Sunday, December 18, 2011

STAR TREK III: The Search For Spock

**** (4 stars out of 5)

"STAR TREK III: The Search For Spock" by Harve Bennett is just really very good. Go watch it now. I'll wait. Good, huh? How 'bout that James Horner score? Brilliant, right?

There's a space coffin in the rhubarb fields awaiting our discovery once more...

Klingon femme fatale Valkris is killed by her love, Commander Kruge (Christopher Lloyd) for the Genesis Information. Mr. Lloyd is, as always, remarkable. He shows the new face of the Klingon Empire. Shoot first, shoot later, pet your reptile dog, plot genocide, stab a pacifist scientist, and shoot s'more.

Commander Janice Rand or her red-headed identical cousin shakes her head from the Spacedock lounge as Enterprise limps home. Starfleet isn't going to fix it, either: too old, too busted. And the ship's worn out, too.

Bones seems to have gone mad with grief over Spock until Sarek arrives with one of those pieces of vital information Vulcans never tell anyone until the last minute or later. Vulcan souls can be transferred using mind melds. These "katras" are entrusted to one's family, closest friend, or in this case, closest loud-mouthed frenemy. McCoy's arrested trying to illegally charter a ride back to Khan Town from Mos Eisley, by Lando Calrissian of Federation Security.

And, two for the price of one, not only is Spock's katra alive, his body has been revived in a freak result of the runaway creationism experiment on the Genesis Planet. The Genesis Planet doesn't just play Peter Gabriel songs, it brings good things to life! Also it turns microbes into wiggling pasta pockets, and wiggling pasta pockets into hideous spiky snakes. David Marcus has cheated just like his dad: his Genesis effect uses unpredictable protomatter. Now there's some kinda high-speed out-of-control evolution running rampant. If there's a worse sign for the environment than giant snow-capped cactuses I don't know what it is.

Starfleet's hurry-up-and-wait approach isn't good enough. Kirk's defiance is splendid here: "The word is no... I am therefore going anyway."

Our heroes steal their old beater and throw a monkey wrench into the new Excelsior sent to chase them.

These people are lucky we've only seen them in their work clothes. 2280's fashion sense is INSANE. Chekov's pink suit and dickey might be the worst offender.

Miguel Ferrer (Excelsior navigator) and John Laroquette (Klingon stooge) have fun cameos.

Saavik, David, and baby Spock are stranded when Kruge blows up their science vessel. Stranded on a rapidly aging world with a rapidly aging Vulcan male...

Saavik says it is Vulcan males who suffer pon farr- is she implying females don't? Either way, she apparently saves her regenerating mentor's life in that special way that Vulcan girls save Vulcan boys age 14, 21, 28, 35, 42... and so on. Hot finger-kisses and tasteful cut-scenes!

In the morning after, however, we see demographics in action, Klingon-style. Who gets an honor blade in the heart? Will it be
A) Spock?
B) Cute Vulcan Lieutenant?
C) New Guy with that New Kirk smell?

Poor David.

And in the battle that follows, poor Enterprise. Well, Kruge & his krew gets theirs in the end, don't you worry.

The gossamer-robed lady priests of Vulcan's Mt. Seleya look on impassively while T'Lar achieves a re-fusion never before performed except in legend: after a perilous night of chanting, Spock's got his marbles back in his marble bag.

"But at what cost?" grateful on the inside but logical on the outside Sarek asks of Kirk. "Your ship, your son..."

"If I hadn't tried, the cost would have been my soul."

Like the cartoon says- you won't cry... unless you believe in the power of friendship.

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