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While the old cast members are doing splendidly here, the movie introduces some fantastic new characters. First and foremost, the experienced Shakespearean actor Christopher Plummer makes a fascinating villain in the conservative and suspicious Klingon General Chang, endlessly throwing out Shakespeare quotes on every turn. ('You haven't truly enjoyed Shakespeare until you've read it in the original Klingon') Also, Kim Cattrall, who achieved much success lately in the acclaimed 'Sex And The City'), plays the Vulcan Lt. Valeris and gives a great performance. Finally, David Warner gives a brief but memorable performance as the visionary Chancellor Gorkon. The real stars here, though, are Shatner and Kelly, whose attempt to save the Chancellor's life, as well as their trial for assassination before a Klingon court (CAMEO: Michael Dorn, who plays Worf in the Next Generation, plays Kirk and McCoy's attorney here - Colonel Worf. An ancestor, probably) make for some of the best scenes ever seen on Star Trek. The directing and camera work are splendid, and the script has just the right amount of self humor, which was dreadfully lacking from the fifth movie (e.g.: Spock: 'If I were human I believe my response would be "go to hell." ...If I were human.' All in all, a remarkable sign off for the original crew of the Enterprise and one of the best sci-fi movies of all time.
This is the best of the film series for several reasons. The timeliness of the film's release with real-world events. (Funny how Col. West had a contingency plan for terrorism along the Federation's border. Made me wish we had one prior to 9-11) The issue of how people can be frightened of drastic change (what a very Clinton-esque message) mirroring Kirk and crew's emotional baggage helps propel the plot forward and makes it believable.
A great tense score and tight editing (sorry, no overlong speeches and theorizing) combined with terrific performances from Christopher Plummer and the best yet from the original ensemble kept me glued to my seat the whole time. Additional characters are actually relevant, unlike Saavik, the Marcuses, et al., and although I should have seen it coming I was surprised how far-reaching the conspiracy to kill Gorkon actually was, even including a Vulcan! Fun cameos from Michael Dorn, Christian Slater and Iman lighten the mood. Her presence finally makes McCoy quip to Kirk "What is it with you, anyway?" which is something that should have been said years ago. Must be the girdle. The Klingon attack scene at the end is great unrelenting action and was better than Khan's attack on the Enterprise in Part II (see my comments on that film to get an idea).
"The Undiscovered Country" is essentially a mystery in space with political overtones and it's great fun watching Spock and Valeris unravel the mystery piece by piece. Valeris (Kim Cattrall)is given more to do than Saavik ever was. The only nit-picking comments I have is just why couldn't the assassins just throw the boots out the window? If an explosion in space wasn't monitored until the shockwave hit the Excelsior, how would the Enterprise find the boots? Would the NCC-1701 just shift gears into reverse?
A lot has been made about the clock errors. To me, it's not terribly important since it's just background and your attention should not be there anyway. It was a bad idea to include such a prop though.
The only wasted role belongs to Scotty but he had his moment of greatness in "The Voyage Home" during the transparent aluminum scenes. He also delivers the corniest line of the film during dinner with the Klingons: "Maybe we are looking at something of that future here!" Well, duh!
Everything that made Star Trek great is in this film: action, great one-liners from McCoy and Chekhov, the peace message, the Klingons, Spock's logic skills, literary quotes and celebrity cameos makes "The Undiscovered Country" a worthy send-off to perhaps the most celebrated ensemble cast in entertainment history. Even if you're not a Trek-fan, you would enjoy this picture and is well worth the rental/purchase.
As the film opens, we are witness to an ecological disaster. As the starship Excelsior, now under the command of Capt. Sulu (George Takei)is on a survey, they witness the aftermath of the explosion of the Klingon moon called Praxis. Even though Sulu is ready to offer assistance, The Klingons want no help from them.
Later, the Enterprise crew is called into a top secret meeting and is apprised of the situation,which is dire (Think Chernoble). Because of the devastation (Which will destroy their ozone within 50 years), the Klingons offer to extend an olive branch with the Federation. In other words, The Klingons and The Federation want a peace treaty.
