Monday, January 11, 2010

Resolution Revue: Star Trek IV--The Voyage Home

Monica here with my first movie review from my New Year's resolution list! The Voyage Home finishes off the movie "trilogy" started with Wrath of Khan and continued in The Search for Spock as the Enterprise travels from the 23rd century back to the 20th. It's like Back to the Future with starships! And whales. And minus Christopher Lloyd (who, oddly enough, was in ST3 as the Klingon leader).

The movie begins with Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew about to head back to Earth to face court martial in a Klingon ship for all the crazy stuff they pulled in Search for Spock as they attempted to reunite Spock's body with his "katra." The Enterprise has been destroyed, Spock still isn't his old self, and they're all in deep trouble. However, their problems pale in comparison to what is happening at the Starfleet headquarters on Earth, where a mysterious alien probe is vaporizing all of the Earth's oceans. The probe appears to be sending a message, which the Enterprise crew determines is aimed, not at humans, but at humpback whales. The only problem here is that humpback whales have been extinct in the Trek 'verse since the 21st century, so the Enterprise crew heads back in time to find some. Despite all of the advancements in technology that humanity has made in 300-odd years, apparently time travel is still an inexact science. The time travel involves some complicated equations and launching themselves at the sun, only to turn right before they vaporize. Or something like that.

All of this is a complicated excuse for answering the question, "What if the Enterprise crew could walk around San Francisco in 1986?" Not that I mind. One of the things I enjoy the most about the original Trek was their focus on placing the characters in all sorts of odd situations just to see how they would react (and, oddly enough, that is also one of the things I like about Pinky and the Brain). Anyway, this movie does not disappoint. Kirk and Spock go to find the whales being held at an aquarium, Uhura and Chekov go to find some "nuclear wessels" which they can use to power the Klingon ship back to the future, and Scotty and McCoy find supplies to build a tank to house the whales.

I really liked this movie. For once, I thought the story between Kirk and his love interest was pretty good. Usually, I think Shatner comes off as pompous but here he was kind of adorable. Maybe because he was telling the marine biologist the absolute truth and she still didn't believe him. Maybe it was because he wasn't hitting on someone who could have been half his age (squick). I loved Spock, as always, especially the ridiculous robe he was wearing. And the headband to cover his Vulcan ears. He did, indeed, look like someone who had done a little too much "LDS" in the sixties. Other favorite scenes included Kirk and Spock on the bus (especially Spock giving the Vulcan nerve pinch to the obnoxious teenager) and McCoy in the "modern" hospital ("The doctor gave me a pill and I grew a new kidney!"). And, of course, Scotty's attempt to talk to the computer in the scientist's office (a similar gag was used in an episode of 3rd Rock--but, as usual, Star Trek did it first). All in all, it was fun and exciting and a great time.

Overall: 4.5/5