Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Majel Barrett, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols directed by Robert Wise Movie Review

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)   3/53/53/53/53/5

William Shatner in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Not Poetry in Motion

When a huge, destructive energy cloud wipes out some Klingon vessels it becomes clear that it is heading on a direct path to Earth, With the newly refurbished U.S.S. Enterprise being the only ship within the Starfleet capable of intercepting the cloud Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) sees it as a chance to regain command and in doing so demoting Captain Decker (Stephen Collins) to first officer. At the same time Spock who is on the planet Vulcan going through Kolinahr feels some connection to what ever is within the energy cloud and rejoins Kirk and the team aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise as they head to intercept the cloud.

I don't remember ever watching a full episode of any of the Star Trek TV shows, maybe a bit here and there but never a whole episode from start to finish. In fact my relationship to Star Trek consists of remembering that school showed The Wrath of Khan one year on the last day of term before the Christmas break and for some reason I actually spent an entire weekend watching the first 6 Star Trek movies which I had got cheap on video. Let me just say that my detachment to the franchise is that I don't remember anything of what I watched but of course thanks to the popularity of the original series and characters I am still well aware of certain things. You may be wondering why as I have no real interest in Star Trek have I gone to watch and review "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" and it is purely because as I am older and hopefully wiser I thought I should give it and the rest of the movies another go.

Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

So the big question is really will those who are not big Star Trek fans get anything from watching "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" and the answer is both yes and no. The yes part comes from the fact that you don't need to be a Star Trek buff to follow what is going on and the storyline which features an energy cloud on a direct collision course with Earth is not bad. I say not bad because rather than being an action movie "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" aims for something more intelligent with its look at emotion and logic. It is a scene hinted at when we first catch up with Spock as he is going through the ritual of Kolinahr where all emotion is purged and as such the level of action might not be enough for those who see space and think action movies.

But there is the "no" part to my original answer as at times "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" feels like it has been made very much with fans in mind with some scenes ending up feeling laborious for those who are not so bothered by the old shows. What I mean can be highlighted from the scene where Kirk and Scotty take an external tour of the refitted Enterprise, a scene which goes on and on and on to the point of tedium. Now there is a purpose to this scene because it is all about Kirk's emotion driven connection to the ship which has driven him to assume command but it could have been dealt with in a better way and less of a scene which starts to make "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" feel like a movie reliant on special effects to keep people entertained.

What this all boils down to is that "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" is okay because from a non Trekkie it has as much wrong with it as it has right. But it is a space movie for those who want more than just space action as those seeking space battles are going to likely become bored by the laboured styling.