Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

"Weak"

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock Review


In the name of the franchise, the U.S.S. Enterprise boldly goes in search of fallen comrade Spock, who may have been reborn and regenerated on the "Genesis Planet." Those who have seen Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan are familiar with the backstory. Brave Spock (Leonard Nimoy, who wanted to get out of the part) sacrificed himself to save his friends from radioactive destruction, with his sole justification being that "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... or the one." As he died, his skin a mass of welts and burns, he gazed into Kirk's weeping face and gently confirmed that he was, and always shall be, his friend. The body was ceremoniously shot out into space and landed on the emerging planet. It was an operatic moment. Days later, the despondent Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) is still mourning the loss, and glumly presides over the ship as Starfleet performs their routine inspection.

Meanwhile... our favorite cranky doctor, "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley), is being driven mad by some force beyond his control -- somehow imagining that he is becoming Spock, or falling under the Vulcan influence.

Meanwhile... back on Genesis, Kirk's gung ho son, David (Merritt Butrick) and Lt. Saavik (formerly played by Kirstie Alley, now Robin Curtis) are inspecting the unstable core of the planet. The whole thing will blow to pieces in a matter of hours, perhaps because there's a strange life force on the planet growing at an accelerated rate.

Only problem is... a gang of renegade Klingons (led by Christopher Lloyd) have caught wind of the Genesis Project, and want to get their hands on this device as an apocalyptic weapon.

And to make matters worse...after Kirk and his loyal crew come to discover that, Good Lord , Spock might still be alive, the Space Federation refuses to allow them the right to take out the Enterprise, which is hopelessly out of date. It can't compete with the new vessels they've created, and furthermore, Admiral James T. Kirk and his merry men (and Uhura) are getting a wee bit too old to be gallivanting around the galaxy in search of brave new worlds, or, for that matter, the pipe dream that Spock is a futuristic Lazarus.

Never one for following the rules, Kirk and his team assemble in defiance of their orders, steal the Enterprise, and fly on out to Planet Genesis. Only problem is, the Klingons are waiting for them, and ready for battle. Directed by Leonard Nimoy, this episode could best be described as functional, in that the situation is interesting enough for a routine episode of the TV show. The script is fairly long winded, and it takes forever for the Enterprise to get out into space. We must endure heaps of exposition with Spock's father telling Kirk that he needs to go out there and find his baby boy, and scene after scene of McCoy's mental breakdown (including a silly exchange with an alien in a bar as they start bickering over space travel).

It's ridiculous how easy it is for Kirk and Co. to sneak into their ship, knock out the two or three guards standing watch, and pilot it out of an enormous and heavily guarded space station. Perhaps it's not that they're against impossible odds, as usual -- it's how clumsily staged this sequence is, and how goofy the Federation seems. It's bubble gum storytelling.

There are a few good space battles between the Enterprise and the Klingon Bird of Prey vessel, and a fist fight between Kirk and Kruge (Lloyd) on the exploding Genesis Planet. Those things appeal to the little kid in me who loves stories of Intergalactic Space Rangers and pulp space opera fiction. There's just nothing like two guys duking it out on the edge of a cliff as a volcano erupts behind them.

There are one or two moments close to the pop opera grandeur of Wrath of Khan, like Kirk debating over the fateful decision of whether or not to blow up the Enterprise. Catch me if I'm wrong, since I'm hardly an academic of Star Trek trivia, but wasn't old Kirk debating whether to blow up the Enterprise in every other episode? I almost felt nostalgic as he deliberated over his choice, and when he asks the question of whether he did the right thing, McCoy puts a comforting hand on his shoulder and says, "You did what you've always done. Turned death into a fighting chance to live." Too bad the entire movie wasn't so boldly theatrical.

The double-disc DVD (Paramount is releasing the Star Treks at a healthy clip now) has the usual goodies. The trivia subtitles are again a must-see, and commentary by crew (including Nimoy) is interesting. Notably, Nimoy claims that he did not mandate his character's death in Star Trek II. Disc two has the usuall making-of goodies plus some non-film-specific documentaries about the Klingon language and terraforming in general.



Star Trek III: The Search For Spock

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 105 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st June 1984

Box Office Worldwide: $87M

Budget: $18M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 32 Rotten: 9

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Admiral James T. Kirk, as Capt. Spock/Elevator Voice, as Dr. Leonard McCoy, as Montgomery Scott, as Hikaru Sulu, as Cmdr. Uhura, as Pavel Chekov, as Dr. David Marcus, as Cmdr. Kruge, as Lt. Saavik, as Ambassador Sarek, Carl Steven as Spock...Age 9, Vadia Potenza as Spock...Age 13, Stephen Manley as Spock...Age 17, Joe W. Davis as Spock at age 25, as Vulcan High Priestess

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.