Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
It was just a matter of time before I got to this train wreck. It appalls me to associate a title as majestic as “The Final Frontier” with a movie that would be best used as a rehabilitation device for juvenile delinquents…and by rehabilitation device I mean torture device.
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
First, let’s get something clear. William Shatner should never, ever direct. Ever. We didn’t have much of a choice however. As I explained in my last Trek article, part of the deal for Shatner to star in ”the movie with the whales” (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) was the requirement that he would be allowed to direct the next film. For that reason, every time someone mentions this particular movie, I get mad and “like” William Shatner on Facebook and then immediately “unlike” him.
Ohhhh Burn! One less for the Shatner Tribe! Take THAT Rocketman!
So what was wrong with the movie? Everything, except for the opening five-minute scene where Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are sitting around the campfire singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” The movie, had it ended there, would have been preferable to the bantha poodoo that followed. Yes, a Star Wars reference in a Star Trek article, so sue me.
“Spock, as your commanding officer, I’m ordering you to do the high part.”
Shore leave is cancelled because of a hostage situation brewing on Nimbus III. The Enterprise A, it turns out, has a crapload of design flaws that Scotty endeavours to repair throughout the entire movie. Regardless, it is the only ship in range and is sent to resolve the crisis.
Okay…How many times can they possibly use the excuse that “you’re the only ship in range” or “you’re the only ship running at the moment?” At this rate, the entire Federation could be toppled by three renegade Klingon shuttles. Whoever is running the military branch of the Federation ought to be horse whipped. The Enterprise was even orbiting Earth, our home planet, at the time. You would think we’d have, I don’t know, shipyards and stuff, that could repair ships? Where were all those other ships we saw getting disabled in Star Trek IV? Those ships lost power and weren’t damaged in any way…once the probe left power came back on solar system wide. Why couldn’t one of them be sent?
We’re also introduced to a Klingon Captain (Captain Klaa) who looks like he just hit puberty. I get the impression that he shouldn’t even be starring in the cast of Beverly Hills: 90210 much less be a Captain of a Klingon Bird of Prey.
We’re treated to him sneaking up on a deep space satellite and with many, many Klingon Honors…thingys…proceeds to blow it out of the sky. Today is apparently a good day to die.
Probes, every warrior’s weakness.
What do you mean is it difficult to hit? It’s a probe…It has little to no form of propulsion.
Dude, it’s a probe.
You panzy…it’s a probe!
Oh for crying out…
IT’S A *&%^^&%&^% PROBE!!!
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Nice shot Davy Crockett.
Next, we hear him whine that he wants a challenge. It took this poor sap two or three tries to destroy a hovering space probe and he wants a challenge. This excruciating five-minute scene would have probably been better had it instead been ten seconds of a random kid kicking a stone along a dirt path because he hated his life.
Probably would have been cheaper too.
So the Enterprise arrives at Nimbus III and while Chekov keeps the leader of the “terrorists” (I use the term loosely as to not spoil this sh***y plot) occupied via comm channel, Kirk and company go down via shuttlecraft to rescue the hostages. They need a diversion, obviously, so they task a fifty-seven year old Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) with dancing naked on a sandy hilltop. She uses two giant leaves (which they somehow found in the middle of a barren, desert planet) to entice the guards over so that Kirk can get the drop on them.
Because Uhura does this kind of thing ALLLLL the time.
This scene really pisses me off. Uhura, as a character, is down to earth, likable, and honest. Out of all of the bridge crew, she is probably the most in touch with her feelings and the most sensitive. She can be aggressive when she needs to be, but I seriously doubt she would degrade herself by using her body as a weapon. Even in the new movie, Uhura may have been overly sexed up, but she was classy and hard to get. All of THAT aside, I really want to see how Kirk plans to write this scene up in his report to Starfleet.
“Uhura said what? I’m sorry Admiral, your message is breaking up.”
Anyway, Kirk and company fight for a bit inside the compound and lose. The hostages, a Romulan, Klingon, and Human, were mind-warped by the Vulcan terrorist. He has the ability to meld with anyone and make them face their most inner pain, which somehow puts them at peace enough to do whatever he asks. Pain, it turns out, is the only thing keeping the human race from becoming a bunch of mind controlled zombies. What a stupid, stupid plot mechanic.
During the battle in the compound, Spock attempts to soothe a horse that is getting out if control.
No…wait, he’s not going to…
Hail Spock! Slayer of horses!
It’s also revealed before this whole mess that Sybok, the Vulcan terrorist leader, is Spock’s half-brother. Who cares? We already know that Spock, no matter what, will do the logically correct thing. Introducing a family element in an attempt to build tension between characters where one of them hides their emotions is pointless.
