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Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Originally Aired: 1989-6-9

Spock's half-brother Sybok goes on a spiritual quest to find "God" and hijacks the Enterprise to the Great Barrier at the center of the galaxy. [DVD]

My Rating - 0

Fan Rating Average - 3.41

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- Kirk's fall off the mountain was stopped immediately with next to no slowdown by Spock and his rocket boots.
- Uhura takes measurements in English Imperial Units...
- Impossible travel to the center of the galaxy.
- Another mention of the fictional silly barrier at the center of the galaxy, similar to the fictional silly barrier at the edge of the galaxy. We can rationalize this by saying that some alien race created this particular barrier to trap "god" there.
- Kirk claims no one has gone into the center of the galaxy, but in fact, he actually did in TAS: The Magicks of Megas-Tu.
- Here's a big one: In the scene where Spock uses his rocket boots to take Kirk and McCoy up the turbolift shaft, the decks count up to 78 when there should only be 20 or 30, in the wrong direction, and they pass one deck at least twice...
- Why is there a single planet with no star system at the center of the galaxy? A rogue, maybe? Still seems unlikely.
- How could McCoy talk during transport?

- This film is the winner of my "Worst Star Trek Film Award" and is therefore a candidate for my "Worst Episode Ever Award."

Remarkable Scenes
- Spock: "Concentration is vital. You must be one with the rock."
- Scotty's displeasure with the Enterprise A.
- McCoy: "You really piss me off, Jim."
- McCoy: "It's a song, you green-blooded Vulcan! You sing it! The words aren't important. What's important is that you have a good time singing it!" Spock: "Oh, I am sorry Doctor. Were we having a good time?" McCoy: "God I liked him better before he died!"
- The "disaster" Enterprise.
- "Captain" Chekov.
- Kirk: "Spock! Be one with the horse!"
- Spock Vulcan neck pinching a horse.
- Spock formally placing Sybok under arrest despite being the captive one and having no power to carry out his arrest duty.
- Kirk ordering Spock to shoot Sybok and Spock not complying.
- Kirk to Spock: "I ought to knock you on your god damn ass!" Spock: "If you think it would help."
- Scotty's morse code: "S.T.A.N.D. B.A.C.K." The wall then explodes.
- Kirk agreeing to team up with Sybok after they lived through the barrier.
- Kirk: "What does god need with a starship?"
- Kirk demanding proof of ID from "god".
- Sybok's noble death.
- Spock to the Klingon ambassador: "Damn you sir. You will try!"
- Nice to see Klingons working together with the Federation.

My Review
Many insults are thrown at this film. With good reason. It's the worst Star Trek film in existence and one of the worst Star Trek productions of all time. The biggest problem with the film is the careless writing; there are blatant inconsistencies everywhere. Little details everywhere are just wrong. Like Spock's "rocket" boots blatantly defying the laws of physics, and the deck numbering in the turbolift shaft (see problems section on this one...). And some big problems too. Such as impossible travel to the center of the galaxy in a matter of a few hours without an explanation (and the return trip!) and an impossible energy barrier protecting an impossible planet with no planetary system at the center of the galaxy. Beyond the technical problems, the basic premise is just bad. The planet of galactic peace with Federation, Klingon, and Romulan ambassadors was a silly idea to begin with; in 1940 would the Soviets have colonized a remote area in the wilderness and invited the Americans and the Germans to set up a colony with them? No, because they were frigging enemies! Sybok is a tougher nut to crack. In some scenes he comes off as a total idiot; such as the scene on the shuttlecraft where he didn't know anything about shields or battle tactics. In another scene he comes off as a pure genius, using Vulcan mind melds to brainwash people. He looks like an idiot again when he starts professing that he knows "god" will be at the center of the galaxy. Then he looks like a cool guy again when he admits he's wrong and sacrifices himself to save Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. All things considered, Sybok would have been a great character if he weren't wasted on such a meager plot. Indeed, there are many nice details about the film as well, all of which are documented in my "remarkable scenes" part of the review. I might also add in this film's favor that once again Star Trek "proves" that there is no god; though this has been done better before and will be done better again. The good details of the film die a miserable death drowning under the weight of some of the worst writing Star Trek has ever seen.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-21 at 5:55pm:
    I just watched this again for some reason, and I'm in almost total agreement with the review here. This is embarrassingly bad. Although I like the general premise of a messianic Vulcan cult leader, I think it's riduculous to make him Spock's brother, and his character is, as the review mentions, very broadly drawn at best.

