I had mercifully retained no memory of this movie, other than that it was probably time for these guys to hang it up. After all, at this point The Next Generation had been on TV for two years. Get it? NEXT GENERATION? Nevertheless they made this movie. And Shatner’s one of three guys credited with the story. Ruh-roh. The whole scene at the campfire at the beginning was excruciating.
Overall: D+ This is harsher than I expected, but truly they seem to have indulged all the worst tendencies about the series and it’s becoming all about Kirk’s mortality. Yuck.
Plot: C- The idea of Spock’s heretofore-unknown older brother being a messiah figure who’s going to lead everyone else to God had some promise — but just serves as an opening to a bunch of mawkish scenes (though I did appreciate Kirk proclaiming “I need my pain!”).
Costumes: D- Two steps back. Now Kirk’s red tunic is some kind of velour-y plush material, unlike everyone else who’s still stuck with the polyester. At least he ditched the pleated shirt. And McCoy’s jaunty scarf — which he wears while out camping??? — is SO GAY. They had to know that right?
New cast members: B- Sybok was actually pretty good. Nothing like an extroverted messianic Vulcan. And he gets serious points for his IMDB listing, which shows he played four different characters on Murder She Wrote. Which, I know, has nothing to do with Star Trek. But is still awesome.
F/X: D+ For some reason, the effects suddenly look like they’re from a 1960s TV show. Those had their charm when they were on a 1960s TV show. And the Wizard of Oz stuff for God? That had its charm when it was in a 1936 movie.
Series ranking: 1. Wrath of Khan 2. The Voyage Home. 3. The Search for Spock. 4. The Motion Picture 5. The Final Frontier.