Date: February 16, 2020
Setting the Stage: I began the movie around 7:45 pm on Feb 15, 2020 via Amazon Prime. As usual, husband and all the fur children are with us. Thor was on my lap, Tempura on his, Zoom in between us, and Jazz and Loki were in and out of the living room. Today’s musical accompaniment is Tyco.
A note about the summary: in real life, I get very animated when I tell a story, especially one I am passionate about. I mean I am Italian after all. When Luis from Ant-Man catches us up in his own style, I knew I wasn’t the only one who went off on tangents during story-telling mode. If you haven’t seen Luis in action, here he is:
Luis-style Summary: We open to Klingons, who now have ridged heads and don’t speak English, getting owned by something. Kirk is now an Admiral, Scotty has a mustache, and everyone has new uniforms. The transporter is on the fritz, really they couldn’t come up with something new? McCoy is as crotchety as ever and has a beard, that is shaved in record time. Suddenly, a wormhole appears. Decker saves the ship, Spock comes on board and is as Vulcan as ever. He is getting messages from the alien entity. Checkov gets to scream. This thing is massive and beams into the ship and takes Ilya with it. She beams back but is now a probe for the alien entity. Spock goes renegade, what else is new? Kirk is back to bluffing and they meet VGER, also known as Voyager 6, a NASA probe launched over 300 years ago. Voyager just wanted to transmit its data, except it also wants to meet and “join” with its creator, and it chooses Decker. Earth is saved and the band is back together.
TL;DR: Someone made a machine that is looking for its creator. It thinks that humans are interfering with finding it so it threatens anything that keeps it from its task.
DECKER: Don’t interfere with it!
CHEKOV: Absolutely I will not interfere.Decker and Chekov discussing the plasma-energy probe from the alien vessel.
SPOCK: Doctor, a thorough examination of this probe might provide some insight into those who manufactured it, and how to deal with them.
McCOY: Fine! Let’s get her to sickbay.
ILIA PROBE: I am programmed to observe and record only the normal functioning procedures of the carbon-based units.
KIRK: The …examination is a normal function.
ILIA PROBE: You may proceed.Spock providing insight, McCoy being snarky, Kirk using logic on a machine, and the machine accepting Kirk’s logic.
My Thoughts and Impressions: The special effects are excellent for the time and much better than in the TV show, but they certainly spend A LOT of time going “look at this stuff we can do now”. I mean WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LONG TO GET TO THE ENTERPRISE? Shatner is wearing A LOT of makeup. Decker is baby Stephen Collins, who I first remember as the Dad from 7th Heaven. It was super interesting to see the whole crew and that it is much more diverse than what we saw during the show. There are a variety of alien species, Native Americans, and you finally get to appreciate the size of the Enterprise‘s crew. At first it just feels like Kirk is getting the band back together; specifically requesting a Vulcan, bringing back McCoy out of retirement, and such. He really seems to want to relive his glory days, but then seems to remember what an ultimate responsibility it is to be the Captain. When Spock comes aboard, everyone is happy to see him, but Uhura especially is, and this another nail in the coffin (for me) that they definitely had a thing going during The Original Series. I don’t understand why are there so many costume changes, both from the TV show and then within the movie. One minute they are in jumpsuits, and then there are short sleeves, and it doesn’t quite add up. Sulu gives good face, just as Spock still gives good eyebrow. I am so glad Chapel got her MD. Poor Scotty had nothing to do, and I’m sad we didn’t really see more of him. There were also no communicators, so there was no “Kirk out” and I was a little bummed about that. One big question that still is unanswered is what was the point of the Klingons at the beginning? Nothing ever resurfaced about that. It also seemed like it took FOREVER to get to anywhere (I get it, special effects, ooooh) and also to the problem.
All that being said, I didn’t hate it. I thought it could have done with a little less showing off the special effects and a little more dialogue. However, the special effects were likely breathtaking and worth it watching in a movie theater in 1979. The acting was good in some ways, and not so great in others. After spending five seasons with the crew of the Enterprise, it was great to see them a little later in their careers. I was a little puzzled by the end, where Kirk doesn’t wait for orders and essentially steals the Enterprise and its crew, but I guess that’s the perks of being an Admiral? We do, however, get the familiarity of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy bantering and discussing the mission, which was fun. Overall, I’m not wishing I had two hours of my life back – maybe just the 15 minutes of the never-ending trek to the Enterprise and the beginning and then the other 15 minutes en route to the the Voyager probe.
Movie rating: This movie had its ups and its downs. I believe it earns itself a warp 6.