1991 Paramount Pictures
As the film begins Captain Sulu is aboard the USS Excelsior finishing a three-year mission studying planetary gaseous anomalies (exciting stuff). Suddenly a massive shock wave slams into the ship and away we go. It turns out the Klingon’s have been over-mining one of their moons and accidentally blew most of it to oblivion which in turn damages the atmosphere of the Klingon home world Qo’noS.
No longer able to afford their warlike ways this leads finally to an attempt at ending hostilities between the Federation and the Empire. Our intrepid crew, on the cusp of retirement, sets off on a peace mission headed by Captain Kirk.
Of course this whole process is sabotaged by unknown forces who don’t want peace. Damn it people give peace a chance, listen to John Lennon!
So how does all this measure up to the preceding movies? Well in my opinion it’s better then 1, 3, 4, and 5 but not as good as 2. The Undiscovered Country suffers from some budget problems (as usual for a Trek movie) and a few silly scenes.
For the most part though this is a well-made film. The cast is good as usual, the story is entertaining, the music is appropriately somber, dramatic, and heroic, and the special effects are well done. There’s some great dialogue especially in a scene where Kirk and Spock discuss their attitudes and the changing of the times. The much copied space battle at the end is great and all in all this is a fitting send off to a cast that has given us years of fine entertainment.
The opening scene on board the Excelsior is very well done.
Good somber gloom and doom music score by Cliff Eidelman.
The not so good:
The scene in the galley with the phaser alarm is preposterous. I find it highly unlikely an officer would fire a phaser and vaporize a cooking pot just to remind someone of the phaser alarm. Chekov was the head of security at one point so I don’t think he would have forgotten that the alarm exists in any case. More artificially created humor at the expense of the characters. Blah!
The scene where the crew tries to speak in Klingon by looking through a stack of books. They may not be able to use the Universal Translator but why not use the computer to translate the words? Well because it’s far funnier to see the crew looking through books and mispronouncing the words. This is the same kind of artificially created humor that made me cringe while watching Star Trek IV.
I didn’t care for some of the Klingon makeup; it looks like some of them had their heads sanded down. Consistency would be nice people!
The end is a bit corny when Shatner gives his speech and everyone applauds.
Amazing movie sequences #3: Star Trek: Idiocy in space
Random thoughts and observations:
So now the Klingon’s quote Shakespeare? The Klingon’s have changed so many times since the original series, the lack of continuity is kind of ridiculous. They’re like the Swiss Army Knife of villains.
Sulu states in his opening log that the Excelsior has finished their mission and is heading back home from the Beta quadrant at full impulse. I guess they’re not in any hurry to get home.
Why does the interior of the Enterprise look smaller? Stop messing with the scale of the ship (I’m looking at you Mr. Myer.)