Notable Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Christopher Lloyd, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Robin Curtis, Merritt Butrick
Let’s do a quick recap of the Star Trek theatrically released film series to this point in time. One: snooze fest. Two: Massively entertaining adventure. Oh man, that didn't take nearly as long as I thought. All right, so really, is it to anyone’s surprise that the third entry, a direct sequel to Wrath of Khan, would be somewhere in the middle between massive disappointment and massive entertainment? Star Trek III: The Search for Spock sees our lovable crew return after the events of the second film to deliver a thoughtful, but somewhat safe third film that will satisfy the Trekkies but hardly remain as lovable and fun as the previous entry. There is a lot to admire about Search for Spock, but it’s also a somewhat flawed film that lacks the insight to delve too much into the deeper layers of its narrative as it focuses on delivering a robust plot.
After Spock’s (Nimoy) body was ejected into the newly formed Genesis planet upon his death, the crew of the Enterprise return to the Federation space station to lick their wounds and recuperate. Somethings up with Bones (Kelley) though and he’s acting odd. When Spock’s father visits Kirk (Shatner) to find out what happened to Spock’s consciousness, they realize that they must return to the Genesis planet and retrieve his body before a rogue ship of Klingons get there first.
|"We've gone full rogue, Admiral."|
The problem then remains that this film doesn’t quite have the knack for finding those key emotional and resonating moments to carry the weight of its overzealous plotting. In particular, there are a handful of strong moments for Kirk that both Shatner and Nimoy as a director under punctuate. Granted, many of these are spoiler moments for the film and I won’t go into detail here, but the film needed to dig into the idea of loss of life, loss of soul, and finding one’s way again in much more effective manners. This happens in a variety of places where more interesting ideas should have been explored. The idea of Bones and Spock living in the same mind could produce some hilarious and thoughtful moments, but they don’t really explore that. A shame considering the potential.
|"We have to live up to the previous film's villains? Damn."|