STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER
Dedicated with love and respect to Trekgeezer (welcome back, brother!) and all my fellow Trekkies / Trekkers: I loved this film ~ it was just the kaka special effects which could have been better and thus made the film better.The Characters:
CAPTAIN KIRK: WILLIAM SHATNER
The Captain of the newly refurbished Enterprise star ship ~ however, the refurbishments are as good as the reinforcing on my underpants. Battles a seemingly evil Vulcan who has learned to laugh, learned to share pain (and to cause it in a certain bodily area) and learned to die at the hands of something claiming to be God.MR SPOCK: LEONARD NIMOY
Our long time logical friend with the pointy ears whose discovery of his long lost half -brother (and Spock’s unspoken loyalty to him) cause trouble for the Enterprise’s crew and causes the captain to sit down on a retracting toilet in the ship’s brig. In other words, a sh*t state of affairs.DR LEONARD H. McCOY: DEFOREST KELLY
The Enterprise’s cranky, lovable conscience and master cook of non flatulence inducing beans cooked in whiskey who confronts a demon from his past when he is revealed to have euthanized his own father only to have medical science discover a cure a while later. LT. NYOTA UHURA: NICHELLE NICHOLLS
The Enterprise communications officer who appears to be falling in love with her Chief Engineer after he knocks himself stiff on a crossbeam. Does a feather fan dance in the desert as a diversion to the love-starved Nimbus 3 guards and makes the author of this review realize exactly why he had a crush on her when he was a kid.*
LT COMMANDER MONTGOMERY SCOTT: JAMES DOOHAN
The Enterprise’s Chief Engineer who realizes that the new Enterprise has been “put together by monkeys” and endeavors to fix all the problems, including the severe headache he gets from not really knowing every inch of the ship. Swears constantly at Kirk for blowing the original up in the first place. PAVEL CHEKOV: WALTER KOENIG
The Enterprise’s answer to Sergei Eisenstein who gets lost while on a walk in the woods with the guy below: his disorientation in the forest is as a result of the injuries he sustained visiting the 20th century in Star Trek IV The Voyage Home and asking people in San Francisco vere zer nuclear wessels
were.COMMANDER HIKARU SULU: GEORGE TAKEI
The guy below who gets lost in the woods: so much for his expert navigation skills which he obviously lost while attempting to learn how to pilot a Huey helicopter in 1986 San Francisco.SYBOK: LAWRENCE LUCKINBILL
Mr. Spock’s chucklesome half brother: the result of a major bing-bang-boom that his father Sarek had with a Vulcan Princess and forgot to use any vulcanized rubbers. He is Spock’s half-brother for the simple reason that no one knows where the other half is. Seeks God, paradise and finds himself in Hell instead.CAPTAIN KLAA: TODD BRYANT
The man whose Afro Mullet and Zap Rowsdower inspired hockey hair rivals Brother Ghouck’s for awesomeness: likes to play intergalactic video games to target floating space junk and Captain Kirk. His surname in Afrikaans minus an A translates to complain and so he does. Forced to aiiiiiiiii…….apologize to the latter but not to the space debris.VIXIS: SPICE WILLIAMS-CROSBY
Beautiful Klingon navigator with vunderful muscles: proof positive that Klingon ladies can be very pretty, despite the pong.
J’ONN: REX HOLMAN
Simpson caricature of a Nimbus Three farmer with a huge head and chronic overbite ~ farms smoking holes in the ground and has a wad of gum stuck to his front teeth. Joins forces with Sybok after the latter causes him to soil his plants and pants.ST.JOHN TALBOT: DAVID WARNER
The Terran doubled barreled named and chain smoking rep on the Planet of Galactic Peace and resident barfly in the NFVSA Canteen. Pronounces his first name as ‘Sin Jin’ ~ I have no idea why.GENERAL KOORD: CHARLES COOPER
Part time Klingon representative and full time drunk on Nimbus Three. Greets everyone with a belch and Trevor with an almighty fart.CAITHLIN DAR: CYNTHIA GOUW
The stunning Romulan representative on Nimbus 3 who speaks perfect
~ I mean Klingon.“GOD”: GEORGE MURDOCK
The evil resident of the planet known to some as Eden, some as K’retu, some as Vortavor, to the Andorians as [unpronounceable] and to others as Get Me Out Of Here. Despite claiming to be a god, needs a starship to get off the planet.