Would you rather watch this…
So they all head back to the ship in the shuttle, terrorists included. They manage to dock and warp out before Captain Oxy Pad manages to shoot the Enterprise in a surprise attack.
Rather than go into length about the next part of the movie, I’ll just summarize it as a circus act gone bad. Sybok and his small band of merry men take over the Enterprise, using mind control on people one by one to get them to succumb to his wishes. Again, this movie makes no sense. The original Enterprise had a crew compliment of over four hundred…you mean to tell me that a hundred redshirts couldn’t band together, stun everyone, and sort it all out later?
Hold on a minute…I have to go “like” Shatner on Facebook and “unlike” him again.
Like…Unlike…Like…Unlike. It’s almost therapeutic.
So Kirk, McCoy, and Spock are put into a jail cell, which Scotty breaks them out of with explosives. Again, this part was intended to be funny and of course, makes no sense. Scotty uses Morse Code by tapping on the wall he’s about to blow up for about two minutes. After those jailed figure out the message is, “Stand Back”, the wall explodes, and even though they didn’t have enough time to stand back, they come through unscathed. Then Scotty proceeds to bang his head off of a bulkhead in true Looney Tunes fashion and knocks himself out, after humorously telling the camera that he knows the ship like the back of his hand.
This is what Star Trek is all about, ladies and gentlemen.
So they arrive at the galactic barrier to go talk to “god”. This ends up being Sybok’s plan all along. Capture a starship to go talk to “god”. Brilliant. They make it through the barrier with Captain Clearasil cloaked in his Bird of Prey, hot in pursuit.
“See that barrier that was obviously put there to keep people from getting in or out? Nothing else but “god” can be on the other side of that.”
Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Sybok take a shuttle down to the planet inside the barrier to go talk to “god”. They walk for miles in a grand display of “This is it…the moment of truth…I’m about to talk to god.” Sorry, it sounds too funny for me to give up that punchline anytime soon.
When they finally get there, an old man’s face shows up and wants Kirk to give him his starship so that he can leave this world and spread his wisdom throughout the universe.
You heard it here first, folks. The long sought secret that explains the creation of the universe can be summed up in one name: ZZ Top.
Of course, out of all four of them, Kirk is the only one who questions this request. Not two logical Vulcans, not a grounded street smart Doctor, but a doofus who can’t string a sentence together without long, drawn out pauses. I guess directing your own movie has its advantages.
“Aha! That’s when I’ll say…’what does “god” need with a starship?’ and then we’ll repeat that line for the next five minutes. And…ACTION!”
“God” turns on them for refusing, so Kirk orders the Enterprise to shoot ”god” (I can’t help it) with a photon torpedo while Sybok sacrifices himself to buy him time. They jump behind a rock at the last minute to stave off the explosion. Now I’m no expert…but a photon torpedo is pretty badass. It should have left a crater that expanded for miles. It didn’t. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy dust themselves off and run for the shuttle, which doesn’t work. Scotty beams up Spock and McCoy only because he can only do two at a time because of the sorry state the Enterprise is in.
Kirk’s guts should have been all over that rock.
After they beam up, Captain Neutrogena attacks the Enterprise and disables the transporter (shocking). I guess all of that probe shooting really paid off. Anyway, “god” isn’t dead and starts going after Kirk. Spock convinces the Klingon hostage from Nimbus III to talk to Captain ProActiv and in turn convinces him to stand down and help Kirk. At the last minute (again), the Bird of Prey descends down to the planet and shoots “god” dead. They beam Kirk up and in a warped tear jerking wanna-be moment, Spock reveals himself as the gunner who shot “god.”
You all have been praying to the wrong deity all along.
I’m not making this up. They actually went to the trouble of beaming Spock over to shoot Klingon Disruptor banks because apparently none of the Klingons on board passed remedial button pushing 101. Kirk gets all emotional and Spock pleads with his Captain, “not in front of the Klingons.” We’re supposed to laugh, by the way, despite the situation being totally Shatnered.
Shatnered: (noun, verb, adjective, adverb, conjunction junction, what’s your function, whatever) Make up your own definition.
I can’t go on. I just can’t. Granted, the end of the movie features Spock singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take. This whole movie was garbage. Shatner purposely took every character, every situation, and made it “untreklike” just to make it funny. Correction…to TRY and make it funny.
I implore all of you to skip this movie. It has no bearing on the storyline the movies have created. Star Trek V: The Search For “God” is just plain horrific. Go watch Star Trek VI instead, it’s much better.