Considering that the Klingon Empire and the Federation have been at each others throats for ages, this doesn't sit well with the parties involved, especially Captain Kirk (William Shatner), who wants nothing to do with the process considering that it was the Klingons who had killed his son (See "Star Trek III: The Search For Spock"). In fact, when Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), who has been working with the Klingons for the treaty, tells them that they are dying, Kirk viciously says "Let them die!" Ouch. However, he has to follow orders.
Soon the crew of the Enterprise meets with Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner), his officer General Chang (Christopher Plummer) and his daughter Azetbur (Rosanna DeSoto). During a dinner in which pretty much everyone is intoxicated with Romulan Ale, there is some negativity among both sides, clearly indicating that the road to peace is going to be a bumpy one.
And it is.
Later, the Klingon ship is fired upon, seemingly by The Enterprise, and the Chancellor is assassinated, despite the attempts of Kirk and McCoy (DeForest Kelley) to save him. Both Kirk and McCoy are arrested and put on trial. Found guilty, both are sentenced to the ice planet known as Rura Penthe. How bad is it? Judging from Uhura's (Nichelle Nichols) and Scotty's(James Doohan)reaction, it would have been better for Kirk and McCoy to have been executed on the spot.
Spock knows that a conspiracy is present. And so, while he is trying to find out the facts, Kirk and McCoy try to stay alive on the penal planet.
With time running out before the peace conference starts, the crew of the Enterprise must not also save Kirk and McCoy, but to race to the site of the conference to stop another assassination from taking place, which will destroy any chance of peace. This proves even more difficult when they discover that there is a Klingon Bird of Prey that can fire when cloaked. And that those involved in the conspiracy work on both sides of the coin.
What is interesting about the film is that it mirrors the general feelings between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. Once considered enemies, each side works together for peace, even if both sides are skeptical. We also see the flaws of the crew of the Enterprise: everyone is prejudiced. Chekov (Walter Koenig), during dinner, mentions "unalienable human rights," and is chastised by Azetbur for his "racist" comments. Even Mr. Spock is prejudiced: he's so blinded by the accomplishments of his Vulcan protégé Valeris (Kim Catrall), that he doesn't see how much of a threat she is (He admits this to Kirk later on) until it is almost too late.
It is nice to see the crew back in action one last time, and you can't help but get a bit misty eyed (Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek died before it's release, and this film is dedicated to him). A nice way to end the series, but it's hard to say goodbye.
Thus it came to pass, twenty five years after the original series began, and twelve years after the first movie, the original crew of the USS Enterprise decided to retire. Before going however, they created history and they battled the all too human fear of change, all in a film which is not only brilliant to watch, but is a superb send off to this wonderful crew.
Since "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979), the klingons, the most famous enemy of all, were always shown to be rather a pathetic lot. With their only appearance in the first film being five minutes, they didn't get off to the best of starts. In the third encounter, "The Search for Spock" (1984), they were given slightly more menace but were still relatively inept. Finally in "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" (1989) the main Klingons were an old alcoholic mess who needed to be shouted at by Spock to do anything, and a pathetic ship Captain who seemed almost childlike and eventually had to apologise to Kirk. Therefore, for a long time, the Klingon Empire always seemed to be hard done by and put upon. In the first ten minutes of "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country", this process appears to be repeating itself again. With the Klingon moon of Cronos being half destroyed, Captain Sulu's USS Excelsior encounters the shock-wave when they discover this awful accident. Skipping forward and on Earth the Federation's leaders are informed that the Klingon Empire is now facing doom. As a result, Captain Kirk's Enterprise is sent to meet with Chancellor Gorkon (David Warner in yet another different role) and to begin discussions of Peace. It isn't long however before things go wrong and Captain Kirk is forced to battle the wonderfully evil General Chang (Christopher Plummer).
