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George At 

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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home


After the huge success of the previous two films, Leonard Nimoy returned to the Director's chair for one of the best and biggest hits of the entire series with 1986's STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME.

Heading back to Earth to face the music for stealing and blowing up the Enterprise to save Spock in the last installment, our crew returns to an Earth on the edge of destruction from a giant space probe.

The signals that its broadcasting cut off all power to the planet and cause massive storms around the globe. After decoding the signal, its discovered that it's the sound of Humpback whales, which are of course extinct in whatever star date this takes place in....

Kirk and Spock devise a plan to head back in time and find two humpback whales in 1986, hoping to return to the future with them so they can respond to the probe and ask it to move on.

The story is terrific and the screenplay is even better, dropping all of our favorite characters into 1986 San Francisco that is completely foreign in every way.

As the team splits up into teams with separate missions to complete, the film follows each of them, mixing much more comedy into the flow than ever before and landing nearly every joke.

Spock using the Vulcan grip on an obnoxious punk music bus passenger, McCoy railing against the medieval medical practices, Checkov constantly asking passerby's for a nuclear "wessel" and Sulu's fish out of water conversations make this one of the most enjoyable Trek's on every level.

Shatner and Nimoy's banter as they try to remain "undercover" in the 80's is filled with great comic timing, showing two actors and friends playing off each other with great skill. After all those years, their on screen banter is flawless.

The only weak link in the cast is the consistently horrible Catherine Hicks as Gillian, the whale biologist that falls for Captain Kirk. She was much more at home during her long run in TV's "7th Heaven" than she is here, emoting with all the realism of a junior high thespian.

It's a minor complaint though.

Leonard Rosenman provides one of the most unusual music scores of the series, giving the entire movie a nautical theme that's reinforced nicely throughout with mentions of everything from Melville to the choice of Naval destroyer.

This was a HUGE hit at the box office, with over $110 million against a $25 million budget. The last fifteen minutes, with the trial of Kirk and crew, Spock's encounter with Sarek and the discovery of the team's next assignment, is about as good as Star Trek can be.

Even for non-Trek fans, this is a great adventure with excellent special effects, a ton of laughs and plenty to cheer about. The Voyage Home is a pleasure and gets an A.

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