Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier


Dir: William Shatner
Regular Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig
Additional Cast: Laurence Luckinbill, Todd Bryant, Spice Williams, Cynthia Gouw, Charles Cooper, David Warner
USA, 1989

Originally Seen: Although I don't have a strong memory of first time viewing, it must have been in the theatre

Revisited: February 23, 2009

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

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is one of the films I was most looking forward to during the Star Trek Countdown. Not because it's one of my faves, but for the direct opposite reason: I've always insisted I didn't like it very much which is the general sense I get from people with this lone Shatner directed instalment of the Star Trek Films. But like fans of Timothy Dalton as Bond, there are some diehard fans out there for The Final Frontier.

After seeing it again I enjoyed it much more than I did the first time, although I could see flaws as well. I enjoyed the camaraderie of the crew which continues strongly from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, with jests, jokes and just enough goofiness to temper the seriousness of the overall plot. This leads me to realize and understand why the film has such a split vote of fans as the themes that were chosen to highlight are that of faith. Not faith in ourselves, the universe or fate but actual religious faith. That is a crowd splitter, first to believers and non-believers, and then split again with the believers if they believe what you are preaching. Although I don’t think you have to believe to enjoy the film, but it can build barriers and rustle feathers. It also poses many questions not only about belief but also empathy, leadership and how far people will go to achieve their goals. Even taking that with a grain of salt and enjoying the philosophical questions as well as the adventure there are some here and there moments left unresolved which I find surprizing for any Trek tale.

The film does intensify the ever highlighted relationship trio between Kirk, Spock and McCoy as well as introduces a fantastic new character, Sybok who definitely shakes things up. We don't see a heck of a lot of Sulu, Chekov and Uhura or Scotty but they do have some beautiful moments.

Overall, upon re-watching I've changed my opinion from this being a 'I've seen it enough' to a 'I'd watch it again' which is good news.

Fun Trek Trivia:
First Trek film to be released after the 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' TV Series
IMDb lists the languages of the film as such: English / Klingon. That rocks.

Shannon's Overall View:

I enjoyed it more than the first time
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it as nostalgic Trek

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009


Nayana Anthony said...

Being a massive Trek geek, I'm one of those who saw it once, and hated it so much I almost don't even consider it part of the canon. Maybe (just maybe) I need to give it another shot. We'll see.

Reed Farrington said...

Call me a diehard fan of this movie. I think the only award of distinction that this film ever garnered was that Raspberry award for worst film of the year.

You're the first person I know who has ever changed her mind about this movie. What are some of the unresolved moments of this film for you?

The trivia about the languages in the IMDb listing is funny. I remember there was a news item about some mental health institution looking to hire someone who knew many languages including Klingon. Maybe that story was apocryphal.

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