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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Star Trek V: The Final Frontier » User review

"Were on a mission from God"

  • Jun 10, 2009
Rating:
+1

I just had a thought, if John Landis made a Star Trek movie, do you picture a 72 Starship pileup into a big asteroid? 

The Star Trek movies have had their ups and downs.  None are perfect and others are better then others.  This one though is the runt of the litter.

Not too long ago, a discussion came up about how if you were on a desert island and had one BAD movie from one of you favorite franchises, which would it be.  Star Trek V was my pick.  Out of Batman and Robin, Attack of the Clones and other films, it was this one.

Now, I'm cheating here.  I read a while ago William Shatner's Star Trek Movie Memories book and learned that his little movie that had far more exciting elements packed into it got a whole lot littler thanks to a dwindling budget and got serviced by what was more or less a less then adequate special effects house.

On the flip side though, the idea of the Enterprise crew meeting God…C'mon.  It certainly is going "Where No Man has Gone Before."

The biggest problem with the film though is that this movie really at times depends on it's not so special effects to create it's moments.  Especially when God comes into play.

God?  That's the second time I've mentioned God in this review.  Well heres the lowdown. 

A Vulcan on a faraway planet littered with rogues and cutthroats has discovered a quest to enlightenment and stages a takeover of what serves as the planets government.  The government is able to get a video out asking for assistance and thus the Enterprise is dispatched to assist in the rescue.  Overpowered by the Vulcan's forces, Kirk, Spock and McCoy soon learn that this man is not only related to Spock but he plans on taking the Enterprise on a quest to find God so that all of mankind's questions can be answered.  All this with singing around the campfire, bad jokes and recycled and sub par effects and soundtracks are endured.

The heads in charge decided that humor being such a big part of Star Trek IV's success decided to sandwich it in and the results are ha ha larious.  See Scotty hit his head on a low clearance after saying he knows the ship like the back of his hand.  See Chekov and Sulu lie badly to Uhura about being caught in a blizzard while vacationing at Mount Rushmore.  The cutesiness is spread out throughout the movie and it never really goes away till the end and by then, it's too late.

The story as it would read in a TV guide blurb will still read as follows:  "The Enterprise is captured and taken on a quest to find God."  Everyone from Gene Roddenberry to other heads of studio told William Shatner this is not a good idea.  He should have listened.  This is a movie that a different studio or another producer with the money to make it work should have made.  When you get to the God scenes, you can really tell the effects are needed.  Again it's effects telling the story.  A few years later and with George Luca's movie making the movie might have really been something different.

 The pluses though are nice.  Star Trek we all know has phasers and tricorders but we get to see some more of those things that help open up their world and see what other goodies they have, like jet boots for new kinds of mobility, Starfleet binoculars for seeing those far away things, Starfleet Marines in their own suits instead of just having the same red uniformed guys get shot at and yes, we finally get to see a toilet in Star Trek.  (Seriously, where did they go to the bathroom?)

Most importantly, William Shatner love him or hate him got a lot out of the characters.  Every character gets some decent screen time for a change and things to do instead of just sitting around in their chairs.  The long lingering Scotty and Uhura love even gets some lip service.

As much as I can appreciate Star Trek V for what it wanted to do, what it wound up doing.  It's still a weak movie in the Star Trek cannon.  I watch it regularly and wonder again what could have been, but I'm afraid that it will take God's graces will make this movie great. 

Kirk and his crew are caputred by Sybok's forces Singing around the campfire Starfleet Marines are ready for action Spock in a showdown with Sybok Storming Paradise City Lawerence Luckinbill as Vulcan Sybok

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October 21, 2010
They were reaching for something new for them to do here, great review.
October 21, 2010
If they took the humor out of this movie and left the budget alone, it could have been pretty good.
 
July 25, 2009
I'm glad you mentioned some positive aspects of this one although many consider it the weakest of the ST movies. I've seen just about all that is Star Trek since the sixties and I tell ya, great review. Not so great movie. I do wonder how Nimoy would have changed this if he directed? I recall something I read where Nichelle Nichols character was supposed to be singing in this film, but it was a dubbed voice, not hers! Even though she's an accomplished singer and dancer.
July 25, 2009
I wish I could say that the only thing this movies problem was, was a dwindling budget. The script really needed a touch up at the begining too. Nimoy may have made a better story but even the budget couldn't be overcome. Paramount sadly has a reputation for being cheapskates. Thanks for the comment. On the topic of Nichelle Nichols, in Star Trek VI, she wanted to solely respond in the translation scene feeling that her character should know Klingon. Uhura just keeps getting the shaft it seems.
July 25, 2009
Yes, seems so. I made a top ten of Star Trek films and No. 5 didn't make the cut!
 
June 11, 2009
George Takei used to say (when asked the bathroom question at conventions) that the crew would just find a convenient corner and then eliminate their eliminations with a phaser afterwards.
June 11, 2009
Thats awesome. William Shatners daughter would get asked what does Captain Kirk read in the bathroom, "Playboy of course"
June 11, 2009
A logical answer. By the way I loved your title for this review. lol
June 11, 2009
Thank you. I do my best to keep them catchy.
 
June 10, 2009
Does William Shatner ever listen to anyone? ;) This pretty much is the worst Star Trek film of all time. My personal favorite Trek film is The Undiscovered Country.
June 10, 2009
MINE TOO!! I think that one will come soon.
 
1
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review by . August 26, 2010
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review by . May 20, 2009
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Many people write off "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" as the worst film in the Trek franchise. However, it's like the old saying goes, "A bad day fishing is still better than a good day at work." "Frontier" has its downfalls but it still manages to be a solid science fiction film.     In this tale, we are introduced to a renegade Vulcan named Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill) who has embraced the ways of the ancient Vulcans who deemed emotion more important than logic. He has plans …
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Theatrical release poster by Bob Peak Directed by William Shatner Produced by Harve Bennett Written by Screenplay:
David Loughery
Story:
William Shatner
Harve Bennett
David Loughery
Characters:
Gene Roddenberry Starring See table Music by Jerry Goldsmith Cinematography Andrew Laszlo Editing by Peter E. Berger Distributed by Paramount Pictures Release date(s) June 9, 1989 Running time 107 min. Country United States Language English Budget $27,800,000 (estimated) Gross revenue $70,000,000 (worldwide) Preceded by Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Followed by Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Paramount Pictures, 1989) is the fifth feature film based on the Star Trek science fiction television series. It is often referred to as Star Trek 5 or The Final Frontier. The film was directed by William Shatner, following two films directed by his co-star, Leonard Nimoy. Shatner also developed the initial storyline. It was shot entirely in California.

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Following the events of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the crew of the USS Enterprise-A is enjoying some well deserved shore leave. The newly christened starship's shakedown cruise goes poorly and it is in Earth ...

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