Star Trek III - The Search for Spock is a direct sequel to the previous installment and picks up its story mere days after the former film. Leonard Nimoy gets to sit in the director chair for this one. We are in the same universe we were introduced to last time, with all the same overwrought fashion gear on full display. Our cast will have lots of opportunities to wear clothes not issued by Star Fleet and the looks are singular to say the least.
The Genesis project has become an interstellar problem and while going back to investigate the results of the new planet which had been created by an unplanned use of the project, we follow Savik, a Vulcan introduced in the last movie (played by Kirstie Alley then and by Robin Curtis this time) and Kirk's son David to that planet where they find more than they bargained for. Not only do they discover deadly Klingons desperate to get the secret and willing to kill to do so, they find that the body of Spock, sent to the planet after his demise in the last movie has regenerated.
But Spock is literally not all there as his "Katra" had been implanted into the mind of Dr. McCoy before Spock's passing. It becomes the duty of Kirk and his loyal crew to bring McCoy and Spock's mind back to Genesis, despite Star Fleet orders to the contrary. Much happens on the planet, which we learn is not as successful as had first been surmised. The Klingons still see great virtue in the project as a weapon and it's up to our heroes to save the day, though they cannot save everyone.
Christopher Lloyd is dandy as the Klingon commander and John Larroquette shows up also in full Klingon regalia. This movie has always felt smaller to me than its predecessor. Perhaps that because it doesn't ask us to meet new concepts, but merely contend with the unintended consequences of those we've already encountered in the previous film. Things happen, people die, and are reborn, but somehow it all seems less important.
There is some dandy humor in the movie, blended with some old-fashioned action as the crew work in tandem to steal the ultimately doomed Enterprise. The characters are so comfortable with one another and Nimoy's direction is so deft that we get some of the best interplay in the series. It's light-hearted and often funny in small ways. The movie only makes as much sense as it needs to make, but that's mostly true of any of these science fiction efforts.
By this third entry, the Star Trek fan has been well fed for a few years with new adventures. I rate this one number five in my list of overall films in this series. It's lack of anything really fresh makes it feel too familiar and leaves the viewer unchallenged. But the story is not over, as the next movie makes clear. Next stop is Earth which is having a whaling problem.
I thought the scene where Kirk repeats "You Klingon b@st@rd - you killed my son!" was a great bit of acting by William Shatner.ReplyDelete
Oh well, as my comment seems to be the only one being ignored, I'll reply to it myself.Delete
Yes, you're right, Kid, Shatner's reaction is very believable and very well acted.
No intentional slight sir. Just overlooked it. And I agree with you.Delete
To me, the high point of the movie is the theft of the Enterprise out of Spacedock. The whole sequence is beautifully written, acted, scored, and shot from start to finish.ReplyDelete
It starts with a small human moment where Kirk gives Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov a chance to back out of the venture, but it gives the crew a chance to show the respect and dedication they have for their friends. It reminds me of all the adventures these men have shared, all the risks they have endured. It works because it rings true.
(The only thing missing here is Uhura. Yes, she had an important role in the mission, but I miss seeing her on the bridge with the others during the wild ride.)
From there, the sequence blossoms into the tense and suspenseful approach to Spacedock doors. The moment the doors open and the Enterprise flies free, accompanied by James Horner's soaring score, is just glorious. There's been a lot of action in the movie up to this point, but for me this is when the adventure really kicks into high gear.
One of the things I love about this little trilogy of Trek films (II, III, IV) is how they play to emotion, taking classic Trek themes of friendship, love, and loyalty to operatic heights. The stakes in this movie are not super-high on the galactic scale, but they are absolutely immense when it comes to this family of characters.
Is it perfect? Of course not. But it is a good, solid, entertaining movie, worthy of a high place in the cinematic Star Trek pantheon.
I agree. They should've found a way to get Uhuru on the bridge. I'm always puzzled when I watch it why she's not included. The emotion is strong in these films for sure, and the "family" formed by the crew makes these fan faves for sure. They are dandy movies, but as the series moves along it gets further away from the ideal as I see it.Delete
I liked this one. It was a bit slow at the beginning but the story picked up soon afterwards. I particularly liked the fact that characters like Scotty, Sulu etc were allowed a bit more screentime than what they normally got.ReplyDelete
Scotty becomes a strong comedic presence in this one, a role he soaks up in the next one.Delete