Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home


Dir: Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, 3 Men and a Baby)
Regular Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig
Additional Cast: Catherine Hicks, Majel Barrett, Mark Lenard, Robin Curtis, Brock Peters
USA, 1986

Originally Seen: I definitely saw this one in the theatre when it came out

Revisited: February 15, 2009

Reason to Revisit: For the Countdown to Star Trek Movie Marathon

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home came out in 1986 which means we are getting to films where I strongly remember seeing them during their theatrical release and this one I certainly saw in the theatre. Upon re-visiting it was wild to see that I only remembered in parts of the film. In fact, if I saw the beginning section out of context I wouldn't be able to tell which Trek movie it was, especially as aesthetically it had a lot of similarities to the Star Wars universe with numerous aliens and a strong military and/or court settings shown. But, that really is just the set up as the majority of the film is set in San Francisco in what translates to 'current day' for 1986.

I've never been a huge fan of when they go 'historically similar to earth' planets on The Original Series, but this one charmed me over. There is a lot of goofy humour with misunderstanding current culture as well as with Spock's re-education and overly literal translations, both of which are rather charming. There is great chemistry between the cast although the focus is strongly honed in on Spock and Kirk.

It stands up on its own as a film, but in terms of the Star Trek universe it seems to have 'forgotten' about The Prime Directive of not interfering with the development of a culture, perhaps it was overlooked as it was a past Earth as opposed to another culture. This concept is used heavily in Star Trek: The Next Generation and beyond, however it was used a part of The Original Series in the episode The Omega Glory.

They didn't tackle that concept but there are numerous other issues that were brought into the larger picture including environmentalism, conservation (save the whales) and reinforcing the idea of medicine being vastly improved in the future. All of these can leave the viewer feeling like the the world was pretty messed up at the time, but the beauty of Star Trek is that it leaves us with a glimmer of an optimistic future.

Shannon's Overall View:

I enjoyed it more than expected
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it as fun film

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009

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