The beauty of this sixth film is that it puts considerable thought into all the real aspects required to make a decent "Star Trek" movie. With the crew beginning to feel their age, they perform brilliantly in their final adventure. At the same time, the supporting cast (including Plummer, Warner, Kim Cattrell and Brock Peters) is well thought out and constructed. Out of this supporting cast comes the absolutely superb General Chang, played by Christopher Plummer. When considering all of this series of films, arguably the three finest attempts are "The Wrath Of Khan", "The Undiscovered Country" and "First Contact". With the three charismatic, appealing bad guys in the form of Khan, Chang and the Borg Queen, these films appeal because they have an evenly matched battle. Whether it's Captain Kirk or Captain Picard, both Shatner and Stewart perform better in their roles when they are given an enemy to sink their teeth into. None is more true of General Chang in this film. Chang represents an almost Klingon alternative of Kirk. Both are Warriors with strong knowledge of Earth's past (Chang quoting Shakespeare perhaps once too often), and for the majority of the time, they both are terrified of change. The key to Kirk's success in this film is not the eventual destruction of Chang, but that Kirk is willing to set aside his prejudices and accept the Klingon offer of peace. The bartering between the two is superb and the film is considerably better for it.
"Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" is probably more what people would classify as a typical adventure. Whilst the forth film was funny, it never felt like it belonged in the series, and it was then followed by the awful fifth film which was just in general bad. Therefore it feels like this final voyage of the original crew has saved face really. This film feels like it has learnt to respect the genre. Constructing a brilliant plot, Nimoy, Konner and Rosenthal, have given the characters wide enough space for them to develop, whilst simultaneously sticking to what makes "Star Trek" so great. There are battles, there's drama, there's emotion and there is mystery. With these however, the crew are able to banter between themselves, with Dr McCoy (the late, great DeForest Kelley) getting some of the best lines once again.
Ultimately, there is only one flaw with "Star Trek VI" and that is that it reminds us that this is the end. Whilst Patrick Stewart and the crew of the Enterprise NCC 1701-D would pick up the reigns from this moment on, the series would never be as good as it was with Captain Kirk in command. "Star Trek VI" tells us that never again will we see this crew together on board the Enterprise. This film is a brilliant film and a suitable way of saying farewell to this group of people, but this is in itself, rather upsetting.
After the box office woes of #5, the old crew gets a touching farewell in this politically charged science fictional drama that bears more than a few resemblances to the end of the Cold War. Superb special effects, a fun performance by Christopher Plummer as a sadistic Klingon and a fun cameo by Michael Dorn as Kirk & McCoy's Klingon lawyer. Dark and eerie in spots, uplifting in its finale.
On the technical side the directing is beautifully and masterfully done by Nicholas Meyer. Well edited movie. The director took careful consideration to keep you in suspense, for example, hiding the villain in the background of the light, things like that. The special effects, though not remarkable, as in The Wrath of Khan's in-your-face effects, the effects in this movie generally are good, the battle sequences in this movie are just as good as The Wrath of Khan one.
Again a nice motif is the scripts placement of Shakespeare quotes into the villain, just like Khan in Star Trek II. Speaking of the villain, Chang, here you see excellent acting thanks to the actor Christopher Plummer.
There are a lot of in-line jokes, which adds to that atmosphere of closeness between the characters. Sulu's transfer to a new ship, the Excelsior is sought here. The set construction and pieces are great. The new enterprise bridge looks more military like. The presidential office (may note it is a redone Ten Forward from St, the next generation), the peace talk location, etc.
The end of the movie has a sad feeling towards it, a teary farewell to the crew of the Enterprise, and a clear passing of the torch to the new crew.
A great movie that you must see,
Directed by Nicholas Meyer, "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" is one of the more interesting of such films. Meyer, a director and novelist who imbues his films with a quiet intelligence, is of course the man responsible for "Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan", a film which virtually re-invented "Star Trek". Meyer took Melville's "Moby Dick", several allusions to "Hornblower", Naval classics and submarine flicks, and turned Star Trek into a full blown maritime adventure movie in space. The pretentious technobabble and the soulless FX of Robert Wise's "Star Trek: The Motion picture" (it's actually pretty good), and the utopian flailings of Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, gave way to crowd pleasing action, humour, screwball banter, likable heroes and retro design changes. Elsewhere uniforms were given a more maritime feel, battles were staged like nautical encounters, crewmen blew whistles, torpedoes were loaded like cannons, captains talked about rudders and villains wore pirate eye-patches.
These changes, of course, annoyed both Roddenberry and the die hard fanboys. How dare Trek – a series about ideas and social issues - degenerate into a mainstream action movie!? How dare you turn a futuristic fleet of star ships into a jazzed up version of The British Navy, each vessel literally piloted by a crew of Red Coats!? It's a valid point, until you realise that Meyer was the first artist associated with Trek to have recognised, not only that Star Trek was always "Hornblower in space", but that it was always a fascist and xenophobic franchise. Meyer didn't turn The Federation of Planets into "The British Empire with warp drive", he merely amplified, and questioned, what was always there.
