Sunday, June 7, 2009
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979, Robert Wise)
What better time to watch the first Star Trek movie then now? Not only is the new Star Trek movie currently in theaters but I have been watching lots of classic Sci Fi movies lately. As I've stated before, my favorite period of Sci Fi films is the post Star Wars era of the late 70s/early 80s and Star Trek TMP definitely fits here. I remember watching this film on TV when I was younger (I remember drawing the crew members with crayons in my little kiddie sketch book) and for some reason never got around to watching the rest of the series. When I first started getting into more sci fi stuff (after the religious experience of Battle Beyond the Stars), I planned on watching this movie again and finally just got around to it.
Star Trek The Motion Picture takes place a few years after the original series ended. The Enterprise, the spaceship from the original series, has been revamped and is now under control of Captain Will Decker (Stephen Collins). Most of the original crew is back on the ship and, when a mysterious entity is heading towards Earth, the original captain, James T. Kirk (William Shatner) is sent to takeover for Decker as the new captain. Kirk also has the ship's old doctor, Bones McCoy (DeForest Kelley) return. The last remaining member of the original crew, Spock (Leonard Nimoy) also returns to join his old friends. The crew of the Enterprise learn that this mysterious ship is threatening to destroy all of the humans on Earth so they must find out who or what is in charge of the ship and try to stop it from wiping out the human race.
I was hesitant about this film because of its legacy of being a snoozefest and not nearly as good as some of the sequels, namely part II, the Wrath of Khan. I must say that I have no idea why people don't like this film. I actually thought it was brilliant. The effects were great, the characters were interesting and fun to watch, the story was engaging and the ending was thought provoking and moving. This film to me was very much a classic and should be treated as such. There were some slow parts but I think the film as a whole was flawless. I really enjoyed the rivalry between Decker and Kirk and the chemistry between Decker and Ilia, one of the shipmates. I would definitely recommend this film to any Sci Fi fan (assuming there is a Sci Fi fan in the world who hasn't seen it) and will definitely rewatch it.