Spock: Intergalactic Hide and Seek Champion three years running.

Dammit Star Trek, you had such a good thing going at the end of "Wrath of Khan," you had characters who had never really dealt realistically with death coming face to face with it, you had a chance to show that in the Star Trek universe no one is safe from the Reapers icy embrace, and you had Shatner acting like an actor. So what do you do? You tell me that Spock isn't dead? And you let Nemoy direct the next movie, and give Shatner free reign to be as hammy as he possibly can be.

What. The. Hell.
All the drama and momentum the series had going for it at the end of "Khan" is forgotten with "Search," and all the emotions we invested in the tragic death of Spock are thrown away within the first few minutes when we learn that, gasp, he is still alive, and had stored his being in Doctor McCoy. Because if you don't want to go with a "it was all a dream" moment, this is the next best thing. Do you know how irritated I get when a sequel changes what happened in the previous movie just to make the story work easier? Like if the bad guy stuck him in a car on a mountain road and knocked him out and welded the door shut and tore out the brakes and started him to his death, and he woke up and tried to steer and tried to get out but the car went off a cliff before he could escape! And it crashed and burned and I was so upset and excited, and the next week, you better believe I was first in line. And they always start with the end of the last week. And there was Rocketman, trying to get out, and here comes the cliff, and just before the car went off the cliff, he jumped free! And all the kids cheered! But I didn't cheer. I stood right up and started shouting. This isn't what happened last week! Have you all got amnesia? They just cheated us! This isn't fair! HE DIDN'T GET OUT OF THE COCK - A - DOODIE CAR!

Ahem...where was I?

Sit down over here movie, we need to have a word.

Spock is alive now, but stranded on a magical planet that was created by the Genesis Device, a McGuffan that was created in "Khan" and designed to immediately change a barren planet into a life filled one. Thru space magic or something. But, unfortunately for him, Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise can't get to him, as their ship is being decommissioned and the Genesis planet is off limits to everyone, save for a small science team. Luckily for new-Spock, Kirk is not above stealing his ship back and running off like a crazy person. Unluckily for everyone a bunch of Klingons are looking for the Genesis Device, and they are lead by Christopher Lloyd, who seems rather irritated for some reason thru out the movie.

I can't understand why...

In "Search," Nemoy tries to capture the essence of what worked in "Khan" but ends up creating a watered down, emotionless mess of a film. Gone are the trilling space battles, in their place we have ships standing still firing one or two shots at one another before waving the white flag. The ships themselves look out of place in this film, seeming to have their own, independent light sources, as opposed to the dramatic lighting in the previous films. I cannot stress how amateur that looks in a film, to have two subjects, clearly, have separate light sources. The acting takes a hit in the film too, with the most egregious offender being Robin Curtis, who replaced the young Kristy Alley from "Khan". Do you know how bland you have to be to be worse than Kristy Alley? Really bland. Really bland. The film runs only at 105 minutes, but it feels much, much longer, due to the fact that for long periods of time, nothing really happens. Now this is not nearly as bad as in "The Motion Picture," but still, after "Khan" it is a let down to see unused time in a film like this.

There is a oft quoted rule regarding Star Trek movies, it is said that only the even numbered films are worth watching, and that the odds are terrible. Thus far, I would agree, although "Search" is in no way as bad as "The Motion Picture" it is also a tremendous back step in terms of what this franchise is capable off. Had they kept Spock dead, we could have had an opportunity to explore not just old age in the characters, but their own mortality. What we end up with is something out of Dragonball Z, Spock is turning into Krillin. No one bats an eye when Krillin dies, because we know he will come back in a few episodes, and the same goes, now, for Spock.

I have been and always shall be your friend...see you in an hour or so.

The cheap effects, terrible set pieces and overall lack of emotional connection leaves the movie with the feel of a poor made-for-TV movie, which I find astounding after the quick turnaround that the series had just undergone. We lose the character development that we had cultivated earlier, lost the sense of purpose we had found, and gave precedent for Trek cast to take over episodes and movies in the crew department, which led directly to William Shatner directing one of these movies. I will let that sink in for a few days.

William Shatner directed a Star Trek movie.

Sleep tight.
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Rating: George Takei looking disappointed in you.

 





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