[* I still do have one.]TOO MANY GREAT QUOTES TO LEAVE OUT:
Sybok: “Besides, I can’t believe you’d kill me for a field full of dirty underpants!”
J’onn: “It’s all I have.”
Kirk: “Forgive you? I’ll knock you on your God-damned ass!”
Spock: “I am preparing to toast a marsh melon.”
Kirk: “Look, I’m trying to make an ascent here. Why don’t you go pester Dr McCoy for a while?”
Spock: “Bipodal seeds, Doctor?”
St John Talbot: “Our ‘new age’ died a quick death.”
Scotty: “I just fixed that damned thing! Turn it off, will you!”
Bones: “Whiskey, Spock, Tennessee whiskey. Care for a little snort?”
Kirk: “So it’s me you want, you Klingon bastards! What are you waiting for?”
“God”: “One voice, many faces.”
Scotty: “I think this new ship was put together by monkeys.”
Bones: “You really p**s me off, Jim!”
Kirk: “I’ve always known I’ll die alone.”
Spock: “Please Captain. Not in front of the Klingons.”
Kirk: “I lost a brother once: I was glad I got him back.”
Scotty: “[Expletive deleted]’Let’s see what she’s got!’ said the Captain and then we found out, didn’t we?”
Kirk: “I DON’T WANT MY PAIN TAKEN AWAY, I NEED MY PAIN!”
Bones: “God-damned irresponsible! Playing games with life!”
Sybok: “Have faith, my friend: there are more of us than you know.”
Kirk: “Bourbon and beans: an explosive combination.”
Bones: “I KNOW we consume them: I mean AFTER that.”
Sybok: “Of course, of course. Then I’ll take the ship without your help.”
Chekov: “She has vunderful muscles.”
Sybok: “Spock, it’s me. It’s Sybok. After all these years, you’ve finally caught up with me.”
Scotty: “What are you standing around for? Do you not know a jailbreak when you see one?”
Kirk: “Maybe he’s right here. Human heart.”
Bones: “I liked him better before he died!”
Scotty: “Oh, there’s nothing amazing about it. I know every inch of this ship.” *DONK*
Kirk: “What does God need with a starship?”
Bones: “You’ll have a great time, Bones, you’ll enjoy your shore leave, you can relax. You call this relaxing? I’m a nervous wreck. If I’m not careful, I’ll end up talking to myself.”
Kirk: “You got anymore of that secret ingredient, Bones?”
Sybok: “Each man hides a secret pain.”
Kirk: “Who am I? Don’t you know? Aren’t you God?”
“God”: “Do you doubt me?”
Scotty:” Don’t you worry, Captain. We’ll beat those Klingon devils, even if I have to get out and push.”
Kirk: “I’m flattered. Twelve hundred points of interest in Yosemite and you pick me.”
Sybok: “Spock! You’ve developed a sense of humor after all!”
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR / AVOID
3:13: Oy: never mind about where he got his power ~ where did you get those teeth?
4:30: Wow: what an amazing opening.
9:28: Ermmmm…. Remember what happened to George Mallory, the guy who coined that exact phrase and then climbed Mount Everest?
10:28: That is not DeForest Kelley running there.
11:19: I love the pool table with an actual pool on it. Or maybe the roof just has a bad leak?
11:20: I trust that Dr Menard and that three-breasted lady will hook up soon.
11:27: You have just had a tour of the NFVSA’s canteen at happy hour.
13:26: I love the word LOST added to the sign on the gate.
18:40: What? Bourbon and beans and no bloozers around the campfire? Pity: a Vulcan fart must be awesome and very logical.
19:30: Sigh: If you must watch it, Star Trek Generations
makes that statement come true unfortunately.
20:00: WTF is a marsh melon? I wouldn’t like to toast one of those on a stick.
22:00: AAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH! I’d rather listen to Mercenary Man
22:55: Is that Badmovies.org Brother Ghouck there??
23:23: What is up with that scream on the soundtrack?
25:16: Well, I hope someone remembered to pee on the campfire.
