Almost universally derided on its first release as the worst of the Star Trek
movies to date, The Final Frontier
might just have been the victim of bad press. Following in the wake of the massively successful fourth instalment The Voyage Home
didn't help matters (notoriously, even-numbered entries are better), nor did having novice director and shameless egomaniac William Shatner at the helm. But if the story, conceived and cowritten by Shatner, teeters dangerously on the verge of being corny, it redeems itself with enough thought-provoking scenes in the best tradition of the series, and a surprisingly original finale. Granted there are a few too many yawning plot holes along the way, and the general tone is over-earnest (despite some painfully slapstick comedy moments), but the interaction of the central trio (Kirk, Spock and McCoy) is often funny and genuinely insightful; while Laurence Luckinbill is a charismatic adversary as the renegade Vulcan Sybok. The rest of the cast scarcely get a look in, and the special effects betray serious budgetary restrictions, but with a standout score from Jerry Goldsmith and a meaty philosophical premise to play around with, Star Trek V
looks a lot more substantial in retrospect. Certainly it's no worse than either Generations
, the next "odd-numbered" entries in the series. --Mark Walker
Fifth big screen outing for the crew of the starship Enterprise. Kirk (William Shatner, who also directs and co-scripts), McCoy and Spock's shore leave is cut short when the latter's half-brother - Vulcan renegade Sybok - takes several important ambassadors hostage on the planet Nimbus. They race to the rescue, unaware that the kidnap is all part of Sybok's ploy to hijack the Enterprise and set out on a quest to discover the Supreme Being - God.