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.
Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy
Run time: 119 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 26th November 1986
Box Office Worldwide: $133M
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Production compaines: Paramount Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Fresh: 33 Rotten: 6
IMDB: 7.3 / 10
Director: Leonard Nimoy
Producer: Harve Bennett
Starring: William Shatner as Admiral/Captain James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock, DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard McCoy, James Doohan as Montgomery Scott, George Takei as Cmdr. Hikaru Sulu, Walter Koenig as Cmdr. Pavel Chekov, Nichelle Nichols as Cmdr. Uhura, Jane Wyatt as Amanda, Catherine Hicks as Dr. Gillian Taylor, Mark Lenard as Ambassador Sarek, Robin Curtis as Lt. Saavik, Robert Ellenstein as Federation Council President, John Schuck as Klingon Ambassador, Brock Peters as Admiral Cartwright, Michael Snyder as Starfleet Communications Officer
Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie brings a dark and gritty tone to this larger-than-life franchise. Along with...
With a spectacular setting and two solid actors on-screen, this thriller builds enough solid suspense...
Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...
Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...
Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...
Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...
An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...