Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock PosterTo boldy go where Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan left off. A direct sequel to that movie brings us on a search for Spock. In the future they don’t seem to use Google no more but luckily it’s quite clear where Spocks coffin is so there’s no need to search. They just have to boldly go there... "Where?" you might ask me; well on the Genesis Planet created in the previous installment. But getting to Spock is not the only problem for Kirk and friends; Doc Emmett Brown has played with his nuclear reactor on the DeLorean too much and has gone all Klingon... Which makes me wonder: do those space ships in Star Trek have flux capacitors?

I guess we’ll never know allthough there’s probably a Trekkie out there who will probably mail me an answer to that question. They’re known to do that.

So here we are, part 3 again. Once again better than the original Star Trek, and up to par with part 2. That’s not saying much I guess.  Somehow they just can’t seem to produce exiting action sequences in this series. Part 3 suffers from the same static action sequences the first two movies had also. Especially the space fights are stale. It’s probably the fact that a large bridge and the people on it are just talking to a giant screen is far less intense than Luke in a Tie-fighter flying across the surface of the Death Star.

The effects are once again quite bad. Matte paintings are clearly recognizable as... well matte paintings and at one point you see one supposed-to-be-steel door bend when somebody pushes it. No wonder that the Enterprise is written off after only 20 years, it was probably the subject in one episode of Extreme Space Ship Make Over: The Cardboard Edition.

One other thing that must be mentioned is the climactic fight sequence at the end. Everybody is probably familiar with the following epic battle of Kirk and an alien:

In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock Kirk once again goes into hand-to-hand combat with Klingon Christopher Lloyd and it’s almost the same hoot as the clip above. Now you might say to me: "It was the 80’s, wire-fu wasn’t even invented yet". I would reply that that is true, but in that time there were a lot of movies with good fight scenes. It’s not that pricy to hire a fight-choreographer. Steven Seagal was for hire in that period. Just ask Sean Connery.

But somehow the atmosphere in these films is what makes them watchable. I’m seeing these movies for the first time but they have a certain nostalgic feeling to them. Made in the 80’s they feel like they represent the 50’s and 60’s. Like Grease and Happy Days, only different. Maybe it’s because the alien life-forms are made up by someone with a limited imagination. Other than a few slugs all aliens are resembling either humans or earthly organisms. Take a look at Klingons, Romulans and Vulcans. Most of the time the only difference between us humans are a couple of pointy ears or a rugged forehead. The pet alien of the head-Klingon is nothing more than a nude dog with demon eyes. In a time where The Thing, Facehuggers, Wookies and E.T. are running around those alien life-forms in Start Trek feel very unimaginative. But it does give the movie a certain level of welcome camp. It reminds you of times less complicated.

Christopher Lloyd in The Search for Spock

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