2nd to last!
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
I defended this one for years, based on a viewing from a very young age. Then I watched it again, in my twenties.
My reasons for defending it to that point had expired. Sulu’s docking maneuver was not cool anymore. The big questions about God and what makes us human were revealed to be petty and thoughtlessly answered. I did pick up a few good pieces from this later viewing. “What does God need with a starship?” tops any list of good things in crappy Star Trek shows. I like the opening scene too. A lot of mystery and danger is conjured in that scene. Sadly, the story quickly shifts to the antics of the supposed crew of the Enterprise. I say supposed, because they look the same and their names are all the same, but otherwise these characters bare little resemblance to the real Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov.
Sybok’s attempt to lure McCoy and Spock away from Kirk are very well-done. Okay, maybe a bit burnt. But you can scrape off the worst of it and still enjoy it. The cinematography and lighting is quite good in this movie, particularly evident in the opening scene and in the temptations of McCoy and Spock sequence. One truly has the sense of going into McCoy’s memories. While the actual events of that scene might bug some, and the outcome might bug some more, it must be admitted that this sequence is technically superior. It’s frightening, arresting, and memorable.
But the conclusion of that scene speaks to the larger problem the whole movie suffers by. The scene ends with Kirk saying, “I don’t want my pain taken away. I need my pain!” That’s a great line, delivered expertly by Shatner. But just before that, Kirk says, “Dammit, Bones, you’re a doctor!” And…okay, I get why Kirk says this, and it fits with the scene. But it just makes Shatner’s ego look hungry. He has to take McCoy’s catchphrase?
The music is good. Goldsmith returned. Though this is the least of his Star Trek scores, it is still of a higher quality than the movie deserved.
I do have some sentimental attachment to this bad movie. I had the poster hanging in my room for years and years and years. I also had cardboard cut-outs of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, nearly life-sized, stuck to my walls as a kid. Shatner was holding up a copy of the VHS for this movie. I would change out the cover with covers of other Star Trek movies or Batman pictures.
This movie also restarted the adventures of the Enterprise crew in DC Comics. While I prefer the first series produced by DC, this second one is full of great Trek adventures. I just wish that DC, or whoever is allowed to, would make trade paperbacks collecting all the Star Trek comics published by DC. Titan Books, out of the UK, have made a few. But, like William Shatner, I want it all!
The list so far:
The Final Frontier