Date: February 20, 2020
Setting the Stage: I began the movie around 7:00 pm on Feb 19, 2020 via Amazon Prime. Thankfully Prime has sorted out its issue and we did not have to rent this one. Zoom decided my lap was the place to be, which was very difficult when trying to take notes on my laptop during the movie. This was the one movie I required the husband to be present for since he has consistently talked about how awful this one was, and I wanted someone to suffer through it with me. Tonight’s musical accompaniment is The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker soundtrack.
Luis-style Summary: We open to a planet in the neutral zone with an unknown Vulcan with weird mind tricks and a weird bald guy. After the credits, we get up close and personal with Kirk’s butt and several minutes of he-man Kirk climbing a mountain where Kirk, McCoy, and Spock are enjoying shore leave. Back on Nimbus III (the planet in the NZ) it looks like we’ve entered the Cantina on Mos Eisley (hey, it’s been a while since I’ve made a Star Wars reference!) where the Vulcan and some of his followers (he totally used Jedi mind tricks) take the Romulan, Klingon, and Federation representatives hostage.
On the “new” Enterprise, back from its latest cruise, Uhura and Scotty have an adorable moment before a red alert is called, Sulu and Chekov are lost, and McCoy, Spock, and Kirk are found after Kirk “forgets” his communicator. They are being sent to Nimbus III in order to rescue the hostages. Also en route are some Klingons, one of which is a very ambitious Kirk-hater. Spock knows the Vulcan, his name is Sybock, and he’s apparently one who values emotions over logic. Chekov gets to act as Captain while Spock and Kirk sneak to the planet, and Uhuha gets to dance naked and distract the lookout party. After 10 years of fight sequence later, the Enterprise landing party realizes they’ve been tricked. Kirk enables emergency landing plan “B” , which allows them to escape the Klingons but they wind up handing over the ship to Sybock and his followers. Sybock is apparently Spock’s half-brother and has crazy mind powers. He takes over Sulu and Uhura, and tries to take over Spock, Kirk, and McCoy but is unable to do so. His mission is to go look for Sha Ka Ree in the center of the universe and find “God”. The female Klingon is VERY good at English and Kirk thinks the Federation is on the way to provide assistance.
They break through the barrier and encounter the planet at the center of galaxy and Kirk is given command of the ship back. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Sybock take the shuttle down to the ship and everyone is so enamored with the planet that no one is paying attention to the incoming Klingon vessel. Stones emerge from the planet’s surface, as does a light with a speaking voice that sounds almost like Donald Sutherland. We find out the barrier was there to keep the entity in, not to keep others out. Sybock realizes his mistake and joins with the entity as Kirk orders a torpedo. Scotty then beams up Spock and McCoy, but the Klingons fire. The Klingons beam Kirk aboard, the Klingon captain apologies to Kirk, and Spock is introduced as the new gunner of the Klingon vessel. Everyone is so happy to be alive that they begin to get along, temporarily at least.
TL;DR: Spock’s half-brother is “on a mission from God” and kidnaps everyone in order to commandeer the Enterprise and visit the center of the galaxy, only to find out “God” is an alien.
Kirk: ‘All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.’
Spock: John Masefield.
McCoy: Are you sure about that?
Spock: I am well versed in the classics, Doctor
McCoy: Then how come you don’t know ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat?’McCoy asking the hard questions.
Kirk: Excuse me. I’d just like to ask a question. What does God need with a starship?
“God”: Bring the ship closer.
Kirk: I said ‘What does God need with a starship?’Kirk asking the hard questions.
My Thoughts and Impressions: The whole opening sequence leaves me confused, in fact that will a be a theme for this post. When they are camping, the roasting marshmallow bit is adorable. 30 minutes into the movie, however, I still have no idea what the fuck is going on. Why is the Enterprise being sent out with a skeleton crew and a busted ship – you could put Kirk on another damn ship if you really needed his experience. I get that they’re trying to explain why the Enterprise is always being sent out, but this one still doesn’t make any damn sense. Didn’t we go to the center of the universe in the Animated Series?
Okay, all of that aside I do like the bit about the Klingon captain who was trying to make a name for himself, and that they spoke only Klingon until they needed to speak English to others… that makes sense at least. I also liked the uniforms in this movie, they were very flattering on the crew and made everyone look sharp. But that’s the end of the list of things that make sense.
What’s up with the rocket boots that show up only twice? What’s up with Uhura and Scotty, why show them flirting if you aren’t going to do anything about it? WHY ON EARTH DID WE NEED NAKED UHURA DANCE? I mean if she wanted to, you go lady! She did look like she had fun, but seriously? Why doesn’t Spock tell us it’s his brother sooner? It seems like Kirk and crew give up the ship a little too easily (except for Scotty, the jailbreak scene was fun too) and then decide to go exploring for God just for funsises. I get their 5-year mission was to explore new things, but this seemed much more to satisfy Kirk’s curiosity rather than advance the Federation somehow. How do they get through the “impenetrable barrier” with literally no fanfare or explanation, and then the Klingons just happen to bust in too? Why do we never get an explanation for Sybock and his mind magic? Will this reappear later? Will this be a random thing that never gets mentioned again?
So I totally get that Shatner directed this movie, but he made it all about Kirk at every turn. When Nimoy directed III although Spock’s name is in the title, Spock is not on screen very much and it’s about how the other characters are dealing with loss and processing their grief, and possibly seeing if there’s a chance to save their friend and first officer. Shatner, on the other hand, makes this the Captain Kirk double story hour, reminiscent to a few Original Series episodes that were all about Kirk. Yeah, we get you’re all accomplished and stuff, but it’s your crew that makes you better. Sigh.
I’m also wicked pissed with Kirk saying how he “lost a brother once” but was lucky and got him back. Hello, did you forget that you lost your actual flesh-and-blood brother? Hey, I’m all for chosen families, my chosen family is mostly geographically closer than those I am related to by blood. However, that’s the second slap in the face to your brother. Anyone remember the time in Star Trek II where Kirk tells his son that he’s never known loss? I mean, you aren’t going to tell your only son about his uncle? For shame!
Movie rating: . In comparison to the other movies on my Rankings page, I believe it earns itself a warp 3, and it’s only so high because of the camping scene and a few other good one liners.
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