And so "The Undiscovered Country" begins by introducing Captain James Kirk (William Shatner) as an unashamed racist. Having lost his son to a "dirty" Klingon warrior, Kirk hates the Klingons, believing them to be vile, vulgar, violent and always untrustworthy. Of course his crew shares his sentiments. Why wouldn't they? Throughout the TV series, the Klingons were cast as token Russian, Black and Japanese villains. They were savage barbarians wearing Asian clothes and mostly played by black actors.
But when Kirk's ship is chosen to host the peace talks between the Federation (US) and Klingon (Soviet) Empires, Meyer undermines our preconceptions by portraying the Klingons as a well spoken and sophisticated group, adept at quoting Shakespeare and well versed in Earth literature. Far from a band of vile pirates, they come across as classy noblemen. Kirk and his merry men, meanwhile, look like a horde of drunken sailors.
Later, Meyer deftly toys with his audience's preconceptions, teasing us with the possibility that the Klingon's are responsible for a cunning attack on their own ambassador. But what actually unfolds is an elaborate plot, started by human, Vulcan, Romulan and Klingon militarist factions (in other words, we're all guilty), to destabilise any hope of peace between the empires. Old animosities and fears of change are essentially exploited in order to maintain the intergalactic status quo. The status quo being the constant cultural, scientific and military superiority of the United Federation of Planets.
Beyond its simple parable, "Country" resumes Meyer's fondness for turning his films into altars to classic literature. Dickens, Melville, Doyle, Shakespeare...these are his influences. Watch how he has Spock turn into Sherlock Holmes, frantically racing to solve "the case of the missing gravity boots". Watch how he pulls the film's title out of Hamlet, has bad guys quoting Shakespeare and has characters standing proudly before bookshelves adorned with "A Tale of Two Cities". References to Peter Pan, the Merchant of Venice, The Tempest and the racially themed "Guess Who's Coming To Diner", give the film a classiness which the franchise typically lacks.
Other impressive things abound: despite severe budget limitations, Meyer's space battles are deliciously spatial, his action has a cerebral kick, his dialogue is exceptionally well written (often screwball, always memorable, packed with one-liners), he makes sure all his cast members are given shining moments and cleverly counters Shatner's theatricality with appropriately theatrical villains. Elsewhere the film features an explosive shock-wave which set in stone the look of all future space shock-waves (the "Star Wars" shock-wave was only added in 1997).
Still, the film has two flaws. Firstly, the film's lead characters are all ultimately heroes, each with their obligatory "save the day" sequences. You sense that Meyer wants them to be tarnished, to be deeply wounded in some way, but that these characters have simply become too iconic, too mythic, to be meddled with. And so all the film's evils are given to token characters, Kirk's evils transplanted to a Federation admiral, Spock's evils to a Vulcan officer, the Klingon's evils to a rouge captain and so forth. Secondly, like most science fiction films, the film fails in its depiction of alien planets (a boring ice planet) and alien creatures (shape shifters and costumed dogs). But this is mainstream sci-fi. When you're dealing with swashbuckling space opera, dog puppets and ice planets will suffice.
8.5/10 – Worth multiple viewings.
This epic story is concentrated on characters as well as thrill-packed action and special effects although there're numerous of that too . The movie has tension, brief touches of humor , emotion, suspense and sensational spacial scenarios like is customary development of the franchise . Spectacular, exciting , fast-paced , thrilling this is the description of this new outing of Star Trek , film that re-innovates the saga through a perfect pulse narrative that does not give a second of rest to the spectator who is trapped for two hours approx. in a genuine visual spectacle . Idealism ,humor , humanity , several agreeable characters and trademark effects abound and will please the enthusiasts such as the neophyte .
