Date: February 19, 2020
Setting the Stage: I began the movie around 7:00 pm on Feb 18, 2020 via Amazon Prime… but we had to rent it. Of the six original Trek movies, somehow IV (which was on Prime yesterday) was no longer available and we were only able to rent it, sigh. Husband and I ate Honey Balsamic Pork (it was a crock-pot night) with couscous and corn, and it was delicious. The cats were around in spurts, but Zoom was totally asleep on the blanket at the edge of the couch. He was a very tired pupperino.
This will be the last Star Trek movie I was not alive for, as I was born in December 1986.
Tonight’s musical accompaniment is Harry Potter inspired, with Winter at Hogwarts, mostly because it’s supposed to snow tomorrow.
Luis-style Summary: On Earth the Klingon ambassador is a little dramatic about Kirk’s actions in the previous movie and Sarek shows up to the hearing at the Federation to speak on his behalf. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise are actually being charged for once, ironically Spock is not due to his being mostly dead for a good part of the movie. There’s an alien probe on approach every other ship in its path loses power. Kirk and crew take the stolen Klingon vessel back to face the music but before they can get there, the probe is approaching Earth and trying to communicate with – wait for it – humpback whales (that are no longer there because they are extinct). Apparently we’re going on a time heist for… whales?!
After a weird ass dream sequence, Kirk divides everyone into teams in order to solve the different problems. Spock mind melds with one of the whales and Kirk is beside himself with embarrassment, but of course meets a woman, Gillian. Scotty and McCoy are having fun with their acting challenge while Sulu makes friends in order to commandeer a helicopter. Uhura and Chekov find the nuclear naval ship, Uhura gets beamed back safely but Chekov gets caught by the authorities and insert hilarious Russian comedy scene because it’s the Cold War. Chekov has an accident during his escape, so McCoy, Gillian, and Kirk pose as doctors to help him out. Gillian jumps Kirk as he is being beamed back onto the ship in order to go to the future and save the whales, which are also beamed onto the ship in dramatic fashion. They get back to their own time, but are in the path of the probe and lose power. They land in the water, abandon ship, and release the whales. The whales and probe communicate and suddenly the probe goes back to whence it came. The council meets to discuss the fate of the Enterprise crew, every charge gets dropped except for one sp Kirk is “demoted” to Captain, which is what he wanted anyway. Sarek and Spock have the most Vulcan Hallmark moment ever, and it’s adorable.
TL;DR: An ancient intelligence made contact with whales and sends a probe to find out why they stopped communicating. The probe is destroying everything, including Earth, so the crew of the Enterprise time travels in their stolen Klingon vessel in order to save life on Earth.
Chekov: Cloaking device now available on all flight modes.
Kirk: I’m impressed, it’s a lot of effort for a short voyage.
Chekov: We are in an enemy wessel, sir. I didn’t wish to be shot down on the way to our own funeral.
Kirk: Most prudent.Chekov will all of my favorite lines.
Policeman #1: How’s the patient, Doctor?
Kirk: He’s gonna make it!
Policeman #2: He? He went in with a she.
Kirk: One little mistake.Kirk with the good timing on this one.
My Thoughts and Impressions: There are a lot of problems with this movie, but I don’t focus on that much because it made me laugh. Between the scenes mentioned above and “everybody remember where we parked”, I worked out some laughing muscles I haven’t used in a while. Spock trying to “curse” and Scotty trying to speak to the computer are both quite funny. I’m reminded of a scene in 3rd Rock From the Sun where Dick Solomon tries to use a computer, and I bet it was a nod to Scotty. It’s too bad Kirk didn’t have access to the guy from Down Periscope who could speak in whale, but then we wouldn’t have had the need to travel back to 1986. I also find it (cough cough) fascinating (sorry, not sorry) that the actress that plays the Mom on 7th Heaven is in this film when we just had the Dad in The Motion Picture. I’ll say it again: there’s always a blonde for Kirk, but now apparently a headband for Spock, instead of a hat. I’m also kicking myself for not realizing that it’s not just blondes that Kirk is attracted to but ones who are damn smart to boot. I was also super excited to see a female Captain (from the Saratoga) and she’s a woman of color, double score!
McCoy is extra crotchety in this one, especially given the state of the hospital and its “medieval medicine”, but he does some elderly lady a solid and fixes her kidneys. As my father is currently doing dialysis three times a week and is in need of a kidney, that part really hit home. Consider checking the box to be an organ donor for when you no longer need yours or checking to see if you’re a match to be a living kidney donor. Thanks for coming to my surprise TED Talk on organ donation in the midst of a Trek review.
Thinking about what was happening in the late 1980’s makes this movie quite the political and even an environmentally friendly one. Trek once again blazes ahead in the social commentary, but then takes a few steps back with some of the problems I will highlight below. They also did a great job of framing a story around the time frame they were in at the time of the shooting, so they could get away with the “pop culture of the time” without having to go crazy because they could just go to San Fransisco and take shots of the normal outside world.
Now for the problems in this movie. How did NO ONE come across the ship in the park or run into it?! I mean you could SEE the impressions in the grass! The whale to probe scene at the end takes a few minutes longer than it needed to, especially with no translation by Spock. When Chekov is making his run for it, they are playing very Russian-like music and it’s a bit reminiscent of “Shore Leave” when they had the horrific Irish music playing when the Irish-based character was on screen. There’s also not much to the plot as it’s essentially just a time-heist, which at the time was probably one of the first and I will admit is quite well done. I don’t usually like time travel because it messes everything up. I also have a lot of questions, as I usually do. Why does Saavik stay on Vulcan? How does Scotty magically know how to be a whiz at the keyboard when he couldn’t recognize it wasn’t voice activated 2.3 seconds earlier? Also, why on EARTH does he just give away the secrets of transparent aluminum? I mean, I thought we weren’t supposed to mess with the time line, but we can just ignore all that now? Suuuuuuure.
Movie rating: . In comparison to the other movies on my Rankings page, I believe it earns itself a warp 8.5.