Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)



Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Intriguing, but anticlimactic

I was never really a “trekkie” before, and I suppose I’m still not, but the newer Star Trek films have really intrigued me, enough to go back through the old films one by one. Surprisingly enough, the second film held my attention and interest enough for me to want to immediately watch the third film in the franchise, The Search for Spock. A few years ago, my brothers and I made a mockumentary using the title to help title our movie, and called it The Search for Spooks. Obviously, these two have absolutely nothing in common; it was just using the title for our amusement. So I watched this one immediately after Wrath of Khan, could it keep my interest as Khan did before it? Not as much, but it did.

In the last moments of The Wrath of Khan, [spoiler alert] Spock died. In a very similar fashion to something that happened in Into Darkness, but I won’t spoil you as to what that was…most of you probably already know the answer to that. Anyway, Spock was sent to the Genesis planet at the end of the second movie. To recap some more, the Genesis planet was a brand new man-made habitable planet, so it was still…regenerating. So what happened was this…if I can get it right…before he died, Spock transferred part of his conscience to Bones, and on Genesis his body started over, thanks to the regeneration. He starts out as a baby again, and grows incredibly fast, the only problem was that his mind was still young, so Kirk had to find a way to return the two minds again. Of course, what would Star Trek be if Kirk and the gang didn’t run into problems, primarily speaking, the Klingons. Who was the head Klingon in this? Christopher Lloyd…yeah.

So, this film was directed by none other than Leonard Nimoy. This, of course, was back in the day that the directors didn’t find it as easy to direct a movie that they were co-starring in, so Nimoy himself barely even shows up in the movie period. This film, like the others, had a pretty solid plot. You know the plan, you didn’t know how they would achieve it, so you were taken along for the ride, and they have some good obstacles. The one thing they could have greatly used some help with…was that darn Christopher Lloyd. I couldn’t help but continue seeing an alien version of Doc Brown. That may just be me, but I was having issues. Klingons are supposed to be these ultimate hostile enemies, and I just keep seeing this guy say gigawats…

So, unfortunately the element of danger was completely lost in The Search for Spock. Now, did the movie really need this villain…honestly not so much. The real villain in the movie wasn’t a Klingon, it was the unknown. Everybody loved Spock, so the idea of never seeing him again in the series was probably stuck on a lot of people’s minds. I don’t think anyone was focusing too hard on the “antagonist” here, because they just wanted to know how they could possibly get Spocks mind…back in Spock’s head, and how they can stop this rapid growth before they lose him again…it makes sense…it is tense all on its own; however, it seems to me like the writers of the original films felt a tremendous duty to have a physical villain as well. I personally think that pulled back from the potential, but again…I have a more modernistic approach when it comes to filmmaking.

The rest – visual, acting, music, was all identically good/bad as The Wrath of Khan, so there really isn’t much to report here. It wasn’t that great…now I am fully aware that it does get much better later, but for now, what holds it true is what has held it strong all these years, unforgettable and iconic characters that we can love, and stories we can remember. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone that saw The Wrath of Khan, because this movie really just acts like a Part 2 of the same thing, picking up directly after the end of the other. Otherwise, if you missed Khan, you can probably miss this one as well.


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