118 of 125 people found the following review helpful
"A guess? You, Spock? That's extraordinary!",
This review is from: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) (DVD)
With many fans disappointed following the release of the third "Star Trek" film in 1984, "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock", Paramount Pictures produced one of the best "Star Trek" films of all time in 1986: "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home". Returning to the director's chair for what was only his second directorship of a big-screen motion picture was Leonard Nimoy, but this time, Nimoy had much better material to work with from the films many writers. Nimoy (who actually took on-screen credit for writing) worked with returning writer Harve Bennett to write a brilliant story, and Bennett worked on the screenplay along with three additional writers: Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes and Nicholas Meyer (who directed the highly successful "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn" in 1982). Under the watchful eye of Gene Roddenberry, these men were able to recapture the spirit of the original "Star Trek" television series more than any other preceding or proceeding "Star Trek" film.
Having restored Spock's (Leonard Nimoy) life via the Genesis planet and a return to the planet Vulcan during the third film, the crew of the lost U.S.S. Enterprise now waits on Vulcan for repairs on their captured Klingon scout-class ship, as well as for Spock to retrain his mind, before returning to Earth to face various charges for having disobeyed orders. The crew includes Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Commander Montgomery 'Scotty' Scott (James Doohan), Commader Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), Commander Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Commander Uhura (Nichelle Nichols). The Klingons are also very angry with Kirk as expressed by the Klingon Ambassador (John Schuck) to the Federation President (Robert Ellenstein) in front of the full Federation Council, but the cool logic of Vulcan Ambassador Sarek (Mark Lenard) prevails. While on Vulcan, Spock gets to spend time with his human mother, Amanda (Jane Wyatt, who once played his mother in the 1967 "Star Trek" television series episode "Journey to Babel"). Also, a brief appearance is made by Lt. Saavic (Robin Curtis), who unfortunately never returns in any other "Star Trek" film. With their Klingon ship ready for departure, Spock and his Enterprise shipmates begin their voyage to Earth; but unknown to them, a bizarre space probe also en route for Earth has been wreaking havoc on any ship that approaches it. Arriving at Earth first, the probe turns Earth's atmosphere into chaos as it waits for a signal that the Federation cannot discern. Receiving a planetary distress call from Earth, Spock identifies what the probe wants: communication with long extinct whales. To save Earth, Kirk makes the decision for them to travel back in time to bring back whales to the present.
"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" has more memorable scenes than could be mentioned here, but some of the best include: McCoy's conversations with Spock, the crew on the streets of twentieth-century San Francisco, Uhura and Chekov looking for nuclear vessels, McCoy and Scotty visiting the production facility, Kirk & Spock on a city bus, Kirk & Spock's conversations with Dr. Gillian Taylor (Catherine Hicks), Kirk's dinner with Gillian, and McCoy with Kirk & Gillian at the city hospital. Everyone's acting (including Shatner) was very good for this film, but what makes this film stand out from the rest is the emphasis on all of the original crew members. Each of the crew members have time on screen, contribute to the story and have a reasonable amount of dialog. Other familiar "Star Trek" characters have cameos in the film: Dr. Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett) and Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney). Another cast member in this film who later plays a pivotal role in the sixth "Star Trek" film is Admiral Cartwright (Brock Peters).
Overall, my rating of for "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" is a resounding 5 out of 5 stars. This film, along with the 1982 film "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn" and the later 1996 film "Star Trek VIII: First Contact", are the three best films ever made of the franchise; but this film will always stand out as being the most humorous, having the best & most memorable dialog and having the greatest spirit of the three. I highly recommend it to everyone who, in any form, has liked "Star Trek".
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 22, 2007 11:52:02 AM PST
Valerie Matteson says:
Note to reviewer: Great review but you were incorrect on the spelling of Lt. Saavik not with a 'c'. No biggie. I actually like Kirstie Alley's version of Lt. Saavik better.
Posted on Apr 10, 2008 3:54:36 PM PDT
One of the other things that stands out in my mind is how the film explores Spock's tumultuous relationship with his father Sarek.
Posted on Jul 20, 2014 6:58:38 PM PDT
Dave B says:
Thank you for this excellent, very well written review. It was a pleasure to "re-live" the movie through your words.
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