William Shatner must have thought; What Leonard Nimoy can do, I can do better! So, next to starring in this movie, Shatner wrote and directed the movie, just as Nimoy did for the previous Star Trek entry; "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" and "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock", which he only directed. But as it turned out, Shatner's writing and directing skills were not up to par with Nimoy's!

This movie does plenty wrong and many thought that the series should had ended here. Star Trek had outlived its course and they had obvious difficulties coming up with new stuff to do and keep things up to date with the standards of filmmaking and science-fiction. It perhaps also was no coincidence that the television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation", with an all new cast, got launched in 1987, 2 years prior to this movie and 1 year after the previous Star Trek movie entry. You know Star Trek is in trouble when it is starting to take on Star Wars sound effects and tries to mimic Star Wars like sequences. Isn't that like crossing the streams?

Thing they came up with for this movie; a search for God. Really doesn't sound like the most spectacular thing and it also really isn't. But what's perhaps even more disappointing is that the movie never goes deep. You would expect for a movie with a subject like that to bring up 2 or 3 interesting and provoking questions about life and religion but the movie really never does. It instead seemed like it was more focused on its comedy!

And it's really not the funny sort of comedy but more of the awkward kind. It's very random, silly and often just completely out of place and tone with the rest of the movie. Because of this, there also is never really any sense of danger throughout the movie, which is taking away pretty much all of the excitement and entertainment out of it.

Not that the movie is boring. I mean, in all honesty, it's just as good/bad to watch as any other random science-fiction flick, that involves traveling through space and visiting alien planets. I can still see why this movie is disliked by many, of which most are hardened Star Trek fans. This is pretty much the Star Trek movie in which stuff got made fun of and things turned silly. It also made it obvious how outdated the franchise was getting and how old the cast suddenly turned.

All of the cast members were really starting to look too old for their roles. Nothing wrong with having 2 or 3 wrinkly characters walking around but when it's being a whole starship, that is just being a bit too much. And really, this is of course something they easily could had prevented by introducing new characters and letting them slowly and subtly take over the main parts but somehow I think Shatner opposed to this idea and maybe is also a reason why he demanded full control and directed this movie himself.

It's also true that this movie really could had used a good main villain. Sybok really isn't an evil character at heart and certainly does nothing horrible and while there are some Klingons walking around in this movie, their roles are being pretty limited unfortunately.

In all honesty, it's far from a terrible movie and I certainly still consider it to be a watchable one but it just isn't the most interesting, original, entertaining or clever of Star Trek movies out there.


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About Frank Veenstra

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