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By AARON SKETCHLEY (aaronsketch@HOTdelete_thisMAIL.com) Ver 1.1 2022.05.16

Star Trek Film Reviews

Star Trek: The Motion Picture Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Star Trek III: The Search for Spock Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Star Trek V: The Final Frontier Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Star Trek Generations

Star Trek: First Contact

Star Trek: Insurrection

Star Trek: Nemesis

Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

1.5 stars

Release date: 1979
Written by: Harold Livingston
Directed by: Robert Wise
Review by: Aaron Sketchley
Reviewed on: 2022.05.16
A massive alien cloud of energy is detected moving through space toward Earth. It easily subsumes not only the three Klingon warships that attack it, but also the Starfleet monitoring station that was watching it and the Klingons. The Enterprise is undergoing a major refit on Earth. As it's the only ship within range, Starfleet Command assigns it to intercept the cloud entity. Admiral Kirk—who is now Chief of Starfleet Operations—uses his authority to take command of the Enterprise. This angers Captain Willard, who has been overseeing its refit as its new commanding officer. Kirk makes sure that McCoy and Scott rejoin the crew that includes Chekov, Sulu, and Uhura. As Spock is on Vulcan undergoing a ritual to purge himself emotion, he is unable to join. Kirk assigns the Vulcan Sonak to be his science officer. However, testing of the Enterprise's systems go badly, and not only is Sonak killed in a transporter accident, the ship is also almost lost due to engine problems. Shortly afterwards, Spock arrives, explaining that he felt a consciousness that he believes emanates from the cloud, and he somehow feels an emotional connection to it. His arrival only serves to complicate things, as he is unresponsive when asked basically what his purpose for being there is. And soon they arrive at the cloud, which has a tendency to vaporize ships unfortunate enough to merely attempt to scan it.

The Motion Picture is unlike any other Star Trek picture. In some ways, it is bigger and grander than anything that came before and since. It is a wonder to behold such details as a tiny space-suited worker doing a back flip on the dry dock scaffolding when the Enterprise launches. On the other hand, the film proceeds at a snails pace, with a lot of repetitive sequences. Also, while some of the Enterprise sets are vast, spacious, and well lit, others feel cramped and dark. On top of that we have *new* uniforms that are anything but recognizable as Starfleet issue.

While it's great to see the cast from the original series reunited in their first big-screen outing, they are given hardly any opportunities to show their comradeship until the finale. Nevertheless, the conflict between an out-of-touch Kirk and Captain Decker—who Kirk demotes at the beginning of the film—is a refreshing change of pace. Kirk misreading Decker when he is merely doing his job as the First Officer also adds well-needed realism. Nevertheless, this movie is more about its style, special effects, and ambience than it is about things like plot and characterization. Thankfully the special effects get better as the film progresses. The highlight, of course, is the wonderful music, and this reviewer can't help but smile when hearing those classic Trek themes.

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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

stars

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Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

stars

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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

stars

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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

stars

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Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

stars

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Star Trek Generations

stars

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Star Trek: First Contact

stars

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Star Trek: Insurrection

stars

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Star Trek: Nemesis

stars

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Star Trek (2009)

stars

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Coming soon!
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