30:15: Wow: a pretty Klingon!
41:56: Hah: my finger points.
52:56: If that’s what I think William Shatner’s sitting on, then this whole film has just gone down the crapper.54:44: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WILLIAM SHATNER’S…….ermmmm……EVERYTHING!
58:10: Hee hee: I love that line.58:52: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST JAMES DOOHAN’S HEAD!
1:00:56: That Level 52 sign went past twice if my eyes do not deceive me.
1:02:46: Sybok: “They also said “Trevor’s undies will never be washed.” They were right.”
1:10:08: Yikes: that rejection at birth scene cuts way too close for me and my special niece as well.
1:10:10: That look of horror on Bones' face shows his true feelings for Spock and I would like to give both of them a hug right about now.
1:13:08: I think that’s the barrier from Where No Man Has Gone Before.
1:23:00: Oh great, so now they’re inside someone’s huge rib cage?
1:23:49: No, it isn’t His voice: just a bad voice over.
1:25:17: Good question indeed.
1:25:06: Friend? You hijacked his ship, turned his crew against him and now he’s your friend?
1:26:53: In other words, Dr McCoy’s saying “Bring it, mother-f****r.”
1:27:09: Well, duhhhh….
1:32:34: Why does this thing keep saying: “YOUUUUUUUUU!!!”?
1:34:33: Is that a tear I see before his face?
1:34:55: That Romulan ale didn’t go down too well, I see.
1:35:20: Yessir, she does indeed.LESSONS LEARNT
Space junk screams when you blow it apart.
Vulcan constitutions are not upset by eating a bowl of termites and eating beans cooked in whiskey..
A visit to the canteen at Trevor’s place of work can be life-threatening.
A loud and heartfelt belch is Klingon for ‘hello’.
The word ‘marshmallow’ is pronounced ‘marsh melon’.
Vulcans are indeed liars when they say they can play the lyre.
The services of Fred Freiberger and Rick Berman are not required when trying to bugger up Star Trek
Our brother Ghouck is apparently a closet Klingon.
Even star ship Captains have to sit on the toilet occasionally.
Navigators can get lost. In the woods, that is.
Like Vixis, some female Klingons can be very pretty indeed: a pity about the smell.
Vulcans other than Mr. Spock can show their emotions.
Great movie openings (like this one) can soften the blows of the terrible things to come.
Both Vulcans and Klingons appreciate the taste of good whiskey.
Questioning God will get you zapped.
The name Saint John is pronounced ‘Sin Jin’.THE PLOT
A lone farmer battles the odds trying to raise a crop of empty, smoking holes on Nimbus 111, the so-called Planet of Galactic Peace: a place where everything seems to be so peaceful, it completely peaces you off. One day, a lone rider approaches. In need of a loan, the farmer tries to shoot him but the man is unafraid and embraces the farmer, telling him that his pain runs deep and that the farmer with the huge Mars Attacks
head, chronic Simpsons
overbite and a huge wad of chewing gum stuck to his teeth should share the pain with him and draw strength from the sharing. The farmer does so and the lone rider reveals himself as a Vulcan: then he smiles and then he bursts into raucous laughter.
A smiling and laughing Vulcan? What on earth or on Nimbus Three is going on?
Captain Kirk decides to go for a small free climb: El Capitan (appropriately enough) in Yosemite National Park and nearly ends up messing his undies when Spock appears next to him, courtesy of a pair of jet boots. Asked why he’s ascending the mountain this way, Kirk smiles and says “Because it’s there!” forgetting what happened to the late George Mallory before he went up Everest. Kirk nearly ends up messing himself all over the park as he slips, falls and is caught by Spock, thus giving stunt artiste Ken Bates the highest descender fall recorded in the USA. Just BTW, that is not De Forest Kelley running to assist his friends: maybe the filmmakers thought we couldn’t tell the difference if the image was upside down.
