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The Best (And Worst) Star Trek Movies of All Time

Worth Watching

#4
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

The Enterprise is sent to pick up the Klingon chancellor, who despite being leader of the Klingon race, is somehow unable to bum a ride off anybody. His luck gets considerably worse when he' assassinated-Kirk and McCoy are blamed and sent to an icy Klingon gulag, which is the worst kind. They are told that no one has ever escaped from this penal colony, then promptly escape with little difficulty. Everybody heads to the peace conference, where they save the Federation President from assassination and expose the bad guys' evil schemes.

Why You Should See It
The Undiscovered Country has all the high-flown Shakespearean references of The Wrath of Khan, but it' less of an action flick and more of a smart, gripping political thriller, making it awesome in a completely different way. Also-and this is enjoyable for the wrong reasons-Spock coldly mind-rapes Kim Cattrall' traitorous character by mind-melding with her against her will. Spock explains that with the way she was dressed in that white headband, she was asking for it.

Why You Shouldn't
The scene where Kirk faces off against the beautiful shapeshifter who has taken his form ("I can't believe I kissed you," he groans; "Must have been your lifelong ambition," she answers) is a welcome bit of ego-deflating self-parody on the part of William Shatner, but it' still Shatner, which means it's hammy and poorly acted. Besides, they'd already pulled out the old "Kirk' evil doppelganger" routine enough times on the old series that it comes off a little clich here.

Impact on the Franchise
After three seasons of the original series and five movies, Sulu finally gets not only a ship of his own, but also a first name. Look at him drinking a cup of tea on his own bridge there, all smug and satisfied. Too bad he'd never show up in a movie again, as this was the last outing for the original crew in its entirety. On the other hand, he's doing pretty well with Heroes these days, so maybe everything worked out for the best.

Celebrity Cameos?
Iman and Kim Cattrall bring the heat as sexy aliens, and watch for a small cameo from Christian Slater as a night-duty officer who wakes up a cranky Sulu. Also, under all that makeup, the President of the United Federation of Planets is played by none other than Red Forman from That '70s Show. (For extra fun, follow each of his lines with a sardonic "dumbass!" For example: "Let us redefine progress to mean that just because we can do a thing, it does not necessarily mean we must do that thing, dumbass!")

#5
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Kirk steals the Enterprise to retrieve Spock' corpse from the planet they'd shot it at from a ship's cannon in Star Trek II (they might want to start checking pulses before they keep doing that). Conveniently, the planet is being terraformed due to the explosion of the Genesis Device. Also conveniently, said Genesis Device resurrects Spock. Less conveniently, everybody's taken prisoner by a Klingon commander, who a pissed-off Kirk conveniently drops into a bottomless pit.

Why You Should See It
The second, third, and fourth Trek films function as an unofficial trilogy, so the two excellent films on either side pull The Search for Spock up toward their level, and it thus rises above the infamous curse of terrible odd-numbered Trek films. Plus, as the reborn Spock rapidly matures and endures the excruciating Vulcan mating urge, Saavik makes the calculated logical decision to let him bone her. Hot Vulcan sex!

Why You Shouldn't
The special effects and fight choreography in the final fight scene are embarrassingly low-budget. Shatner chews the scenery anyway, which happens to consist of the cheap, unconvincing Styrofoam rocks often featured in the old episodes from the '60s. (Also, you can sort of even see the bottom of the bottomless pit.)

Impact on the Franchise
The reset button gets hammered here. Once Spock comes back to life, it' like his death never happened. On the bright side, Captain Kirk' son gets killed off, so we're invited to pretend he never happened either.

Celebrity Cameos?
Robin Curtis replaces Kirstie Alley as Saavik. As for the ruthless Klingon foes, the casting is frankly baffling. Night Court' John Larroquette plays the first officer, and Christopher Lloyd is the captain. It' hard to get past that one. Every time he demands the secret of the Genesis Device, you sort of want to explain that it' a simple matter of channeling 1.21 jiggawatts [sic] through the flux capacitor.

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