Recently I decided to watch a completely re-worked CGI version of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Although the visual effects were greatly improved, watching the movie again made me realize just how badly this particular Star Trek film had aged. In fact the movie could very easily have been called ‘Star Trek III: The Search for a plot’ as I found myself watching 105 minutes of possibly the worst story, acting, costumes and directing ever seen.
With the whole cast dressed and coiffured like rejects from a 80′s New York disco, the movie seemed to move effortlessly from sentimentality to high camp as Kirk and his rogue crew decide to pinch the USS Enterprise from its docking station and head to the Genesis planet to rescue their fallen comrade Spock, who may not be so dead after all.
The scene where Dr McCoy was trying to secure a passage to the off limits Genesis, while shouting his secret agenda to his alien facilitator across a busy bar was about as believable as William Shatner’s toupee. The loud conversation went:
McCoy: Alright, damn it! It’s Genesis! The name of the place we’re going is GENESIS!
McCoy: Yes, Genesis! How can you be deaf with ears like that?
Alien: Genesis allowed is not! Is planet forbidden!
Any action that did occur in the movie could easily have been condensed into 10 minutes, while the remaining eons were spent watching Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov huddled in front of the camera like a geriatric convention for the oldest swinger in town. The small Klingon contingency, headed by Doc from ‘Back To The Future,’ were also the sorriest bunch of mars bar heads I’ve ever laid eyes upon.
The movie took itself way too seriously, probably as it began to slowly dawn on the actors what a stinker they had signed up to make. Whats more, the scene at the end where a recuperating Spock had no recollections of his former Enterprise comrades was probably a vain attempt to distance himself from a shoddy affair all round, which was particularly surprising as he was the one who directed this travesty.
WARNING: Prepare to feel nauseous at the nearly final scene, where Spock the ancient briefly overcomes his amnesia and announces “Jim. Your name is Jim,” as the whole crew rush in for a gut wrenching group hug.