Three delegates (actually prisoners of) to the planet of galactic peace which is really a barren planet staffed and populated by the detritus and the great unwashed ~ no underpants jokes intended here ~ of the universe, sit and chat around a table. One is a chain-smoking Federation wage slave St John Talbot who pronounces his first name as ‘Sin Jin’, the other is the alcohol addled Klingon Kompletely Klueless Konsul Koord who greets people with a belch and the recent arrival is the pretty Romulan representative Caithlin Dar who has just had a rather nerve-wracking unguided tour of what looks suspiciously like the SA National Film, Video and Sound Archives’ canteen where the staff have three breasted felines dancing on tables (Dr Menard being a regular customer) skanky S&M participants, pool tables which have water on them and where the regulars regularly act as laxatives: i.e. that they regularly beat the sh*t out of each other.
In fact, that is a pretty accurate depiction of what goes on in our canteen.
After a few words (belches from Koord in lieu of dialogue) the base is attacked by the laughing Vulcan and his Simpson companion, plus a few other stragglers that the Vulcan has rounded up: this is all done in the hope that the Federation will send a star ship to parlay for the representatives’ release.Thus, a bad situation. And yet, the hooded laughing Vulcan doesn’t really appear to be all that threatening. The hostages are compliant, instead of complaining. Something is wrong here….
Oh no, someone lit a fire on the stage at Paramount Pictures and no one learned any lessons from what happened while Star Trek 111 The Search For Spock
was in production. A few plates of beans and whiskey plus some soppy stories later, Kirk, Spock and McCoy’s ugly sleep is disturbed By. The. Fact. That. The. Hostages. Need. To. Be. Rescued and that Starfleet can only send the half repaired Enterprise out to rescue them, Mr Scott’s hassles notwithstanding.
Thank heaven that the singing stopped: my ears were starting to bleed.
The Enterprise sets out on the whim of one Harve Bennett, who, after chastising the Captain for ‘dressing informally’, disappears back into the funk he found himself in after the release of the previous film and the Enterprise continues on its’ very shaky way, with Captain’s logs falling apart, lift doors non-functional and transporter beams non operational. The shuttle raid on Paradise City goes well until Kirk and Co. find out that not only do the hostages not need rescuing but that the leader of the group ~ who finally introduces himself as Sybok ~ knows Mr Spock well: enough to almost embrace him and well enough to laugh when the latter places him under arrest for violating the Neutral Zones’ treaty.
En route to the Enterprise, Klaa and his stinky beauty attempt to attack the ship, causing the shuttle to make a hasty landing in the cargo bay and Sybok and Kirk to throw some hands. Ordered to shoot Sybok, Spock hesitates and Sybok seizes the ship, throwing Spock, Kirk and McCoy into the brig. It transpires that Sybok is Spock’s half brother ~ the other half is still AWOL ~ the result of a frenzied bing-bam-boom between Spock’s Dad and a Vulcan Princess and it also transpires that the ship has a toilet on which the Captain sits. Thus a sh*t state of affairs: compounded by the fact that Sybok is turning every member of Kirk’s crew against him and the fact that Scotty busts the three out of the brig, causing them to send a distress message to Starfleet ~ intercepted by Klaa and his crew ~ and Scotty to knock himself stiff on a crossbeam.
It would have to have happened sooner or later: the three friends run into Sybok who forces them to face their deepest pain (Bones’ mercy killing of his father, Sarek’s rejection of his son at the moment of his birth) but only Kirk refuses, sayingI. DON’T. WANT. MY. PAIN. TAKEN. AWAY! I. NEED. MY. PAIN!!
(What about MY pain? I paid $5 to see this!) Thank you, Ken Begg.
After this, Sybok reveals his true mission given to him not by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, but by God, who waits on the other side of the supposedly impenetrable ‘Great Barrier’, which, when we see it, looks suspiciously like the barrier used in Where No Man Has Gone Before.
The terrible visual effect is passed like a huge kidney stone and our intrepid travelers soon find the Eden planet ~ Kirk, Spock, Bones and Sybok descend to the planet, only to discover yet another bad visual effect: something claiming to be “God” but actually a 1000 watt light bulb with a face.
This entity claiming to be the Creator of all things is a leetle suspect in his motives for he (a) requires a starship to get his ancient butt off the planet and (b) he does not know who Kirk is. In fact, he hates people doubting him, sending both Kirk and Spock sprawling with well-aimed [eye] ball lightning. Sybok realizes to his horror that not only has he made an error in calling Kirk his friend (after stealing his ship and turning his crew against him) but that his ego, id, drive, determination, filthy underpants and Bran Ferren have actually created this 1000 watt light bulb with a face: one of many, including an image of Sybok himself mouthing Blackadder-like threats about the crew dying horribly, horribly.
