Sunday, June 3, 1984 The Michigan Daily
. Star Turkey
place, hoping to find something to plun-
By Byron Bull der while the very planet begins to
break up under them.
IT'S DEAD, Jim. Star Trek III: The I won't go into any details because
Search For Spock is completely frankly they're not worth mentioning.
devoid of any of the charm and magic The confrontation between the Enter-
(admittedly infrequent, irregular prise and the Klingons, and the
qualities) that made the series so en- ultimate fate of Spock all unfold with a
dearing. This is one of those movies dull, mechanical contrivedness.
that's so clumsily slapped together you Despite some loud and colorful
know within the first ten minutes that pyrotechnics, the movie never gains
it's not going to get any better, and all enough momentam to reach a climax.
you can do is sink back in your seat and It just ends out of sheer tiredness,
wait it out. Worse, it's a bad movie leaving one feeling unsatisfied and
that's so full of good intentions and sin- exhausted from boredom.
cerity that you're robbed the chance of Most frustrating is the complete lack
even being able to laugh at it. I just kept of a story. The movie is little more than
hoping it would shut up and go away. a patchwork of short sequences. Many
Search picks up immediately where of them have literally been lifted intact
the preceeding Wrath of Kahn left off. from old episodes, strung loosely
And though director Leonard Nimoy together and topped off with Trekkina
and producer/scriptor Leonard Nimoy nomenclature and trivia for the har-
continually allude to that film, and its dcore fans to pick up on. The dialogue is
genuinely enjoyable mix of adventure full of miserable, mock heroic
and wit, they fall flat in scene after banalities that elicit more giggles than
At the film's opening, Admiral Kirk Nimoy's directing is stiff, and vir-
(William Shatner), gloomy ever since tually styleless. Many sequences look
the death of Spock, finds out that the like they were improvised before the
situation is not hopeless. It seems camera. The clever little plot twists are
Spock, immediately before his death, anything but inventive, and feel more
transferred his consciousness into the like lazy shortcuts around plotting ob-
mind of Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelly) stacles.
who now has the irritable habit of lap- The actors, all of whom cut their
sing into Leonard Nimoy's voice. And teeth on television and already have a
according to Spock's father (Mark tendency to over act, make the flaws
Lenard), if Spock's remains can be even more glaring. The cast goes
retrieved from the' Genesis planet through the motions with almost per-
where they now rest, a remote chance petual, self-satisfied smirks on their
of returning Spock to life exists through faces, as if they were hamming it up
an ancient Vulcan ritual. before an audience of friends. While
The problems are that said planet is that was often the case, and even some
now under Federation quarantine, and of the fun of the old episodes, it's
that the Enterprise has been deemed wearing thin this time out.
obsolete and mothballed. Which means, Most movies in this genre can at least
of course, that Kirk and ever loyal crew cover some of their faults with their
will just have to steal the ship, which elaborate opticals and production
they do in short time. design. But the sets and costumes here
But on the Genesis planet, an ex- look tacky and crude, as if they filmed
pedition has found Spock's casket, em- the whole thing on the budget of one of
pty. At the same time, it seems the the old episodes. George Lucas' ILM ef-
Klingon's (looking like mutated fects shop gets screen credit for the
samurai warriors) have overrun the special effects, but that seems almost
Scotty (James Doohan), Kirk (William Shatner) and Dr. McCoy (DeForest
Kelley) look skyward as they search for Spock in latest, disappointing Star
impossible. The crude, grainy effects
footage looks like it was shot by a crew
of novices on the perennial shoestring
Paramount Pictures has released
this film in a massive, nation wide
saturation campaign. More than likely
they'll recoup their investment and see
a tidy profit within the first two weeks
- they'd better. Word of mouth is not
going to be gracious to Admiral Kirk
and company this time out. I wouldn't
SPOCK'S FA TE REVEALED...
Read no further if you're a fan
Yes, it's true. The Daily does reveal the end
of the new Star Trek movie. We caution those
of you who have a soft spot for finding out
plot at the theater to read no further.
I'm convinced, next week Leonard Nimoy and Paramount
Pictures will announce that the current version of The Search
For Spock is a joke. Nimoy will comment that he's surprised
anyone took it seriously, that it should have been obvious
they were only kidding. That's got to be it, right.
There can be no other explanation. Unless Paramount, fat
and filthy rich after all these years of milking Star Trek
royalties decided to call it quits, and to concoct a turkey so
awful it would doubtless alienate every single fan, so there'd
never be another letter campaign calling for more movies.
Maybe that's it.
How else could the movie include such nonsense as Spock
emerging from his casket a regenerated baby? One who then
wanders about the planet, quickly aging and conveniently
stopping at middle age.
Even more preposterous is the destruction of the
Enterprise. Kirk, just because the Klingon's kill his son (the
one sole intelligent plot turn) has the Enterprise self-
destruct. On top of that, the planet they take refuge on is
itself only hours away from exploding itself.
Actually, the destruction of the Enterprise is not a
sacreligious idea, but there has to be a pay off. There needs to
be a real reason beyond just killing the handful of Klingons
who beam aboard. The Enterprise goes up in a fireball and
the Klingon warship sits there, unscratched. Imagine Ben
Cartwright torching the whole Ponderosa because he doesn't
like the color the boys painted the ranch house. Imagine
Timmy shooting Lassie just because she's in heat. Kirk
destroys the very Star Trek institution, without any strategic
or dramatic reason. Maybe they just thought it would look
Spock coming back to life - who's surprised? Did anyone
expect to sit through two hours to see Kirk, hands in pocket,
kick a rotted corpse and say, "Well... He's dead ..."?
After all, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, out of public outcry,
brought Sherlock Holmes back to life. But he did it at the
beginning of a novel, and then went on to tell a story. Nimoy
and company make us sit through two hours of sheer
absurdity to tell us, "It's OK, Spock's alive. Bet you can't
wait for Star Trek IV now can you?"
- Byron Bull
be surprised if this were the last of the
Star Trek films, and I'm not sure many
will mourn the loss.
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