Of all the Star Trek movies out there, "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" is easily the silliest and goofiest of all the Star Trek films. It's also one of the best. The movie resumes where the previous Star Trek film left off. Captain Kirk and his crew have just rescued Spock and destroyed the Enterprise after their deadly fight with the Klingons. They are all feeling worn out after the fight, particularly Kirk and Spock. Kirk because he lost his son in the previous film, and Spock because he feels ashamed to be stumped on a Volcan quiz simulation. The question that stumps Spock: How are you feeling? The crew is about to go home when a strange beacon starts causing enormous disturbance on the Earth, which could destroy mankind...UNLESS Kirk and his crew go back in time and capture a pair of humpback whales.
Yes, the fate of the world rests on the hope that Captain Kirk find a way to bring back two humpback whales from the 20th century. Hey, it could be worse. I mean, the story of "The Simpsons Movie" hinged on pig crap, so this doesn't sound too bad in comparison. While the storyline may sound stupid (and let's be honest, it kind of feels stupid at times), what makes the movie work is that it takes the advantages and disadvantages. For example, a disadvantage this series has always had is the fact that a low budget has always made the Star Trek movies look a little behind in comparison to the Star Wars movies. So director Leonard Nimoy brings the characters to San Francisco, where special effects are, by-and-large, not needed. Then he takes the advantage this series has when it comes to solid character personalities.
One of the reasons we love the original Star Trek is because the characters have personalities we all like, yet they are so different they are constantly bouncing off one another. A particularly memorable scene involves the whale biologist asking Kirk and Spoke out to dinner for Italian food. When asked if they like Italian food Kirk says yes while Spock, unwilling to lie, says no, which results in a mini-battle between Kirk and Spock. Another memorable scene involves Scotty, in an effort to provide some information, tries in various ways to verbally issue commands to a 1986 Commodore computer, before realizing he has to use a keyboard. His reaction: "Ah, a keyboard. How quaint." Trust me, you don't run across a movie that utilizes it's characters personality quirks quite like this movie does.
But what of the story? Is it all that good. Well, no, not really. Truth be told, whenever I describe the story of this movie, I find myself turning red with embarrassment. The story really does sound worse then it is, and you may have to get over the fact that you're watching a Star Trek movie that revolves completely around whales. Yet the movie uses the story as an excuse to give us the liveliest Star Trek movie yet. A movie that reminds us why these characters became famous in the first place, and why we still have a soft spot in our hearts for them to this day. The Star Trek series has always been at it's best when it presents new ideas and thinking to the franchise. In a way, "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" may be so good because it presented the bold idea that a Star Trek movie didn't need epic battles to be a great movie. I applaud the film makers for their risk as well as their success in pulling it off.
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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is the fourth feature film based on the Star Trek science fiction television series. It completes the loose story trilogy started in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and continued in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
Leonard Nimoy directed as well as starred in The Voyage Home, which earned four Academy Award nominations, for Best Cinematography, Best Effects, Best Music and Best Sound. The original music score was composed by Leonard Rosenman, reusing some material from his earlier score to Ralph Bakshi's animated The Lord of the RingsWidely considered the best movie in the "classicTrek" series of feature films,Star Trek IVreturns to one of the favorite themes of the original TV series--time travel--to bring Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov from the 23rd century to present-day San Francisco. In their own time, the Starfleet heroes encounter an alien probe emitting a mysterious message--a message delivered in the song of the now-extinct Earth species of humpback whales. Failure to respond to the probe will result in Earth's destruction, so Kirk and company time-travel to 20th-century Earth--in their captured Klingon starship--to transport a humpback whale to the future in an effort to peacefully communicate with the alien probe. The plot sounds somewhat absurd in description, but as executed by returning director Leonard Nimoy, this turned out to be a crowd-pleasing adventure, filled with humor and lively...