The top-notch acting convinces with the usual deliciously flamboyant interpretations from Shatner , Nimoy , Koenig , Takei , Nichols and especially Christopher Plummer in a super-villain role , while other secondary players as Kim Cattrall, Mark Lenard , Brock Peters, John Schuck , Micheal Dorn , Kurtwood Smith also make a nice work . The stirring final amazing the spectator , in which the thrilling and spectacular scenes create a perfect union that terminates with an ending that leaves you stuck in the armchair facing the formidable spectacle as a privileged witness . Fans of the series may find much to love , and others will be pleased . Exceptional soundtrack by Cliff Eidelman , he composes an impressive musical accompaniment to the film . Furthermore , a colorful and evocative cinematography by Hiro Narita . The motion picture is stunningly directed by Nicolas Meyer (Star Trek II : Wrath of Khan , Time after the time , The deceivers , The day after) who also concocted the story . Suitable for family viewing , it's an enjoyable adventure which young and old men will enjoy . Fans of the series will find this entry very amusing and fun . It is entertaining to watch and Trekkies are sure to love it , resulting to be one of the best and last installments with the original characters .
With it's meaning rooted in the fall of the Cold War, this film is level with Trek II in movie epic. Never one to shirk a social message (see various episodes and Trek IV), this one hits hard and heavy.
The combination of story, action and a little Sherlock Holmes made for a great film and a proper send off into what should have been the Undiscovered Country of TNG.
This movie is absolutely one of the best. It has every element which makes a good movie into a successful movie, and all the classic Star Trek elements.
Intrigue and suspense abound in this installment of the line. Jim Kirk is back with his suave, devil-may-care attitude and his loyal crew just can't get any better than this. It has action, suspense, intrigue, excellent space battles, excellent hand-to-hand battles, and much more.
I'm not going to spoil any part of this movie. It is far too good for me to do that to it. A most excellent movie!
This is a definite must-see for all Star Trek fans!!
It gets a 10/10 from...
the Fiend :.
The core problem here is that the smug self-righteousness which was always the most obnoxious thing about *Star Trek* serves as the very basis of the film, and is handled in an even more ham-handed manner than it usually is. (Funny how no one ever behaves like a racist jerk until a Point needs to be made, and then suddenly Starfleet's full of 'em!)
But that is exacerbated by a constant stream of little idiocies and absurdities:
Chekov asks if he should raise shields when the *Enterprise* meets the ship they were expecting to meet. So, complete idiots can become officers on the Federation flagship, then?
The idea of Klingons and humans dining together is treated as a shocking and unprecedented thing, even though the end of the previous movie, they were shown partying together (though it is understandable why everyone wanted to forget that the execrable *ST5* existed).
Spock just happens to have a sticky-backed homing device which he can place on Kirk's shirt when he needs one, even though there is no reason at the time for him to be carrying one around.
This marvel of 23rd-century miniaturization is an inch long and half an inch wide and remains clearly visible on the shoulder of Kirk's uniform throughout the entire process of his arrest and trial, but the Klingons never notice it.
Neither the *Enterprise*'s crew, nor even the computer, can easily tell from the trajectory of a torpedo whether it came from *Enterprise*'s launchers or a point under her keel? And the "neutron surge" which "could only have come from another ship" didn't alert anyone to the presence of another ship until after Kirk and McCoy had been sentenced? I think I see how Chekov kept getting promoted.
Apparently, gravity boots are not standard equipment on Starfleet vessels with artificial gravity, since only the killers will have them. Gee, you'd think having a few pairs around would be kind of useful, just in case.
Valeris demonstrates the *Enterprise*'s alarm system by actually firing a phaser at a pot of food in the galley, instead of just explaining it.
The guy she's explaining it to is Chekov. That's right, the brand-new helm officer is explaining ship operations to an officer who has served on this ship and its predecessor for a quarter-century. Worse, she says, "As you know" before explaining it. So what was that idiotic demonstration in aid of, exactly? Why not just say, "The alarms would have gone off"?
The pot disappears, while the food inside it remains, even though no *Star Trek* phaser has ever worked that way before or since. Apparently Meyer thought this would be cool.
Uhura comes to investigate the alarm at the head of the security team. That's right, the communications officer! And no, she doesn't bother calling on the comm system to find out what happened, she actually runs down to check it out in person, because...uh, because they needed an excuse to get Nichelle Nichols into the scene, I guess. Then Scotty runs in for the same reason. Apparently only the main guys care about stuff like that and don't have jobs to do.
