Captain Kirk and his crew must deal with Mr. Spock's long-lost half-brother who hijacks the Enterprise for an obsessive search for God at the center of the galaxy. (from IMDb)
There's a superstition among many Star Trek fans that the even-numbered films are the best and the odd-numbered ones are "terrible." However, while I can attest to the even-numbered movies often being the best of the bunch, the odd-numbered ones really aren't all that bad... are they? One such oft-maligned entry is the William-Shatner-directed The Final Frontier. It is widely known among such fans, too, that The Final Frontier was forced down from a runtime of 2 hours to a more brisk hour-and-45 so that the studio could squeeze more showings on more cinema screens. It's a common occurence, but one that almost always comes at the expense of the movie's quality or storytelling. While we may never know what 15 more minutes could have done to help The Final Frontier, added story beats is probably not one of the film's greatest criticisms.
One probably could argue that Star Trek V: The Final Frontier just isn't the franchise at its best with story and characters. I, for one, don't think the movie is anywhere near as bad as many make it out to be, however, I will agree it ranks as one of the lesser entries. I do enjoy the chemistry between Kirk, Bones and Spock, as this is also the first entry with Spock being more like his old self after having died in Wrath of Khan and being brought back in The Search for Spock. As he adjusted to being alive again in The Voyage Home, Spock only really seemed like a shell of his former self. Nevertheless, the story for The Final Frontier brings the crew face-to-face with a long lost brother of Spock, the creation of a character that I believe had never been spoken of before. Even Spock believed his brother to be dead. In the film, Sybok (played by Laurence Luckinbill) is kind of a Vulcan rebel who has given himself over to his emotions and has developed the ability to "free" people from their pain, which in turn makes them sort of mindless followers of him. Sybok ultimately becomes an almost savior-like character. He then hijacks the Enterprise in an effort to venture further into deep space in search of... wait for it... God. It's kind of a sensitive topic, but as you can imagine, he doesn't quite find exactly what he expected to.
Again, while it's hardly a highlight of the franchise, it's really not as abysmal as many claim it to be. Maybe it isn't the big screen cinematic romp some of the other entries are, but its smaller, more intimate story works as a super-sized Star Trek episode. And with the original series being off the air for as long as it had been, and the main cast hurtling towards elderly age, what fan wouldn't be happy just to have one more somewhat decent reprisal of these characters? We all could have done a lot worse than The Final Frontier. The premise is kind of silly, yes; the villain is kind of lame, sure; and the movie almost entirely forgettable, certainly... but it also gives us some really enjoyable moments, like Kirk, Bones and Spock camping, or the trio sticking by each other when things get dire on the Enterprise.
The content for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier isn't too rough, although there is some of the usual franchise language, like "h*ll," "d*mn" and "g*dd*mn." There's a bizarre moment where we see a backlit Uhura dancing seductively on a hillside to distract some bad guys, but the scene isn't very explicit. There is some violence, too, but it's not particularly graphic. The worst may be more tonal than specifically involving the content, as some main characters are forced to see visions, and one of them sees their father dying on his deathbed, while another witnesses their own birth. I remember it creeping me out as a young kid, since it's could be a little disorienting for younger viewers.
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier may not be among the better entries in the Star Trek movie franchise, but it definitely isn't without merit, and this brand new 4K treatment of the film is a great way to either revisit it or experience it for the first time. At the very least, it's an entertaining way to get to see the original crew of the USS Enterprise unite for another space-traveling adventure.- John DiBiase (reviewed: 9/2/22)
Along with the feature film on Blu-Ray and 4K UHD sets (which are two separate collection cases inside a cardboard slip case, for a total of 15 discs across the six movies (seven if you count the separate discs for the Director's Edition of The Motion Picture), are the following box set extras:
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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