    To me, this seems like a Trek movie made by folks who didn't really know or understand Trek. The Klingons are broad parodies of Klingons. The "Planet of Peace" idea is too stupid for words, and the people inhabiting the bar there look like they belong in Space Balls, especially the incredibly stupid cat woman stripper who attacks Kirk. Another really terrible scene is Uhura's song-and-dance routine used to distract the cult leaders at the outpost. The sound mixing is horrible here, but the bigger problem is that their reaction to her little song and dance is ridiculous, a failed attempt at comic relief at best.

    And then we have "god" himself. I love the idea that the movie kills "god," as it's in fitting with the Star Trek philosophy, but this character was rendered in an exceptionally stupid way. And why make Spock the gunner on the Klingon ship?

    One side note: there's more than a little hint about a budding relationship between Scotty and Uhura here. Is my memory failing me, or is this an isolated thing?
  • From Glenn239 on 2012-10-25 at 12:56pm:
    ‘4’. I liked the general idea of this movie and hated Shatner’s execution. It’s not too bad before they pass through the galactic barrier, but it’s literally unwatchable from that point on. Where to begin. Row, row, row your boat, Shatner’s insane free-face rock climbing bit, Sulu and Chekov getting lost and then going to ridiculous lengths to cover up, Scotty and Uhura – WTF was that?, Uhura’s embarrassing song scene, the ship’s silly malfunctions, the overall ‘cheap meets cheese’ feel to the costumes, sets, and special effects. The sloppy script problems. Worst of all, the epically bad ending.

    It could have worked. The idea of a messianic figure leading an unauthorized mission was solid. A little like Asimov’s Mule from Foundation and Empire. Sybok was a good character idea. He’s just as conflicted between selfishness and honor as was Khan, but oohh, he’s ten times more mysterious.

    Keep Sybok as is, but Darth Vader did not build C3PO and Sybok is not Spock’s half brother. Lose the planet of peace. Sure, have a solar system with 3-way jurisdiction, but make it a credible arrangement. Presumably Enterprise can rendezvous with a Romulan and Klingon ship, to go as an international force to restore order, because of the divided political status of the star system. So now the Klingons are in the movie with a credible motive. You know, something other than being tired of shooting at space junk. At the planet, the three commanders naturally fall out about how to handle the situation. And Sybok, when he does take over the remaining ships, he’s is not looking for God. Maybe he’s on a dangerous political quest. Say to Organia or something.
  • From Jeffenator98 on 2013-08-01 at 7:15pm:
    When Kirk says "I lost a brother once" McCoy should have said "Oh that's right George."
  • From BrentNorth on 2013-12-15 at 3:09am:
    The one brief moment in Star Trek V that I truly love is the beautiful shot of the Enterprise in front of the moon, along with the quote, "All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."

    Otherwise, The Final Frontier strikes me as a wasted opportunity. It gets points for at least trying to tackle interesting subject matter (God), but of course fails miserably for the most part.
  • From kevin on 2014-02-12 at 12:11am:
    Starts off interesting, Sybok seems to be a good character, then it turns into a mess. Does not know when to be serious or silly. Way too many silly jokes and silly stuff going on, but they are not even all that funny. Great music, good visuals tough. The Rocket shoes SUCK during both scenes they are used in. Really silly. The singing at the campfire....blah. They could have done SO much more.
  • From Daniel on 2014-08-03 at 12:06am:
    This is definitely a bad Star Trek movie, although it is fun to watch. It's full of slapstick, sight-gags, and one-liners. If you want a silly Star Trek movie, this is the one. One detail I noticed that has always bugged me; in the scene where Kirk and the others go down to the planet 'Shakari', they cut to the bridge, where everyone is gazing in wonder at the view screen. Then, they focus in on a computer display warning of the approaching Klingon ship. Naturally, everyone is too busy watching the planet to notice. Shouldn't there be a distinct audio warning when the computer detects an approaching enemy vessel???
  • From thaibites on 2015-07-19 at 10:20pm:
    I agree with everything negative being said here about this movie. I would like to add that the music bothered me greatly. I kept expecting to see #1 coming out of the bathroom after doing a #2. Make it so! Anyway, it just seems like a cheap, subliminal way to get old trek fans interested in the new series. If I see Kirk, Spock, and Bones, I want to hear that hair raising theme music I grew up with!
    And what's up Shatner's hair?!? Was that real?
  • From Luke Somers on 2016-07-05 at 5:38pm:
    I've read that if you take everything between the two camping trips to be a dream of Kirk's occurring during the trip, then works a lot better; it seems to me like this is true (though I haven't rewatched it since, I can recall it fairly clearly). The story is then true to his character and the conflicts he experiences in respect to other characters. And of course it explains the consistency errors and general silliness.

    Of course, it wouldn't deserve to have a movie made of it, just as Kirk's dream.

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