A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

January 19, 2011

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

This movie is cheesy, silly, and ludicrous. And I can’t help loving it. At the start of the movie we are told not just that it was directed by Leonard Nimoy, but that this is a Leonard Nimoy Production. It would appear that unlike the character he is best known for portraying Lenny does actually have a sense of humor. This film is loaded with cute and classic moments, even if its “modern day” setting seems somewhat dated today.

The action in this movie picks up shortly after that in the third film with Kirk and his crew still on Vulcan preparing for their return journey in their hijacked bird of prey while on Earth the Galactic Council is preparing to court martial Kirk and all for their theft of the Enterprise. Very soon, however a mysterious alien probe with unimaginable power appears and makes a beeline directly towards Earth, disabling every ship in its path with some mysterious and powerful energy signal. Who can possibly save the planet? (Again?)

The Enterprise crew (well the Bounty crew since they’re not on the Enterprise any more) figure out that the massive alien signal (which is ionising the Earth’s atmosphere and boiling its oceans) is whalesong – specifically the song of the humpback whale. Unfortunately the humpback whale was hunted to extinction in the twenty-first century, so naturally the only solution is for the Bounty to fly into the past – going back to the nineteen eighties to find and recover some whales and bring them back to the future.

The notion of time travel is nothing new to the Star Trek universe (I could remember two episodes of the original series that involved it and a little research reveals a third) but what’s fun about this movie is that the time travel is not so much a serious plot device as it is a set up for a series of gags about how out of place the folks from the future are when in San Francisco in the Eighties. It’s fertile ground and they mine it well. As we watched tonight I found myself chortling with glee and quoting many of the great lines in anticipation. “A double dumbass on you!” “He might have done a little too much LDS.” and of course “We are looking for the nuclear wessels.” This movie may not be serious science fiction or even great drama like Khan was, but it is pure unadulterated fun.

This movie is filled with joy. Even Leonard Rosenman’s score is playful, bouncy and upbeat. It’s always fun when Star Trek explores it’s lighter side, and as a result this is among my favorite Star Trek films. Tomorrow: the nadir of the movie series and a movie I have not seen all the way through since I first saw it on opening night in the theaters. With good reason.

January 19, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. For more San Francisco time travel zaniness see “Time After Time”, directed by Nicholas Meyer who did STIITWoK. With Mary Steenburgen (her second picture)!

    Comment by Doc Wheat | January 20, 2011 | Reply


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