Friday, July 22, 2016

Movie Review: Star Trek III (1984)

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock directed by Leonard Nimoy.

This summer has lots of sequels and remakes coming out, so I'm reviewing the earlier works and seeing if they will inspire me to see the new films! 

The story of this movie follows directly from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, so if you haven't seen that (which you really should) be warned that spoilers are ahead. I'll blather on about why I chose this to provide a little buffer between this spoiler warning and the actual spoiler.

After reviewing Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan and Ghostbusters, both from 1984, I had to decide which Star Trek movie to watch. Seeing Stark Trek III was made in 1984, making it sync up both with two other 1984 movies and with this week's number three Star Trek reboot movie, I could not resist revisiting this film I haven't seen probably since the 1980s.

Admiral James T. Kirk and crew are headed back to Earth after their harrowing encounter with Khan. All are still grieving the loss of Spock, who sacrificed himself to fix the warp drive, letting the Enterprise escape the blast radius of the Genesis Device. The Device was designed to be used on a lifeless planet to make it habitable. The explosion has indeed created an Earth-like planet. Spock's coffin, a torpedo tube fired from the Enterprise, was caught in the planet's gravity and landed on the planet. A science vessel with Kirk's son David and the Vulcan Saavik investigate the planet. They discover life form reading right by Spock's coffin! David and Saavik beam down to investigate.

Meanwhile, the crew of the Enterprise are informed the Genesis Device is is a political hot-potato--they shouldn't discuss it with anybody and travel there is restricted. The only problem is McCoy. He has been acting very Spock-like. After talking with Spock's father, Kirk realizes that Spock has transferred is katra or soul to McCoy and that should be brought to Vulcan along with Spock's body. If not, Spock will truly be gone. Realizing how desperate the situation is, Kirk and his main crew members steal the Enterprise and head off to the Genesis planet, where more complication ensue, because the Klingons have shown up and want their own doomsday device.

So the plot is rather busy and does look contrived at points (stealing the Enterprise by jury-rigging an automation system to run the whole ship from the bridge has so many problems with it). The Klingons are one dimensional but still fun (the Klingon commander is played by Christopher Lloyd, who played Doc Brown in Back to the Future!). The story serves to get Spock back from the dead and sets up the light-hearted Star Trek IV. So it's a good transition film but not a great film by any means. Watching it once or twice is plenty.

As for Star Trek Beyond, it looks action-packed and exciting...

This movie looks like it shares the Enterprise in peril and dealing with death elements from The Search for Spock. On the other hand, this movie looks to have tons of action (which I guess is natural considering the director is from the Fast and Furious franchise), which should be fun in a summer blockbuster way. I'm a little worried that it will lack depth (which I guess is natural considering the director is from the Fast and Furious franchise). Star Trek Beyond probably will be a more entertaining film, maybe even a better film that Star Trek III. If I set my expectations to low, maybe I'll have a stunning experience.

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