Sybok gives his half-bro a high five and attacks the image of himself, sending the three friends scrambling as a photon torpedo blows the rock cathedral apart. Scotty manages to beam both Spock and Bones back up, leaving Kirk to the mercy of the oatmeal and BRANfed disastrous visual effects that were supposed to resemble God or some sort of creature, other than the almighty [expletive deleted] up we see on screen. Just as Kirk is about to be killed by the creature (which is screaming YOUUUUUUUUU at him a little too much) the Bird of Prey’s cannons make the creature totally holey and he is transported aboard, to apologies from the Captain and greetings from the Klingon ship’s new gunner, Mr. Spock.
I could and can never understand all the hate this film gets ~ it grabbed me in the cinema with its’ opening and it has not let go since. It should be noted that William Shatner had major problems in pre-production and also during the shoot, some of which were:
1. A Teamster’s strike, leading to a truck blowing up in the studio parking lot and unveiled threats from unions.
2. A writer’s strike, leading Mr Shatner to write his own script and when the strike was over, both the producer and screenwriter David Loughery re-writing the entire script to resemble something like James Hilton’s Lost Horizon
~ a concept used in Star Trek Insurrection
and we all know how THAT one turned out.
3. A film rushed into production despite the two mentioned above.
4. A difficult, recalcitrant producer in Harve Bennett who did not want to be involved with this production and who also heavily criticized Mr. Shatner, sometimes in front of the crew. I quote from page 237 of Up Till Now where the aforementioned producer exploded at Mr Shatner for suggesting that the face of God should appear in a whirlwind, saying “For [religious Name used as a curse word deleted]sake ~ I’ll bet you saw The Wizard of Oz
”. In fact, the film was heavily re-edited by Mr Bennett who was chafing at the bit to make his Star Trek Academy opus.
5. Mr. Nimoy and Mr. Kelley not liking the idea that Spock and Bones would betray Kirk.
6. Difficult shooting locations and almost insurmountable special effects issues, including those problems with Kirk’s free climbing of El Capitan and the ‘Rockman’ failure ~ the latter which was successfully lampooned in Galaxy Quest
7. Gene Roddenberry being jealous of the fact that Mr. Shatner’s script had been successful in getting the green light where his controversial one The God Thing
had not been.
8. A bargain basement budget given by Paramount which defies explanation due to the massive world-wide crossover success of Star Trek IV meaning that the aforementioned film appealed to more than just us Trekkies / Trekkers.
9. Terrible visual effects courtesy Bran Ferren as ILM was busy on other projects. How the guy who produced the effects for Ken Russell’s Altered States
could crap out such rubbish, I have no idea.
To be fair to the others, this was William Shatner’s first attempt at directing a motion picture and he himself admits in two of his books that he did lose it occasionally on the set ~ specifically with his DP Andrew Laszlo A.S.C. and his producer ~ but can you actually blame the man at all? With all the frustrations mentioned above, I would have lost my temper more than just every so often.
When a film producer ~ in this case, Mr. Bennett ~ is quoted as saying “Basically, I was brought in to control Bill’s appetites. They were extravagant because he didn’t know anything……..Bill would come in and present a concept and he thought he was discovering the wheel. It’s funny how first-time directors try to be pioneers in the craft
” and other homespun homilies such as “You should have seen Bran Ferren’s first tests for God: they were silly”
it makes you wonder if you have all the support you need.
In fact, there were so many pre and post production hassles that you would think that Paramount Pictures actually wanted the film to fail. It may not have been the box-office bonanza that Star Trek IV
was but it made its’ cost back and then some and delighted many Trekkies / Trekkers in the process, me included. As I said, I enjoyed this film ~ bad effects notwithstanding ~ as it was, but if a film has an uninterested producer and a studio that apparently wanted a project to fail, it probably will.
Thankfully, it didn’t. So just let me throw this out there: Thank you, Mr. Shatner.