Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home | Chicago Reader

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Few signs of life in this 1986 arbitrary, waxen exercise, though director Leonard Nimoy has tricked out the proceedings with enough ecological trendiness (Admiral Kirk and crew travel back in time to save the whales from earthly extinction) and condescending irony (at the expense of 20th-century benightedness) to keep the true believers happy. The plotline appropriates the artificial rhythms of the old TV series (of manufactured crisis, gobbledygook response, and platitudinous reflection) and the crew does its usual shtick-ridden walk-through (Kirk, oleaginous and arch; Spock, insufferably precious; Bones, irascible and more than a little cadaverous) with hardly a nod to emotional fleshing out (only Catherine Hicks, as a tagalong marine scientist, works at building a character, but she's just a new player on the team). Not that any of this will alienate the legions of the faithful, since the key to the series's success lies precisely in the ritual appreciation of familiar iconography and themes. Still, I suspect the unconverted will want to be beamed up pronto. With William Shatner, Nimoy himself, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, and other starship regulars; Nicholas Meyer had a hand in the script.

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