Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is considered as one the worst entries in the Star Trek franchise which is saying a lot considering the dreadfully slow first entry Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Of course every Trek movie that has to succeed the brilliant (when compared to the other Trek movies) Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home has to be really good. Unfortunately it’s not, but it also isn’t as bad as some people say, which is really, really bad. Some people even mention this movie as being one of the worst ever made. Guess they aren’t familiar with Troll 2, Manos: The hands Of Fate or Santa Clause Conquers The Martians.
This time the plot revolves around a renegade Vulcan who hijacks the Enterprise to take it across the barrier where non other than God is presumed to reside. Quite an impressive goal and like the Whales in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home a different goal than dealing with an alien life-form that threatens life somewhere in the Galaxy. OK OK, I know that there was an alien life-form threatening Earth in The Voyage Home but they didn’t deal with it directly, that movie was more about getting some whales in 1986 San Francisco.
The Final Frontier starts off with same mood as part IV, or at least it tries to recreate some of it. After a sequence in which we are introduced to the nemesis of this story we’re treated to a camping trip by Kirk, Spock and Doc on Earth. Kirk is scaling a mountain without any utilities other than his bare hands and shoe wearing feet. Now you might be wondering why this is important. Well, this movie has been directed by William Shatner and thus captain Kirk is more bad ass than normal. It’s a vanity project, now ain’t that cute? The whole Trekkies in the woods scene is played out longer and features Spock which Jet-boots, Sulu and Chekov getting lost and a rendition of Row, row, row your boat which Spock can’t comprehend. Now most people hate that sequence, but to me it’s just this kind of goofiness that make a good Star Trek movie. To me these characters are more fun to watch in real life settings than just on the bridge of a space ship or some vague saturated desert planet. Too bad that is just where this movie is going to.
Our renegade Vulcan is brainwashing everybody he stumbles upon by taking away their psychological pain. Somehow he needs all those people to achieve his goal: take over a space ship so he can follow his vision of meeting God himself. The space ship that is taken over is of course the Enterprise and after quite some time we eventually get to the barrier which marks the entrance to Eden, the home of God. Now, this is the moment this movie has been building up to by throwing a brainwash plot at us and by throwing some Klingon, who looks like an early balding 80’s Bon Jovi and wants to kill Kirk desperately for reasons never further mentioned, at us. But they do not have a function other than stretch the movie and occasionally give Kirk something bad ass to do. Remember, this is directed by Shatner.
The movie is full of characters who are introduced and then neglected, and who actually serve no purpose to the entire story. What’s also weird is that the movie switches from main villain multiple times. One minute you’re the bad guy of the story, the other you’re aiding Kirk, or Kirk aids you. Not to spoil anything but basically this movie consists of 3 villains, but in the end Kirk is toasting on a happy ending with two of them. One of those two hasn’t even got a good reason to be toasting with someone he so desperately tried to kill the previous 100 minutes.
The Final Frontier tries to recapture some of the magic of The Voyage Home and succeeds partially. This movie wasn’t as terrible as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, but never comes close to The Final Frontier. Worst Star Trek ever? No, don’t think so, but they could’ve done a lot better.