As the first Star Trek film on my list, Search for Spock is certainly not the worst of the original franchise. Two worse installments didn’t make the cut (those who have seen them will know which two), but, of the Trek movies commonly regarded as good, this one is the least impressive. That’s not to say that it is a poor film; it’s a great adventure that brings back one of the most beloved ensembles of all time for an answer to the question “What happens when you kill off the second most important character?” Answer: You resurrect him through an unexplained experiment and alien mumbo-jumbo.
It’s not just a way to continue the series by backstepping on a fateful move (to kill off Spock), it also is the tragic conclusion of Kirk’s meeting his son in Wrath of Khan. David’s death has got to be the second most poignant moment for the original series crew and continued to haunt Kirk right up to their last film. Search for Spock also marked the first time the Enterprise itself met its demise. When my mother originally saw it in the theater, during the scene where the ship starts dipping into the atmosphere, she overheard a nearby fanboy utter a devastated “Nooo.” At least they built a new one, right?
Aside from the main cast, Christopher Lloyd turns in an uncharacteristically villainous role as Kruge, the Klingon captain, who is pretty generic, to be honest, lacking a master plan or a deep-seated motive like the villains in The Undiscovered Country or Wrath of Khan. He does manage surprising intensity that proves he could do much more than humorous or crazy roles.
My quibbles here may indicate that I dislike Search for Spock, but, if that was the case, I wouldn’t have it this high on the list. I love Star Trek, and, as Trek films go, it’s in the middle of the pack, so to speak. The visual effects range from mildly impressive explosions to realistic miniatures. It’s exciting and heart-tugging, and, though the Vulcan ceremony at the end drags, the line “Your name is…Jim” concludes the film on a high note. Leonard Nimoy can be proud of it as its director (but The Voyage Home is better. Just saying.)
Best line: (Scotty, after sabotaging a fancy new ship) “Aye, sir. The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.”Artistry: 6 Characters/Actors: 7 Entertainment: 7 Visual Effects: 5 Originality: 7 Watchability: 6 TOTAL: 38 out of 60
Next: #238 – The Spiderwick Chronicles
© 2014 S. G. Liput
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