I’m ready to be burned at the stake now.
Better save some space for me at the top of that log pile. I liked TUC when I first saw it, but now I really hate it. It's my least favourite original cast movie, and of all of them, I hate only Nemesis more.
And it's for all the reasons you state, it's a case of the plot dictating the characters and not the character driving the plot. It's the biggest wholesale character assassination I have ever seen, with none of the original cast coming out of it well. Swan song? You have to be kidding. Instead we get Valeris Mary Sueing it for the duration, while everyone else is made to look like an idiot, while the movie spits on continuity.
At the end of TFF, Kirk is saluting Captain Klaa and inviting the Klingons over for drinks.
in TUC, he's never been so close?
In TMP Chekov is head of security on the Enterprise, in TUC, he doesn't know how phasers work on a starship and has to have Valeris explain it to him!
Uhura has no experience with languages, McCoy doesn't know Klingon anatomy, Scotty's reduced to manually counting torpedoes...
The Undiscovered Country is a nasty, exploitative piece of work that leaves a foul taste in my mouth the more often I see it, and the only redeeming features are its production values and its pace. It would have worked much better as a stand alone piece, an original sci-fi creation with all new characters and in a different universe.
Don't get me started on the Scooby Doo ending on the Home Video release, and the whole Colonel West subplot. Discussing a secret rescue plan in Klingon territory in front of the Romulan ambassador. Yeah, real smart!