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.
What did you think of this review?
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.
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 ...