Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

"Excellent"

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Review


This is the one with the whales. That's right. The Romulans and Klingons are put aside for one episode in order to create an enemy from a faraway world, suggesting that humpback whales are not native to earth -- that they're an alien species that communicates with the whales of earth through some unknown method. When the space whales haven't heard from their earthbound pals (we're told they were driven to extinction centuries in the movie's past), they decide to pay a visit. The unintended consequence is the destruction of the power systems of everything in its path.

Solution: The Enterprise crew takes a trip back through time (in the stolen Klingon bird-of-prey from Star Trek III) to the 1980s (conveniently coinciding with the production time fram of the film) in order to snag a couple of whales and repopulate the future.

The plot is totally cornball but amazingly it works extremely well, showing that Star Trek need not rely on kooky alien species and special effects to tell a good story. When Captain Kirk (or Admiral Kirk, as he is here) are trapped in the past they have all manner of fun misadventures -- dealing with a totally unfamiliar culture, adapting primitive technology to their mission, and swimming around with whales. The film has no real villains, no phaser exchanges (in fact, weapons are not really ever fired in the film at all), and more commentary on social issues (the environment) than any of the other films. It's even funny from time to time (intentionally, unlike, say, the gut-splitting awfulness of Nemesis).

This does of course make The Voyage Home a much different viewing experience than its brethren. Instead of a lot of rotten and random bad guys we have a clever man vs. nature (and himself) story structure. Instead of spaceship miniatures, we're given some amazing miniature, animatronic whales. A relatively low budget is apparent, but even this is turned to advantage when, for example, the stolen ship is kept cloaked (and parked in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park).

In the end, this is probably the least "typical" sci-fi film ever made. But it remains one of the standouts of the genre, for that very reason.

The two-disc DVD release has the features we've come to expect from Paramount's Trek series: a commentary from star William Shatner and director Leonard Nimoy, text commentary from the Okudas (focusing a lot on the movie's gaffes), and a second disc full of topic-oriented featurettes (time travel, whalesong, Vulcans, and the women of Trek), interviews, and all sorts of production scraps. Recommended.



Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 119 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 26th November 1986

Box Office Worldwide: $133M

Budget: $24M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Fresh: 33 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Admiral/Captain James T. Kirk, as Captain Spock, as Dr. Leonard McCoy, as Montgomery Scott, as Cmdr. Hikaru Sulu, as Cmdr. Pavel Chekov, as Cmdr. Uhura, as Amanda, as Dr. Gillian Taylor, as Ambassador Sarek, as Lt. Saavik, Robert Ellenstein as Federation Council President, as Klingon Ambassador, as Admiral Cartwright, Michael Snyder as Starfleet Communications Officer

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.