Even though the comm officer is standing right there, Spock orders the helm officer to send a false message to Starfleet. Why? Because the helm officer is a Vulcan, and it allows them to remind us that Vulcans don't lie unless it's *absolutely* necessary to the plot.
It took *that long* for someone to notice the bright purple blood on the transporter pad? Can the transporters be accessed by just anyone? And aren't there records? Haven't any number of episode plots turned on transporter records?
So Kirk *knew* about the homing device, and didn't even bother moving it to a less conspicuous location? Lucky Klingons are as dumb as humans.
I'm not even going to go into the manifest imbecility of the "Klingon dictionary" scene, except to say, "Books? Printed books?!"
Why would Spock ask McCoy to help him reprogram a torpedo? Dammit, he's a doctor, not an engineer!
Why can a bunch of people just beam into a secret summit conference with phasers drawn, a short time after the Klingon Chancellor was assassinated? You'd think Starfleet and Klingon security would be pretty keen on stopping things like that.
Apparently phasers have a rarely-used "defenestration" setting.
(I won't mention "Colonel [!] West," since Meyer apparently retained enough sense to cut him from the original release.)
It is well written and has the usual cheesy moments we would hope for from the originals series but also serious moments and even exciting action moments.
The ending sequence literally had me at the edge of my chair which is quite impressive for a 1991 film being watched in 2017. It is hard for me to pick the best original series film but this will definitely be among the list. Along with Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock. But each are great in their own way.
It kind of brought tears to my eyes in the end because you can tell the staff were very emotional about this being their last time to be in Star Trek and that emotion definitely came through on screen.
Also I have to mention, a big shout out to Christopher Plummer for his stellar performance in this film. It just would not have been the same without him!
Without delving too deeply into plot details, this film uses the Federation/Klingon relationship to almost exactly parallel the U.S/U.S.S.R relationship. This symbiosis is successful in two ways: First, the similarities are not cheesy (like in Rocky IV, which went way over the top in depicting the U.S./Russia relationship). Second, the reason that the similarities do not stray into silliness is the acting of William Shatner as Captain Kirk. Throughout the earlier movies, Kirk's relationship with the Klingons went from mistrust to out and out hatred, as they were involved in the death of his son. Thus, in this film Kirk must also comes to terms with his prejudice, or risk being labelled a "dinosaur" and considered past his prime.
If you were disenfranchised by the sub-par Star Trek V, this movie represents a step forward again. It dwells too much on already-covered themes to truly be great but it is watchable and enjoyable.
He made a reasonably sensible decision to hire Nicholas Meyer, who had wrote and directed Star Trek II, and helped re-write the script for Star Trek IV. The addition of producers Steven Charles Jaffe (long term Meyer collaborator from both Time After Time, The Day After, and Volunteers) and previous Trek movie's effects producer Ralph Winter meant that a very focused team was formed. This was crucial when trying to get the maximum production value out of an outer space set movie on very limited $30 million budget. The team wisely brought back visual effects houses ILM and VCE (the same two companies who had worked on Star Trek II), and supplemented by further good work from companies run by ex-ILM workers Matte World and PDI. Like Trek II, some effective recycling took place – the re-use of the venerable Klingon Bird of Prey miniature (from Treks III, IV and V), a dusted off and modified USS Excelsior(from Treks III and IV), the the veteran K'Tinga class cruiser and the USS Enterprise miniatures, which had been originally constructed back for the first movie back in 1978!
However this recycling would count for nothing if it wasn't for an interesting, solid, but not without its flaws storyline. The story idea, was at is heart, very good and typical Trek, but while it helps sustain an exciting journey, like some previous it glosses over some key plot holes. There are some excellent set pieces – the assassination sequence, and the Rura Pente break out sequence are well done, aided significantly by Hiro Narita's solid photography, and 2nd unit photographer Christopher Fante's work. Narita really brings some great atmosphere to the USS Enterprise bridge – which has not looked as good since Star Trek The Motion Picture. However, the limited budget does show and some of the sets do look, despite the strenuous efforts of Narita, cheap and cheerful and get dangerously close to pulling you out of the picture. This failing, together with some dubious plotting regarding the solving of the assassination crime, some decidedly uneven direction by Meyer (the action finale on-set scenes being very poorly choreographed) and uneven editing by Ron Roose, does mean the film feels a little cheap and dated compared with more slickly made original series cast films such as Star Trek IV and Star Trek The Motion Picture.
