the Wrath of Khan ended with the death of Spock as he selflessly gave his life to save the crew from Khan. But his death has left a huge hole in Star Trek. So it would be rather obvious that his character would not be let go so lightly. And, as the title suggests, this deals with trying to find and bring Spock back from the dead.
The film starts right where Wrath of Khan ended with Spock's (Leonard Nimoy) death and funeral. Some days later, the Enterprise crew are on a course to Earth for reassignment. But Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) is suffering from some problems. It later turns out that Spock left a part of himself inside McCoy before he passed into the void.
It is said that his body is on the Genesis planet, and needs his body to return to his former self. However, the planet is considered a restricted area for space travel. Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Spock's father (Mark Lenard), and McCoy go to the planet to try and revive him. But Klingons have come to the planet to steal "the secret of Genesis."
The action scenes are done adequately but not quite as exciting as those in Wrath of Khan. The special effects were rather hit-or-miss in this movie, though. The movie also moves slowly at times, though not to the extent of The Motion Picture. It has its fair share of good scenes, like the taking of the Enterprise and its destruction and the fight between Kirk and the Klingon commander.
Like the original series, this has a moral to it. The Motion Picture had the search for the creator. Wrath of Khan talked about revenge and hatred. Search for Spock is about sacrifice and being there for a friend. Kirk faces drastic consequences for attempting to revive Spock. This, for Kirk, is the test of true friendship. It's amazing the lengths some people go to for their friends.
The acting is mostly fine, but nothing great. The original cast are treading familiar territory playing their characters. Merritt Butrick gets more to do as Kirk's son. Christopher Lloyd was a decent villain, but not anything memorable. Leonard Nimoy isn't in the film as much as the previous two, but gets his triumphant return. The only casting that I didn't really like was Robin Curtis as Saavik, who replaced Kirstie Alley. Vulcans may not usually show emotion, Nimoy was at least more expressive, which is something I can't say about Curtis.
The Search for Spock is not as entertaining as nor memorable like The Wrath of Khan. But it is a decent Star Trek movie. It does a good job bringing back a beloved character. The series would not survive without Spock. It the interactions between him, Kirk and McCoy that gives Star Trek its heart. May Spock live long and prosper.