Thursday Night Movie Club
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
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Release Date: 1 June 1984

Director: Leonard Nimoy
William Shatner
Leonard Nimoy
DeForest Kelley
James Doohan
Walter Koenig
George Takei
Nichelle Nichols
Robin Curtis
Merritt Butrick
Paul Sorensen
Christopher Lloyd
Stephen Liska
John Larroquette
Branscombe Richmond
James Sikking
Miguel Ferrer
Mark Lenard
Judith Anderson
Klingon Gunner #2
Captain Styles
First Officer
Vulcan High Priestess
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock movie poster Star Trek III: The Search for Spock movie poster Star Trek III: The Search for Spock movie poster
Starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Search for SpockAfter the fantastic "Star Trek: Wrath of Khan", the series takes a step backwards in Star Trek: The Search for Spock. The film is very good but it suffers from sequelitis. Instead of developing an entirely new adventure for Captain Kirk and his crew of the Starship Enterprise, this film picks up shortly after the events of the prior film. The Enterprise limps into space dock to be decommissioned.

Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) is despondent over the loss of his best friend Spock (Leonard Nimoy). The new planet Genesis has been quarantined. Only Lt. Saavik (Robin Curtis) and Dr. David Marcus (Merritt Butrick) are allowed to explore the planet. The Federation wants to keep the existence of this new world a secret. Saavik and Dr. Marcus make a startling discovery. They actually locate the photon torpedo tube Spock's body was placed in and fired to the planet. The tube is empty. Spock's body is gone. Saavik reads traces of a life form. This should be impossible. Upon investigation, they encounter a Vulcan child. The child is the regenerated Spock except he has no memory.

The crew of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Search for SpockDr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley) has been acting strangely ever since the crew returned. McCoy asks Kirk why he left him on Genesis? Kirk must climb the steps of Mt. Salaya on Vulcan. Kirk has no idea what McCoy is talking about. McCoy is desperate to charter a ship, legally or illegally to take him back to Genesis. McCoy has no idea why?

Kirk's world turns upside down and inside out. Vulcan Ambassador Sarek (Mark Lenard reprising his role from the television series), visits Kirk on the space dock. Sarek is angry at Kirk for leaving Spock behind. Spock's kata, or soul, could be reunited with his body. Sarek assumed Spock passed this along to Kirk. They were separated. Spock had no chance to mind meld with Kirk. However, Spock took the next best option: Dr. McCoy carries Spock's kata, thus explaining McCoy's erratic behavior.

The crew of the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Search for SpockKirk has no choice. He will steal what is left of the Enterprise and take McCoy to Genesis to retrieve Spock and then travel to Vulcan. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott (James Doohan) can rig the engines so the ship can be piloted with minimal crew. Of course, the remaining original crew members risk everything to save their friend. The need of the one outweigh the needs of the many.

So far, Star Trek: The Search for Spock has a so-so story. The screen writers should have just let Spock die and move on. Instead, they formulate an entire script around reuniting Spock with his kata. Other than the fact Kirk must steal the Enterprise and break out of the spacedock. The only intrigue is the outcome. Their Starfleet careers are over.

The script needs a little excitement. How about Klingons? Yeah. Yeah. Klingon Commander Kruge(Christopher Lloyd) has stolen secret information on the Genesis Project. They voyage to the site to steal the weapon.

Christopher Lloyd as Kruge in Star Trek: The Search for SpockStar Trek: The Search for Spock will not win over new fans to the original Star Trek crew. The fun and serious dangers are gone. Lloyd is no match for the wonderfully insane and vengeful Ricardo Montalban. The script just doesn't give Lloyd much to do to be really nasty. Kruge kills a female Klingon spy because she looked at the stolen information. Sorry dear. Nothing personal. It's business. Kruge isn't mean. He is practical.

Adding a small dose of tension, the Genesis Project is a bust. Dr. David Marcus cheated on some of his calculations. The Genesis Effect works but the result is an unstable planet that will eventually blow up. The clock is ticking for the humans and Klingons on the surface to leave before it is too late. If the Star Trek movie franchise is not willing to keep Spock dead, there is no way anyone else on the original crew will die either.

The only real surprise is DeForest Kelley. He gets the fun job of acting like McCoy one moment and Spock the next. The best bit is McCoy's feeble attempt to perform the Vulcan neck pinch on a Federation agent. Very funny.

Starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Search for SpockMost of the film is standard action fare with doses of Star Trek humor. The story lacks any true surprises or real danger. To the detriment of the series, the crew of the Enterprise is literally indestructible. Kirk battles Kruge to the death and doesn't even get a bloody lip.

Leonard Nimoy takes over the helm as director. Unfortunately, he directs the film without adding any personal flair or technique. The story is an intersting follow up but, overall, it lacks suspense and intrigue.

Star Trek: The Search for Spock is no where near as bad as "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". The film is no where near as good as "Wrath of Khan". It's fun and exciting. Nothing more. Nothing less. Next!