The M.O.W.'s Movie Review of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Rating of

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Good continuation of story from Star Trek 2
The M.O.W. - wrote on 08/01/08

Not long after the funeral of "Spock" (Leonard Nimoy) and the reassignment of most of the "Enterprise" training crew, the Federation flag ship is on her way back to Spacedock for decommissioning.

"Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy" (the late DeForest Kelly) begins to show unusual signs that something is not right with him mentally. He appears to have taken characteristics from the late "Vulcan", and shows signs of stress.

On the "Genesis Planet," "Saavik" (Robin Curtis) and "Dr. David Marcus" (the late Merritt Butrick), both reassigned to the "U.S.S. Grissom," are studying the highly unstable "Genesis Planet" when an unusual life-reading is detected. On the planet, the two find a nine year old "Vulcan" male (Carl Steven) whom they determine to be "Spock." "Dr. Marcus" believes that the "Vulcan's" dead body had been regenerated by the "Genesis Effect."

Back on Earth, the senior crew of the "Enterprise" is having a get-together at the home of "Admiral Kirk" (William Shatner) when "Vulcan" ambassador, and the estranged father of "Spock," "Sarek" (Mark Lenard) comes for a visit. The "Vulcan" questions "Kirk" as to why he has not brought "Spock" back to "Vulcan" so that his "katra" could be rebond with his body on "Mount Seleya," a large mountain on the planet "Vulcan."

"Kirk" then reviews the "Enterprise" video records and discovers that just prior to his death, "Spock" mind-melded with "McCoy," thus transferring his "katra" to the doctor. "Sarek" then instructs "Kirk" to bring "Spock's" body and "McCoy" to "Vulcan" so that "Spock's" "katra" could be returned to his body.

Now, "Kirk" and his crew must go to the "Genesis Planet" and retrive "Spock's" body and take it back to his home planet. However, they must do it against the orders of a high-ranking "Starfleet" officer, and deal with a "Klingon" Bird-of-Prey, whose captain (Christopher Lloyd) wants the "Genesis Device," which he calls the "Genesis Torpedo," that he believes to be a weapon.

The story itself moves fairly slow for most of the film. It also has little action. There is, however, some comedy that helps move the story along nicely. Performances, for the most part, help move the story along as well.

However, many of the characters are not on screen much. And many of those who are members of the main cast are not developed well, or have too few lines. There are a few "Klingons" which should have been developed as much as Lloyd's character, which could have made their storyline a little more interesting in my opinion.

Another problem with this movie is Robin Curtis, who takes over the role created by Kirstie Alley (which was Alley's debut role in the business). In my opinion, despite doing a good job, Curtis played the character of "Saavik" (pronounced Sah-vick) her own way and not much like the way Alley did. To me, it was like watching two separate characters with the same name.

The cast from the original television series show that they still have chemistry together in this movie. However, only a select few from the original cast is seen in most of the movie. Nichelle Nichols ("Uhura") and Leonard Nimoy ("Spock" and the movie's director) have so little screen time they are near worthless to the story. The only one with brief screen time that is worth anything is Lenard, whose appearance causes an all important plot twist which establishes the rest of the movie's plot.

Many of the special effects have not held up in the last two decades. It is obvious in the scenes where "Enterprise" is entering "Spacedock" that the "Starship" was added into the footage of "Spacedock." Other special effects, including the inaccurate explosions in outer space (sound can not travel in the vacuum of space), do still work, but there aren't many.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is obviously targeted to the fans of the franchise. People who are not a fan, alias "Trekkie" (I personally hate the much preferred nickname "Trekker"), probably won't enjoy the movie that much.

By the way, you may want to see Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan prior to seeing this movie the first time since the story in this movie is a continuation of the story seen in Star Trek II. However, the very end of the second film is highlighted at the start of this movie.

As a "Trekkie," I recommend this film to fans of the franchise only. Others may want to pass on it.

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