What makes it so bad? Could it be a scene with Spock in jet boots (no, those aren't ski boots!), racing to save Captain Kirk as he plummets to his death from El Capitan. A now gray-haired Uhura, doing a dance in the sand with palm fronds against the moons of an alien planet (meant as a distraction, it certainly works). Or is it the atrocious effects, the product of a limited budget and too many miniatures?
No, you'll find it's David Loughery's script (he wrote a handful of films in the early '90s, the best of which is Passenger 57) that deserves the blame for this travesty. Here's the story. See if you can avoid laughing. Spock's half-brother, Sybok (Laurence Luckinbill), brainwashes his way to the helm of the Enterprise. Sybok hijacks the ship for the mythical Shaka-Ri, a mystical planet said to be located "beyond the great barrier" in the center of the Galaxy -- allegedly the birthplace of life -- aka "Eden." Now never mind that there's no swirling ball of energy in the center of the galaxy to serve as a barrier, and never mind that the birthplace of life in a sci-fi universe ought to be the center of the universe, not the galaxy. Forget all that, because Trek V (Tagline: "Why Are They Putting Seatbelts In Theatres This Summer?" Answer: Not for Star Trek V.) is awful in its own right, filled with cornball dialogue, unbearably illogical plot points (shame on you, Vulcans!), and absolutely terrible special effects that wouldn't have been state-of-the-art in the 1950s.
At its heart, this is a vanity project for William Shatner, who got his first shot at directing a movie with Trek V (his next film would be Groom Lake in 2002, though I'm not sure that was ever released). Not only this: He wrote a set of memoirs about directing this fine fine film (or rather, his daughter wrote it for him). They offer a mutually-congratulatory commentary track on the new two-disc DVD.
Also on the set you'll find some interviews and featurettes, the most notable being a bit about the "rock men" which originally chased Kirk around on Shaka-Ri, but were cut from the film because they looked so cheesy. The usual text commentary from Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda is less informative than usual, spending most of its time pointing out the wild inconsistencies in the plot and the Trek universe, the realities behind the bad effects, and making apologies for the generally poor quality of the film while still claiming it to be great.
Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy
Run time: 107 mins
In Theaters: Friday 9th June 1989
Box Office Worldwide: $70.2M
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Production compaines: Paramount Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 21%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 34
IMDB: 5.3 / 10
Director: William Shatner
Producer: Harve Bennett
Screenwriter: David Loughery
Starring: William Shatner as 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, Nichelle Nichols as Cmdr. Uhura, Walter Koenig as Cmdr. Pavel Chekov, David Warner as St. John Talbot, Laurence Luckinbill as Sybok, Charles Cooper as Gen. Korrd, Cynthia Gouw as Caithlin Dar, Todd Bryant as Capt. Klaa, George Murdock as God
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