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Oh my! This is just not a very good movie. But I'm still a bit torn, since the movie in fact does has its moments and there are still plenty of good and interesting ideas in this movie.

It's still remained a bit of a disappointment, watching this movie. Not that I expected anything great from it but it at least has a somewhat decent reputation and got directed by Robert Wise, who I consider to be one of the best directors that ever lived. The movie however was suffering from a bit too many problems to consider this a truly great one. I still give it somewhat the benefit of the doubt, so to speak, since it still did had its interesting moments.

One of the things that the movie is suffering from is that it's being stuck somewhere between a sci-fi adventure and a more "2001: A Space Odyssey" type of science-fiction movie. It's just not a combination of sci-fi story aspects that works out too well and also constantly provides the movie with a lot of slower moments, which lets this movie sort of feel like a very stretched out "Star Trek" television episode.

And the story is also being pretty standard and simple. Basically they spend the first hour of the movie trying to figure out what's the dangerous object that is on a course to Earth and they spend the second half of the movie trying to figure out what it wants and not necessarily how it can be stopped, though the one thing still leads to the other of course. And this story there are some pretty good and interesting ideas, which does give the movie some more depth but overall they didn't do quite a good enough job with it and left some missed opportunities here and there.

Also please don't watch this movie expecting to see a lot of sci-fi action or spectacle. There is absolutely none of that present in this movie! No, not even a simple space fight or some hand to hand combat. Not that this is being necessarily a bad thing but it would had spiced things up a little more at times, which was something this movie truly could had used.

The special effects are pretty good. It's no "Star Wars" material but it's definitely acceptable looking, for 1979 standards. And some of the visuals are definitely impressive and great looking actually and help to give the movie a certain look and atmosphere, which makes it definitely a notch above the average sci-fi entry of its time.

"Star Trek" always had plenty of characters in it but yet this movie still feels the need to introduce new once as well. Not really anything necessary and it prevents some of the Enterprise crew members from shining in this movie. Doubt the fans would have complained too much about it though, since they were probably just more than happy to see their favorites characters return to the screen, 10 years after the first series had already ended.

I still did wished that the movie would had given some of the other characters some more room to shine. The movie gives you the feeling it could had done a lot more with the Spock and Dr. McCoy character for instance. But it's really mostly being the Captain Kirk show instead and my oh my, does William Shatner's acting stink! It's completely over-the-top but it does has its charm, I'll admit to that.

All in all, far from a great movie but still one that deserves to get the benefit of the doubt, since it has some good moments and there is also still plenty for the fans of the franchise to see and enjoy in this movie and it has a beautiful Jerry Goldsmith musical score as well of course!

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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