Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

Director: Leonard Nimoy

So SBS ran this and Khan as an entirely logical double bill tonight, hence we’re going straight on… I know the theory says that the Trek series tends to go odd-numbered films bad, even ones good, but this one arguably throws that theory into question; it’s a great follow-up to the previous film. It’s also markedly more melodramatic than its predecessors, too, which is something I don’t think I really appreciated before tonight (really, that is some fucking bravura scenery-chewing coming from Christopher Lloyd as the Klingon commander; Shatner almost matches him during their climactic fight, though), but then that’s kind of unavoidable given the story, which is basically summed up in the subtitle there… Robin Curtis struck me as less effective somehow as Saavik than Kirstie Alley in the previous film (the recasting seems to have come about because Alley was asking too much money to reprise the role) but everyone else is fine, which is good, cos this really is more about the characters than anything. I mean, yeah, you’ve got the whole business about the frankly catastrophic fuck-up behind the Genesis project (and oh LORD could that planet setting have looked any more studio-bound—something else I don’t think I fully appreciated until tonight’s rewatch), but the film is about what the subtitle says, i.e. the lengths Kirk and the Enterprise crew will go to in order to save a fallen comrade, and it culminates in a really marvellous end scene which is still hugely satisfying emotionally (Nimoy really did reserve one of the best parts of the film for himself). So yeah, that theory I mentioned about the odd vs the even-numbered films? Not this time. Enjoyed immensely.

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