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Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home

A science fiction & fantasy movie directed by Leonard Nimoy.

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Whales? That's What This Is All About?

  • May 20, 2009
  • by

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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May 20, 2009
This is probably my favorite of the Star Trek movies. I love it when Chekov keeps asking people (in his Russian accent) where they keep the "nuclear wessles." And when Kirk explains that Spock had a little too much "LDS."
More Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home reviews
review by . September 10, 2010
The Star Trek franchise has taken its fans all over the galaxy. From its deepest unknown reaches with "Voyager" to the bridge of the "Gorkon," fans have seen plenty. The peculiar thing is that one of Trek's best tales takes place in late 80's San Francisco in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home." After recovering Spock in "Star Trek III," the crew of the Enterprise find themselves as exiles in a Klingon vessel on Vulcan. When repairs to the damaged ship are completed, Kirk and company decide to return …
review by . August 26, 2010
Within days of the release of Star Trek III, my brother and I had the plot for Star Trek IV completely plotted. With the destruction of the Enterprise during The Search for Spock, it seemed like getting the ship back would be a top priority. It occurred to me that the destruction scene showed only the primary hall burning up as the rest of the ship drifted into the Genesis planet's atmosphere. What if the secondary hall and warp nacelles survived and were captured by the Klingons, who have …
review by . July 26, 2009
Kirk and Spock on a bus
Don't tell me he wouldn't have photon torpedoed a few whaling ships.      Last but not least on my Trek movie reviews is the one EVERYONE loves.  Proof that funny talking foriegners to some are still funny, Leonard Nimoy smoked something evil when he thought of the plot and that mainstreaming your sci fi movies can rake in some major box office bucks.      We'll address all of that in a minute, but first-the plot.      Picking …
Quick Tip by . May 16, 2010
"The one with the whales" An absurd story that had to sound weird on paper is very entertaining on the screen. Always entertaining.
Quick Tip by . October 16, 2009
Yes, the "Save The Whales" Star Trek movie. A classic case of mainstreaming to make more money but it's entertaining regardless.
review by . May 20, 2009
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Blu-ray
The third movie (technically the fourth) in what has become known as the Star Trek Trilogy which include The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock, concludes on beautiful Blu-ray.  This is the second time I have watched Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in a span of two months and while it is not one of my favorite Trek films, it has really come to grow on me.  The film really comes to life on Blu-ray, having been completely digitally remastered and remixed with Dolby Digital 7.1 Surround.  …
review by . June 28, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Of all the Star Trek movies, this is probably one of the best and one of the few to make an impact with a wide audience (only Star Trek - First Contact compares). The plotline is funny, uplifting, and memorable. Having seen Humpback Whales in the wild, I also appreciate the movie's message - that in harming our environment, we are harming ourselves.    With that said, Star Trek IV is tough to follow if you aren't at least somewhat familiar with the Trek universe. This movie especially …
review by . May 15, 2007
The Star Trek franchise has taken its fans all over the galaxy. From its deepest unknown reaches with "Voyager" to the bridge of the "Gorkon," fans have seen plenty. The peculiar thing is that one of Trek's best tales takes place in late 80's San Francisco in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home." After recovering Spock in "Star Trek III," the crew of the Enterprise find themselves as exiles in a Klingon vessel on Vulcan. When repairs to the damaged ship are completed, Kirk and company decide to return …
review by . February 28, 2004
Pros: Yay for Star Trek!     Cons: Aww no big space battles or ships exploding. =P     The Bottom Line: Save the whales - Star Trek style! Hey - why not? =P     Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot. Just like with 12 Monkeys, I was flipping channels and landed on Star Trek the Next Generation. After that, however, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home came on. Now I'd seen bits and pieces before and knew something …
About the reviewer
Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Ranked #126
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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About this movie


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 Rings

Widely 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...
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Director: Leonard Nimoy
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
DVD Release Date: March 4, 2003
Runtime: 119 minutes
Studio: Paramount
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