This is one of the most oddly paced documentaries I've seen. The genius/madness/wackness of Shatner ground on me, initially, like nails on chalkboard, and his blatant interruptions of guests, not to mention somewhat horrendous "beat-poetry" with Avery, made me reach for my remote, finger hovering over the stop button.
But I came back to it, for what I would estimate as the last 3/4, and to say it redeemed itself would be an understatement. Like any eccentric character, you have to warm up to Shatners antics, and look for the sincerity amongst the ego. He'll interrupt Patrick Stewart, who is making a profound thought verbal, with some inconsequential question about the smallest of detail, yet tie it all together before its over with and give everyone enough latitude to truly make the interviews two-way. This is a unique but highly interactive interview technique, and as I saw more of it, I grew to like it.
There are some moments, as mentioned before with Avery, that leave you chuckling uncomfortably, but the majority of interactions between Shatner and his fellow captains are earnest, heartfelt, painful, uplifting, and humorous. Pine is the weakest link, but his time on this earth is a fraction of the others. Scott Bakula's catharsis with Shatner about divorce was poignant, and Stewart's earnestness about the love of his craft left me misty-eyed.
Speaking of misty-eyed, the shots from the convention really reminded me what I think most of us that love Star Trek are in it for: the celebration of the ideals and universe that Roddenberry imagined and many have developed into the mythos we have today. As quirky as Shatner is, he works the crowd with such expertise and mastery, you can see the mythical leader Kirk come out in what throughout most of the documentary appears a heavy-set, tired man. Add in the tangible love from the fans, the electricity in the air, and the cameo by Stewart, and you feel like you are in the crowd.
Shatner wraps it all up with an insight that seems so basic to the rest of us, but is brutally honest. The self-discovery portion of this film punctuates the ending to what started as an odd journey and ends with him saying out loud what we all know: if you are receptive to it, Star Trek can change your life.