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Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Updated on April 23, 2013

In Living Color's parody of Star Trek

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Director: Leonard Nimoy

Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Harve Bennett

Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Robin Curtis, Merritt Butrick, Phil Morris, Scott McGinnis, Robert Hooks, Carl Steven, Vadia Potenza, Stephen Manley, Joe W. Davis, Paul Sorensen, Cathie Shirriff, Christopher Lloyd, Stephen Liska, John Larroquette

Synopsis: Admiral Kirk and his bridge crew risk their careers stealing the decommissioned Enterprise to return to the restricted Genesis planet to recover Spock's body.

MPAA Rating: PG

Note: In honor of the upcoming film, "Star Trek Into Darkness", I've taken it upon myself to review every "Star Trek" film adaptation ever conceived; with the exception of the 2009 reboot because I already reviewed it.

Leonard Nimoy's Cameo in Big Bang Theory

Spock's Death and Funeral

Live long and prosper

Arguably one of the most underrated "Star Trek" films ever conceived. It's been widely infamous among die hard Trekkies that almost all odd numbered "Star Trek" movies stink, while the even numbered ones seem to be the best predominantly (Not counting the reboot by J.J. Abrams respectively).

However, why is that exactly? I mean is there some sort of binary sequence resonating with these films? Or perhaps there's some distortion with the space time continuum that causes the even numbered ones to be vastly superior to the odd numbered ones? Or could it all be just one giant coincidence? Who knows? But does that mean "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" is automatically a bad movie if that's the case? To be honest, I didn't think it was that bad.

Sure, it doesn't have the same intense rivalry as "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", nor does it have the clevver writing, and story development, as "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" or "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." However, it's really not a bad movie at all, when judging it on it's own.

Although, the film could've used a stronger antagonist if I'm to be honest. Sure, Christopher Lloyd is a lot of fun to watch, but he's kind of a one note nut in this movie. Granted, it's not entirely his fault, as his character just wasn't written that well. He's not really as fleshed out as Khan was in the last film; which automatically makes his character seem far less threatening by comparison. And, as I said before, he's essentially a one note kind of a villain, which isn't that interesting to watch in most films.

Don't get me wrong, there's been a lot of great one note kind of villains that work in movies, but those kind of characters had actors that portrayed them with such over the top performances that you couldn't help but find them memorable to watch. Take a movie like "Speed" for example. Lets be honest with ourselves for a minute.

Dennis Hopper's character wasn't exactly the most complex villain in the world in "Speed", as his main motive was to hold people ransom for money. Gee, how many movie villains have we seen like that before? However, it was his zany over the top performance that made his character stand out, and memorable to watch; hence making the rest of the movie very intriguing. Sadly, Christopher Lloyd doesn't bring that kind of performance here. If anything, he's a completely forgettable antagonist, as he's not written well, nor does Lloyd do anything to make his character stand out. Granted, it doesn't ruin the movie by any means, but it just makes him a forgettable villain, in what could've been a strong follow up to the last film.

As for the rest of the movie, I'll get into that now after we go over the story for a bit first. As many fans know, Spock lost his life in the last film to save the enterprise from impending danger. It was arguably one of the most tragic and memorable moments in "Star Trek" history to see Spock valiantly risk his life to save the crew of the enterprise. Never again will audiences be able to see their beloved Vulcan, as he is officially gone forever...or is he?

In a rather clever yet surprisingly convenient plot device, Spock is brought back to life on the genesis planet that was created in the last story. However, since the genesis project was unstable to begin with, the planet could go at any minute; which puts pressure on our protagonists to save him. Anyways, through a series of events, Kirk realizes that in order to save Spock's life, he must steal the recently decommissioned Enterprise ship along with his crew; hence the adventure begins, as our crew heads to the forbidden genesis planet.

However, a Klingon ship also wants to attain the power of the genesis device, so they too head towards the genesis planet to attain it's secrets. In a race against time, Kirk must save his friend, while keeping the Klingons from attaining a device that could potentially destroy the universe as we know it. And, that's all you need to know about the story without giving away too much.

Like the last film, there's a lot of dramatic moments, and there's a lot of sacrifice as well. In fact, one could say that this movie plays upon the essence of humanity as well like it's prequel does. Sadly, since the villain isn't exactly written well, it holds back what could've been arguably a great "Star Trek" follow up.

As for the cast, I thought everyone played their parts rather well, and it still featured a lot of strong operatic moments at times. Plus, the visual effects still hold up well to this day.

Overall, "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" isn't a great film by any means, but it's certainly not a bad one either. In fact, I would argue that this is the most underrated "Star Trek" movie ever conceived. In the end, I'd have to give this film a three out of four. If the screenwriters had written a better antagonist, then it might've gotten a stronger rating. But for what the film happens to be, it's still enjoyable to watch nonetheless.


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