***** (5 stars out of 5)
If there was a six star rating, I might have to give it to "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home".
In 1986, this was the first Star Trek movie I got to see in the movie theatre. Oh, to be ten again and seeing it for the first time. I've seen it so much on home video I can virtually recite it.
Writers Harve Bennett, Nicholas Meyer, Leonard Nimoy and company did all right by me. After a somewhat passionless start and two powerfully emotional but grim tales, it is refreshing to cap it off with an adventure romp. Humor is so welcome- most of it centered around our crew in a primitive time: 1986.
A gigantic black cigar with a tiny volleyball for an eye is powering down everything it encounters, including USS Saratoga and her female captain. (Suck it, Janice Lester.)
Ionizing the atmosphere, vaporizing the ocean, winterizing all pets, the probe is trying to get ahold of a humpback whale. They haven't been returning its calls. They've been extinct since the 21st Century, when humans had plenty of time in between killing each other to finish off sea creatures, too.
Slingshot around the sun in a Klingon rustbucket to the halycon days of yore, Reganomics, and Flocks of Seagulls.
Kirk trades his 1883 spectacles for bus fare and our fish out of water go after some mammals out of water. Spock's mind meld with the whales George & Gracie is successful, now all they have to do is break into a nuclear vessel to steal some photons, and convince a local scientist to help them steal her humpbacks over a pizza. They don't use money in Kirk's time anymore, or Kirk is just avoiding the cheque for two beers and a pizza to go. Gillian follows him home to his invisible ship and is whisked away.
Some guys have crushes on their teachers. I crushed on Dr. Gillian Taylor, Cetacean Biologist. Clever, funny, kind-hearted, helpful, and lucky enough to end up in the future. I must say Catherine Hicks is funderful.
They get home slightly before they left. Since the engines on the Bounty are thumping like a disco, they follow the sound advice of the rock band Diesel and dump it in the bay.
(When Kirk swims into the cargo deck to free the whales I have held my breath along with him more than once. More than five times. In fact, I can't remember how many times... or my middle name. I think I need to stop holding my breath.)
Whatever the whale sings to the probe, it saved the world. Maybe it sang 'I Hate You' by
Associate Producer, musician, and punk on the bus Kirk Thatcher. Maybe not.
See you 'round the galaxy.