Monday, June 10, 2013

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

  After the disappointing mess of The Final Frontier, there needed to be one last really good adventure for the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. They needed a final hurrah. One last get together to go out with a bang. Fortunately, they brought back Nicholas Meyer (director of The Wrath of Khan) to deliver just that. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, is one of the better movies of the original six. With the right amount of wit, gusto, and adventure to be a great fun time. To boot, there's a fantastic story that impacts Star Trek canon most prominently and permanently

  The movie's plot and story are far superior to probably... all the others. The Final Frontier was a bust, The Voyage Home was simplistic (yet enjoyable, just saying), The Search for Spock was not just simple, but rather a sort of strategy to bring back Spock. Little else. The Wrath of Khan was a simple revenge story, and The Motion Picture was honestly... threadbare. In The Undiscovered Country, Captain Kirk and crew are "volunteered" to escort a Klingon chancellor and his entourage to peace talks in the hopes of avoiding an all out war between the two galactic powers. With the Klingon homeworld on the verge of being uninhabitable, peace is necessary to aquire federation assistance, however... the chancellor is assassinated, and Kirk and crew are framed for it. Out to expose the true culprits, save the peace, and avoid a galactic war, we find our much beloved characters once again in a race against time to save the day.

  It's good to see them in a fantastic set up like this. It's not only a fitting end, but a triumphant return. The Undiscovered Country is a well written adventure, with sharp dialog, some truly thrilling set pieces, and some decent plot twists, there's much to love. Much also hangs in the balance. Watching Kirk's struggle with having to aid the Klingons, long time adversaries of the Federation, progress and develop is as one would say "fascinating". The movie speaks volumes about setting aside the past, along with preconceptions of a person or race, and making room for equality and peace. It's very deftly handled and never comes off as heavy handed or pretentious. Even though this one was well received, you never hear about it in the same breath as say The Wrath of Khan, and to be honest... it's perhaps just as good. Admittedly not as iconic, but not a second rate outing either. This is top tier material folks.

  Some scenes are exceptionally engaging, such as the assassination of the Klingon chancellor and crew. The whole scene takes place in zero gravity, and with a harsh red lighting palate. It's visually stunning. Globs of pink Klingon blood float about as the assassins phaser their way through the ship, making for a striking and almost surreal scene. Next is the fantastic ship-to-ship battles here. They haven't been this good looking and thrilling since Wrath, which stands as the pinnacle of the series, action-wise. The movie takes it's time, getting to the explosions and shootouts, which is wise. Because it has much more of a climatic impact when all the blasting and exploding gets underway. It's exciting. The climatic space battle at the end is wonderful. Things blow up real well and it caps off a very intense and engaging adventure.

  I have no serious gripes with Star Trek VI. I'm glad this one was good. I'm glad the humor flowed naturally, and I'm glad the crew once again had their trademark chemistry polished up and shining proudly. These characters are such a joy to watch, regardless. Though it's best when they're in a grade A movie like this one. With a poetic sense of drama and melodrama, characters in The Undiscovered Country are disposed to quoting ancient historical figures and texts to punctuate the mood. As a whole generation comes to a close, it's aging warriors duke it out amongst the stars, armed with as many destructive quotes as possible.

"To be... or not to be?

       To be."

Classic words in any context, yet downright chilling in this movie. Props to everyone involved. VI is quite the all-star adventure, and one I look forward to revisiting sometime. Perhaps now, the crew can rest easy now, and take a deep breath. Watching the Enterprise sail off into the distance has never felt so satisfying or resolute. Great movie, and a great Star Trek movie as well. Easily one of the best. I've made my way through all six original movies in the Blu Ray box set. It's been a true blast, and I can definitely recommend the franchise as a whole. Top shelf entertainment for ages. I'll take a break to write up some other reviews then pick up with the second Star Trek movie box set. I'm always ready to boldly go... again.

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