I have the biggest craving for olives ever right now but I don’t have any. So I’ll review Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. This was the first Star Trek directed by William Shitner. See, Leonard Nimoy (Spock) actually had directed Star Trek 3 and Star Trek 4. 3 was OK but 4 was bad ass! So Shitner was like “Oh Pricelines I want to do one wah Rescue 911” and they let him.
Folks, this movie was shit.
This is actually the worst of all the Star Trek movies, until Nemesis was released. Nemesis is probably as bad as this one but I haven’t anal..ed it yet. We’ll get to that bridge (and burn it) when we do. But this movie, according to producers, almost “killed the franchise.”
The story opens in the wilderness, of all places. Kirk is rock climbing and sucks at it. He also looks out of shape and no man that fat would be that high up unassisted. Deforest Kelley, Dr. McCoy, is all like “You fucking idiot.” Spock shows up and is floating on some cool shoes. However, it is a few seconds later that we get the worst, most unrealistic wire maneuver of an 80 year old man ever as he saves Kirk.
So after that, they get on the ship. It is the new Enterprise-A. Also, it sucks. The transporters don’t work, of course. That means we get to do lots of shuttle fun. I would bet you that every Star Trek movie has a problem with the transporters. And what the fuck do you know, KLINGONS. This script was a Shitner special too. He wrote it. We just did how many movies on Klingons and we’re doing one more? Yep. The dumbest Klingon ever just wants to kill Kirk. No reason.
Now, I actually like part of the story, if you can believe that. Sybok is like a Vulcan televangelist and brainwashes these people into following him in his search for God. They commit acts of violence and heinous crimes along their way and when they arrive, actually being the only ones ever who did get to God, they find that he’s a fucking jerk. Because that’s what the Christian Bible God is. And so it’s like, no one likes him when they get there! And they shoot photon torpedos at him! Kirk eventually kills God but Sybok dies. The Klingons, under orders from an old drunk diplomat, help Kirk last minute. And they sing Row Row Row Your Boat as the credits begin.
Roger Ebert actually wrote this:
… the humans and the Klingons seem to join sides after an off-camera speech by a former Klingon leader who had been put out to pasture. Since this leader is identified as having been badly treated by the Klingons in his retirement, how did he suddenly regain the authority to negotiate a truce? And do we really want to see the mighty Klingons reduced to the status of guests at a cocktail party?
The movie flopped completely.
For one, most people in the 1980s were too stupid to appreciate a story like this, challenging the absurdity and cruelty of the Christian god. I personally like that aspect and wish it had been hammered a little more but I doubt that would have been very good. Still, there is an actual positive message in this in that supposed religious zealots who prey on the masses are harmful and insane, no matter how nice and normal they seem.
See, that wasn’t the only thing that made the movie bad, though. The plot is rather boring and drags along. We didn’t need the Klingons again. We see the Romulans in their only movie appearance until Nemesis, ironically. Also, there is far too much action for a movie starring old people. It never appears natural and as a Star Trek movie, doesn’t capture the essence of hope, future and acceptance that we always get from Trek. It instead comes across as meaningless, hopeless and very unrewarding. I hate this movie. I hate William Shitner.