However, these flaws are more than compensated for by some great acting performances. Shatner's grounded, slyly amusing, introspective, and world- weary performance as Kirk sets a great tone for the movie, and both Nimoy and Deforest Kelley know exactly how to riff off him and are themselves both great. The guest cast interacts with these three very well: Michael Dorn in a charismatic if too brief role, Kim Cattrall as Vulcan Enterprise science officer Valeris, the returning David Warner as Klingon Chancellor Gorkon, a very interesting return performance by Star Trek IV's Brock Peters, replaying Admiral Carthwright, and a terrifically amusing and moustache twirling performance by Chris Plummer as Klingon Military leader Chang. It is the interplay between the core three Trek crew characters, and the guests that is the highlight of the film, and gets you to overlook the plot flaws, and some decidedly broad and OTT performances by the supporting Trek cast, and simply allows you to get drawn in and follow these characters through to the end of the film. This journey is hugely assisted by newcomer Cliff Eidelman's thunderous score. Like Horner's work on Trek II, this score is a real surprise and elevates the visceral impact of the film far above its relatively small budget. It is an entirely appropriate musical journey; complements the story brilliantly, and leads you through the climax and end credits leaving you with an overriding sense of nostalgia and a feeling of gratitude for Paramount allowing the original series actors to go out on a high. The music also invokes sense of completeness to the journey and a very subtle hint as to what the future (at the time) cinematic adventures of the USS Enterprise might hold.
In summary a solid and satisfying way to sign off this series with the original cast.
I enjoyed bits and pieces of this, it really revved up the in intensity level from the woeful part 5, but it's still not to what I had liked. Too many dull moments, and talky scenes for my liking to fully succeed. Many questionable moments as well, especially regarding the ending. What it does do well is establish the characters well, and helps set up the series for even bigger things.
Performances. William Shatner is good as our fearless leader once again. The rest of the crew do good as well, while familiar faces such as Christian Slater, Kim Cattrall, Etc.
Bottom line. Above average Star Trek film, that should appeal to the die-hards. I enjoy Star-Trek, but am not a die-hard. Could have done without the inconsistent pacing, but hey, it beats part 5. Worth a look.
6 ½ /10
The problem is that it takes the campy fun too far. Mixed within serious drama it looked too contrived and sometimes only to be cute; the struggling with Klingon translations scene being the most wince-inducing. It goes back to ST IV, an entertaining movie that became a borderline screwball comedy almost because it knew it couldn't avoid self parody. The movies seemed to run out of compelling reasons to exist other than to just bring back the old crew. And that's a pretty flimsy excuse for a series that was so compelling.
But Trek fans would have none of this nay saying. We were going to get ST films even if we could not suspend disbelief that retiree-age star fleet officers could be on the front line battling Klingons.
The thing was that at the time, we were ending the Cold War with the emergence of Glastnost and Perestroka, and thought that the Russians were now going to be our friends, so why shouldn't the Klingons now be our friends? (They even had a Chancellor Gorkin, sounding much like Gorbachev, and a Chernobyl-like energy accident.
With the euphoria gone (The Russians are still a pain in the backside, friends or not), some of the films more dubious elements don't work as well, such as Kirk saying "Let them Die" about the Klingons. (Shatner himself has said he was uncomfortable with this scene.) Nichelle Nichols, to her credit, refused to say the line, "You wouldn't want one to marry your sister." In short, they had to turn the cast into bigots to make their understanding at the end more sincere. The problem was that we never got the impression from the series or previous movies that our beloved crew were a bunch of bigots. They had a problem with the Klingon Government, to be certain, but not with Klingons as a race, and could even reach accords with them when needed.
Despite that, a lot of the characterizations and cast interactions are solid, the battle scene at the end is still exciting. It was a high note for most of these actors to do their last appearances as these characters.
Nick Meyers, like a lot of creative people, went with what worked for him in the past. A Melville quoting Khan, why not a Shakespeare quoting Klingon General? Well, okay, it strains credulity a little bit.