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Old July 18 2013, 08:15 AM   #23
Location: The Final Frontier. How original, right?
Re: The Last Star Trek Film You Watched

Time to bump this sucker.

Alright, I'm finally back - and prepare for many reviews at once. I know how anxious you all have painfully waiting for my reviews. Please, calm yourself. I am here now.

Continuing my very first trek into the films of Star Trek...

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

I can only imagine how great it must have been to be a Star Trek fan right before The Final Frontier had been released. The Voyage Home had been the last immediate release and had been a critical and commercial success - hell, it was even nominated for four (!) Oscars. So then comes Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, a movie that likely suffered from the mercy of "yes men" and its director, William Shatner.

Now, let me get this out of the way: I love William Shatner as Kirk. It is true that Shatner pretty much plays himself but his screen presence is second to none, and Kirk is quite the character. But a director Mr. Shatner does not make. The Final Frontier is such a mess of a film and it doesn't take long to become a frustrating viewing experience. How can a film franchise that had delivered four solid feature films produce such a train-wreck?

The biggest problem with Star Trek V, like with most bad high-concept films, is the script. The Final Frontier wanted to be The Voyage Home: Part 2 in terms of tone and spirit, but the jokes and humor come across as either incredibly forced or totally unfunny. The incompetence bleeds into the actual storyline of the film, too. I think there is actually something interesting going on with the plot, but the film is so concentrated on delivering 'laughs' that the story is wish washed to oblivion, and the film therefore shortchanges itself.

When compared to what came before it, The Final Frontier's special effects look terrible. I got a kick when I realized that the only convincing shots were reused footage from The Voyage Home. I would not normally complain about the special effects from a film made in 1989, but previous Star Trek films always had at least decent effects. Some of the visual effects shots of The Final Frontier look straight out of the 60s TV series, and that is just unacceptable.

It is nice to have Jerry Goldsmith bring back his Star Trek: The Motion Picture main theme and Klingon theme, but I was disappointed with the rest of the score. Maybe Goldsmith read the script became as unmotivated as the rest of the crew.

There is but ONE truly memorable scene in the film, and it does not at all surprise me that it involves the late DeForrest Kelley. Sybok's forcing the 'emotional pain' from McCoy's past really stood out to me, especially in a film devoid of anything else inherently interesting. Both Kelley and Laurence Luckinbill (Sybok) are great in the scene, and it was at that point in which I almost thought the film would turn around. Hmm. (I actually don't mind Laurence Luckinbill's Sybok as the main antagonist, but I think he could have been more effective if the script was kinder to the film's storyline.)

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is a cash in. There is an interesting idea buried somewhere deep within, but the script fumbles anything that could have been. After the film was finished, I gave a long thought if I could actually give a Trek film lower than a mediocre score - and after some time - I finally decided that I could.

Oh, and as a footnote: God bless Nichelle Nichols for not quitting on the spot when she first read that seduction scene.

1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Director's Edition) (1982) - 8.5/10
2. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Director's Edition) (1979) - 7.5/10
3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) - 7/10
4. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) - 6/10
5. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) - 4/10

Up next....

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
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