Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Year: 1979

Synopsis: An entity of unknown origin plows its way through Federation Space toward Earth, and now Admiral Kirk takes command of the newly retrofitted Enterprise to intercept the apparent threat.

• The full cast of the original series rounds out the story well enough. Shatner’s performance was bombastic, but that was the character up to that point.
• Had spectacular visuals, helping to make up for the narrative weaknesses. The sequence between V’Ger-Ilia (Persis Khambatta) and Decker (Stephen Collins) at the end was genuinely breathless.
• The backstory of V’Ger was genuinely interesting, and retrospectively interesting in how one can speculate suggestive connections to the cancer-like Borg.
• The overall film was very much Star Trek, even if it was not to be the best example.

• Even the director’s cut can feel overlong and overly cerebral.
• The early wormhole sequence felt a wholly unnecessary way to “highlight” the ship’s dramatic retrofit. At the same time, the early transporter accident somehow felt downright cliched.
• Seeing crew-members hanging on to consoles while others were literally clamped into their chairs looked rather absurd.
• Tried too hard to look like the original series, while the uniforms seemed a bit of an overly bland misstep.

This might just be the slowest story ever told in Star Trek. This story was expanded from the pilot of the aborted sequel series, Phase 2, one or two other scripts of which did find their way into The Next Generation. That, however, was probably not a great excuse for the underwhelming feeling that this film can give. It is easy to imagine how the internet would have echoed the most furious fans. Luckily, we were decades from an anger-filled digital space! In the end, this was “The Motionless Picture,” but it has aged fairly well for those looking for the more cerebral side of the franchise.

Star Trek Franchise

Official Website

Rotten Tomatoes — 44%


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