Star Trek Films Retrospective

 Film Four recently showed the entire run of original Star Trek films. That is to say the original universe, not the reboot by JJA. I’d like to give my thoughts on them, please bare in mind I am not a Trekker/Trekkie or a critic.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Often jokingly called The Slow-Motion Picture, this is a somewhat successful attempt at taking Trek to a higher brow. I like TMP, it is flaws are balanced out by its audacity. It did spawn the series and TNG. Originally it was going to be an all new crew, but Kirk & co were shoehorned in. Right from the start the Star Trek films focus on people passed their prime, but still willing to give it a go. Maybe in the 23rd century people aren’t over the hill by 40? Bald women ftw 7/10.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Until I revisited it, I did not rate Khan as one of ST’s finest moments. I had never quite clicked with it. In retrospect this probably to to my need to be contrary. It’s a good action romp and Spock’s self sacrifice for the crew adds some needed emotional depth. KHAAAAN! 8/10

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

There is nothing essentially wrong with this as entertainment. It could have easily been a few episodes or a made for TV movie. Some nice effects and Christopher Lloyd  plays a Klingon. Watchably average 5/10

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

This so easily could have been a straight up comedy ALA Galaxy Quest. It just sneaks in as a straight film with a tongue in cheek aspect. Laughs, action, a few serious bits. Good fun 8/10

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Yikes, considering the problems this had it is amazing it is even watchable. An effects team that don’t know how to do effects, a writers’ strike and budget problems did help what was already a big ask for Shatner to direct. A few nice moments, like Scottie knowing the ship like the back of his hand. Passable at best 3/10

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

My favourite of all of the ST: Previous Generation films. The crumbly old cast trade in their bus passes for phasers one last time and save the galaxy again. The greater point being  the importance of getting over passed prejudices for the sake of the future. In a sense this is the whole point of the ST films so far. People of advancing years refusing to fade away as desk jockeys. Zimmer-frames in Space 9/10

Star Trek: Generations

In a sense this is like ST3, its a connector story. Really quite unremarkable, but essentially  neither bad or good. The definition of average, this time for ST: TNG. Average, but ok 5/10

Star Trek: First Contact

So now my favourite ST: TNG film. Frakes directs and does a smashing job. A well written script and some good performances. Highly recommended 9/10

Star Trek: Insurrection

I was really worried about this one, I remember it being bad and also the marker that in my mind ST never recovered from. It turns out its bad next to ST: FC, it has flaws and feels misjudged. By all accounts the studio started sticking their nose in, a classic problem that almost always leads to a weaker film. I had a good time though and Frakes holds it together making a potentially average/poor film enjoyable and very nicely directed film. Surprise surprise 6/10

Star Trek: Nemesis

Not as dreadful as I remember it, but it falls flat at every moment. Absolutely nothing original, the plot is largely a mash up of poor clones of the previous films. Not as painful to watch as some films, but for the series the lowest point since ST: IV. Just a bad tired old clone 3/10