My third favorite Star Trek movie

With Into Darkness ranking last on the big fan list of favorite Star Trek movies and a few blogging friends posting their lists, I’ve decided to review my own ranking, with commentary of course.

Here’s my third favorite:

Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home

Man o day, do I love this movie. It is the most fun, funny, and breezy of all. It has its flaws, sure. They all do (except for Wrath of Khan, that’s perfect). But I love it. I’ve seen this one more times than any other. When I was a kid, the thought of casually watching Wrath of Khan or The Undiscovered Country, which I preferred, was unacceptable. Those movies deserved to be taken seriously. This one was built to be light and fun, so I was generally in the mood for this one more often.

I still quote it nearly every weekend. “Everybody remember where we parked.” This is the Star Trek that tried to be funny and actually was. I hate those funny Data scenes. Data is funny when his oddness is a natural expression of his character in events that he would naturally find himself in. Data is not funny when asking Joe Piscopo for advice, or when he’s singing about tiny little lifeforms (sorry). It’s forced. And this one somehow skirts the forced comedy problem, even though its entire premise is to force the cast to be comedic. They pull it off by setting up a crazy premise and just following it. That’s how comedy works. Set the premise and follow it through.

The funniest line in the movie, maybe the franchise, comes at the end. Here!

Kirk is so confident that he’ll fit in the 80s. He comes off like an 8th grader going to a high school party. Then all his D&D friends want to come with him. He’s charming enough to get them in, but far enough out of his element to raise suspicions about just cool he really is.

One special thing about this movie is that everybody gets to do something! Uhura and Chekov go looking for nuclear wessels. Scotty and McCoy invent skinny plastic. Poor Sulu had an apparently great scene that the dumb kid ruined. George Takei probably blames Shatner for that one too.

The list so far:

The Wrath of Khan

The Undiscovered Country

The Voyage Home

3 thoughts on “My third favorite Star Trek movie

  1. Ok, to be non-grumpy old fan for a bit. What I really do honestly appreciate about this movie is it’s “never give up, never surrender” spirit (to coin a phrase ). What’s that you say? We need two whales from the 20th century to save Earth in the 23rd? No problem! I mean, no one says exactly that, but it’s that kind of optimistic, can-do attitude that defines Trek at its best.

    • McCoy plays the audience for a minute. He says, “You’re proposing that we go backwards in time, find humpback whales, then bring them forward in time, drop ’em off, and hope to Hell they tell this probe what to do with itself!”

      Yep. That’s what this Star Trek is about. And McCoy’s summary is near enough the beginning to give the audience a fair warning.

      It comforts me to know that the cast and crew had some idea that this one was light and kind of silly.

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