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Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock





Director: Leonard Nimoy
Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Christopher Lloyd, Robin Curtis, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, James Doohan
Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Theatrical Release Date: June 1, 1984
4K UHD Release Date: September 7, 2021 (Amazon.com)


READER RATING:   


Plot Summary

Admiral Kirk and his bridge crew risk their careers stealing the decommissioned U.S.S. Enterprise to return to the restricted Genesis Planet to recover Spock's body. (from IMDb)


Film Review

Following the death of one of the most iconic characters in all of Star Trek fandom, Spock, some seeds had been planted in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan just before its release just in case they wanted to bring him back. Leonard Nimoy, who had portrayed the character ever since the creation of the series, thought he was ready to hang up his pointy ears for good while they were making Khan. However, a positive experience while making the film (unlike with the movie before that, Star Trek: The Motion Picture), and the promise of directing a follow-up himself, brought Nimoy back as the green-blooded Vulcan for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.


After the much celebrated The Wrath of Khan, its sequel, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock has long been considered among the lesser entries in the film series. However, after seeing it a couple times, I think it works well as a sequel to The Wrath of Khan, and a passable means for bringing back Spock. The sequel also gives us a new villain, Christopher Lloyd's ruthless Commander Kruge. While Kruge isn't quite the caliber of villain that Khan was, he still proves to be a formidable foe for Kirk, and almost as deadly. It's amusing to see Lloyd play the wild alien villain just a year before his most iconic role of his career as Doc Brown in Back to the Future, but he does well against William Shatner's Kirk. This movie also allows for other firsts to occur in the Star Trek universe, like the Enterprise crew manning a different starship, and the first time the Enterprise meets its end. It's a decent sci-fi action film with some certainly memorable moments, and I think it holds up well with repeat viewings.


This of course sets up the series to go in a much different direction for the fourth film, which creates a trilogy out of Star Trek II, III and IV. As a trilogy, it's a pretty great run (especially as long as we ignore the first movie), and an exciting trio of chapters. It's unfortunate that Kirstie Alley didn't reprise her role as the Vulcan, Saavik (I think it was a paycheck issue), so she had been replaced by Robin Curtis for Trek III and IV. I honestly don't think I realized she was the same character as Alley's when I first watched these movies some years ago. That's really the only major recasting as, thankfully, all of the original core players from the TV series returned again for this third film, and they all get their own moments to shine. I love how they risk their careers and go rogue all for the sake of saving one of their own. It just goes to show how tight and loyal this team is.


The content for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock definitely scales things back from how rough The Wrath of Khan was. That's not to say that The Search for Spock isn't intense at times, though. There are still some tense action scenes, including one where three significant characters are lined up and one is selected to die -- and one does. It becomes an emotional sequence for the film, too, proving that the choices these characters make will always have consequences. Langugage is mostly kept to uses of "h*ll" and "d*mn" throughout, but there's now one use of "S.O.B" and some exclamations of God's name. There is no sexual content, but there's a weird sensual scene where Saavik and another Vulcan rub their hands together slowly as part of a Vulcan ritual. Nothing else is seen or really implied, however. There is some violence, especially at the end of the film, with Kirk and Kruge battling it out, leaving both with blood on their faces. For the most part, this movie is a bit more in line with what you'd expect from an episode of the show, but definitely heavier thematically.


Star Trek III: The Search for Spock has been given a decent transfer in 4K, although I don't think it's probably all that more impressive than it's regular Blu-Ray transfer. Still, if you're a fan, I definitely recommend this new UHD transfer in this set.

- John DiBiase (reviewed: 9/8/21)

 

4K UHD Special Features Review



Along with the feature film on Blu-Ray and 4K UHD sets (which are two separate 4-disc collection cases inside a cardboard slip case, for a total of 8 discs across the four movies), are the following, previously released extras for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock:

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock 4K Ultra HD

  • Commentary by director Leonard Nimoy, writer/producer Harve Bennett, director of photography Charles Correll and Robin Curtis
  • Commentary by Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock Blu-ray

  • Commentary by director Leonard Nimoy, writer/producer Harve Bennett, director of photography Charles Correll and Robin Curtis
  • Commentary by Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor
  • Library Computer (HD)
  • Production
    • Captain’s Log
    • Terraforming and the Prime Directive
    • Industry Light & Magic: The Visual Effects of Star Trek
    • Spock: The Early Years (HD)
  • The Star Trek Universe
    • Space Docks and Birds of Prey
    • Speaking Klingon
    • Klingon and Vulcan Costumes
    • Star Trek and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (HD)
    • Starfleet Academy SCISEC Brief 003: Mystery Behind the Vulcan Katra Transfer
  • Photo Gallery
    • Production
    • The Movie
  • Storyboards
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD)

- John DiBiase, (reviewed: 9/6/21)

 

 

Parental Guide: Content Summary


. Sex/Nudity: The Klingon Valkris shows a lot of cleavage in her top; We see a waitress in a tight cleavage-enhancing outfit; Saavik and teenage Spock sensually rub hands as part of a Vulcan ritual.
. Vulgarity/Language: 1 "S.O.B," 9 "h*ll," 10 "d*mn," 2 "My G-d," 1 "Oh my G-d," 3 "b*stard," 1 "For G-d's sake"
. Alcohol/Drugs: We see some people drinking in a bar.
. Blood/Gore: We see a brief shot of Spock's green, peely skin (from the radiation poisoning) in replay footage; A giant worm wraps around Commander Kruge. He strangles one side and digs his fingers in, causing green goo to pour out. He then throws it down; David has a big bruise around his eye; As young Spock grows/ages quickly, we see a disturbing shot of his face pulsating and bulging; Kruge strangles Kirk and they hit each other and fight. We see some blood on both of their faces. As they fight, Kirk ends up having quite a bit of blood on his face.
. Violence: The movie opens with Spock's death scene from Wrath of Khan in blue monochrome (not full color); The Klingon ship blows up a small ship and we see the crew get showered in sparks inside as it explodes; Bones tries to do a Vulcan neck pinch on a person but can't do it; Kirk punches a security guard; Sulu pushes a security guard against a wall and then flips him over. He then fries a console with a phaser; The Klingon ship blows up another ship; Commander Kruge shoots a Klingon on their ship who vaporizes; A giant worm wraps around Commander Kruge. He strangles one side and digs his fingers in, causing green goo to pour out. He then throws it down; Enterprise fires on the Klingon ship and causes damage. We see sparks inside and the explosion kills Kruge's dog-like creature pet; The Enterprise is hit, which knocks Kirk over. Scotty's terminal sparks and flames; A main character wrestles with a Klingon who stabs him in the back (not shown) and kills him; The Enterprise blows up, throwing Klingons around inside and the ship burns up in the planet's atmosphere; An earthquake on the planet causes fires and trees and rocks falling; A Klingon attacks Spock who throws him; As young Spock grows/ages quickly, we see a disturbing shot of his face pulsating and bulging; Kirk shoots a Klingon and he flies backward; Kruge strangles Kirk and they hit each other and fight. Kruge hangs off a cliff and Kirk tries to help him. Kruge grabs Kirk's ankle and tries to pull him off the cliff, so Kirk kicks him off into lava below; We see the planet collapsing and burning.

 

Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not exclusively on content. However, if the content really affects the reviewer's opinion and experience of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's overall rating.

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