It’s a bit difficult to write a review on a film called “The Search For Spock” without giving away spoilers to this or the previous Star Trek film, but suffice it to say that Spock has gone missing and his crew mates are…um…searching for him.
Major revelation there, huh? That’s part of the trouble with this film: It has what may be one of the worst titles ever conceived. Obviously, they’re not going to make audiences sit for two hours with a title like “The Search For Spock” and then not find him, so there’s really no tension. Nevertheless, it’s the journey that’s important and not the destination.
“The Search For Spock” begins exactly where “The Wrath of Khan” left off. A device called “Genesis” recently developed by the Federation (the good guys) has been launched into a dead planet, causing it to generate new life there. An unexpected problem is that Genesis is unstable, causing life to grow at too rapid a rate. The planet develops exponentially, and there isn’t much time before it will begin to burn itself out again.
The Klingons (the bad guys; comedians John Larroquette and Christopher Lloyd in some of the most inspired casting against type I’ve ever seen) decide Genesis could be the ultimate weapon if used against already living planets, and come to get it. And, in the middle of all this, could be Spock.
The plot is actually pretty good, and it’s tightly written. It has as many “woah!” moments as its predecessor, but the whole thing feels like a cable television film. It’s just not shot all that well. To be fair, it was the first Star Trek film directed by Leonard Nimoy (Spock himself) and, to that end, it’s a competent movie; it’s just not anything more than that.
Some of the dialogue is a bit cheesy, but a nice touch is the effort they put into making sure some of the spotlight was given to characters like Sulu, who usually took a backseat to the triumvirate of Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
All in all, “The Search For Spock” is worth a watch once, but it’s just not the classic film that the movies immediately before and after it are. However, as the second film in a trilogy within the series, it’s pretty much required viewing.
Pros: Good effects, Sulu kicks ass and takes names. Kirk: “My God, Bones…what have I done?”
Cons: Just doesn’t feel as epic as the rest of the original cast films.
Review Rating: 3 out of 5 times Lloyd talked, he slipped into his “Reverend Jim” voice. It’s actually quite amusing.
“Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” (1984)
105 Minutes; USA
Rated PG for sci-fi action violence and mild language.
William Shatner (Admiral/Captain James T. Kirk)
Leonard Nimoy (Captain Spock)
DeForest Kelley (Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy)
James Doohan (Captain Montgomery “Scotty” Scott)
George Takei (Commander Hikaru Sulu)
Walter Koenig (Commander Pavel Chekov)
Directed by: Leonard Nimoy
Written by: Harve Bennett and Leonard Nimoy (uncredited).
Viewing Format: VHS.