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Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
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61 out of 92 people found the following review useful:

better than you've heard

Author: dr_foreman from Brooklyn, NY
19 March 2004

I almost never agree with Trekkies! They usually pan "Star Trek III" and label it a disappointing follow-up to the classic "Wrath of Khan." But I just don't see anything wrong here. The Klingons are delightfully over-the-top villains, the effects and spaceship models are great (arguably the best in the series), and the theft of the Enterprise is a wonderful sequence loaded with humor and tension. DeForest Kelley gets some great material as the "possessed" McCoy, and Shatner's performance - slightly more understated than in the last film - is again rock solid.

So what's the problem? I suppose this movie has difficulties standing on its own; it relies heavily on knowledge of "Khan." But, such issues inevitably crop up when you're dealing with a long-running series of interconnected movies, and they don't matter much in terms of raw entertainment value. Some fans complain that nothing really happens in this film - it's just about getting Spock back and nothing else - but the death of David and the destruction of the Enterprise load it up with more than enough dramatic punch for me.

And, can you possibly imagine Picard stealing the Enterprise to go on a rescue mission? I can't. This movie's storyline captures exactly what makes the original crew so warm, funny, and rebellious...and so it's a good Trek movie, despite what the fans will tell you.

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54 out of 81 people found the following review useful:

Flushoooooo Toiletoooo: Crapoooooo!

Author: garthbarnes-83945 from United States
28 June 2015

Spoilers Ahead:

Poor Judith Anderson the first lady of Film Noir. Want to see her before? Watch THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS and other great performances. Young actors, this could happen to you if you do not save your money. I bet England called and wanted her title back. Do you blame them? How would you like to be enveloped in smoke bombs, surrounded by bald people in bathrobes with big triangles on them? Hey, seriously, I felt really bad for her. A great actress and this is what people under 40 will remember her for. If you like bald people milling about doing some kind of hokey pokey smoke bomb ceremony for twenty minutes; this is the movie for you. Before this, Kirk brought the parts to Vulcan for reassembly, his Katra or some mumbo jumbo, hey I was asleep at this point, who gives a crap? I love the rescue of Bones, the worst shot action scene in film history. The big guy begins his roll before Sulu throws him, now that is strength, must be his Katra. In the same scene, the big guy is shown blocking the wall ram with his arm, Nimoy was not exactly Michael Bay.

If you ran the space station and Kirk, after you turned him down for using the Enterprise, says I will hire a ship, I'll get a ship! Would you raise the security around the Enterprise say a wee bit? Yes, you can just walk right in, he never would have anticipated that, great writing. See, they call it a space station because they have more than one ship there. They would not just send Excelsior, maybe like six other ships? The Genesis planet ages in wonderful consanguinity with the script, slow until the Enterprise is blown up then it goes like lightning. I love when humanists do ethics, see axioms have consequences; the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many whose axiom was that, let me think, I know; Adolph Hitler. Yes, that was the rule he lived by, how'd that work out? It is the exact opposite of Spock's axiom in the WRATH OF KHAN. See, put down the comic books and think about what words mean when you say them. Why are we living on the Klingon ship? Why do I know all about Kruge's, cabbage head, little dogie? Why would I give a poop?

The film has to be seen to be believed; you will see why Kirstie Alley declined to reprise her role as Saavik, do you blame her? Would you like to do some kinky, creepy scene with her fingers and Spock: the disassembled, kiddie years? Talk about making your skin crawl scene, please we are eating out here. GROSS OUT. The film is surpassed only by STAR TREK 5: God Wants Out Of The Picture as the absolute nadir of the original cast movies. The acting is terrible; it is boring, stupid and as believable as your flying through the air. Some scenes evoked laughter when I saw this with 500 other people. The kinky finger mating scene had non stop giggling by the audience all through it. Kirstie, you made the right decision, you saved yourself eternal humiliation. Please, get a room; the movie is bad even for Star Trek and that is saying something.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

The weakest of the "trilogy."

Author: Li-1
26 January 2003

3.5 out of 10

Star Trek III, naturally entitled The Search for Spock, should have been an exhilarating adventure that lauded the bonds of friendship and honor, but instead, it comes off as a hokey, boring journey lacking in imagination and exciting conflict. Even the movie's key scene, the destruction of the Enterprise, is delivered in ho-hum fashion.

It turns out Spock is still alive, mind-melded into the doctor's body while his own physical state is currently regenerating on the planet Genesis (why Spock would do this without knowing his body would be regenerated is pretty harsh, considering the schizoid mental problems McCoy begins to suffer from). Thus, Kirk disobeys his superiors, hijacks the Enterprise, and goes on a quest to mend Spock's body and mind together.

Highlighting the movie's biggest flaw is the horribly unconvincing soundstage that represents Genesis. Most of the visual effects are quite good, but any scene set on that planet's surface throws all "reality" out the window. The film also moves at a painfully slow pace, never delivering much in the way of taut suspense, and the plot fails to conjure up any intriguing ideas or surprises. This Trek was a necessary installment, and at least the follow-up, The Voyage was superior, but this is one movie that's hard to plod through, and I'm a Trek fan.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"He is not himself, but he lives."

Author: classicsoncall from Florida, New York
14 January 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A good portion of the reviews for the movie here are not kind, but for my part, I put "The Search for Spock" on a par with my favorite episode of the original Star Trek TV series. That would be 'Amok Time' which examined Vulcan rituals and customs, and interestingly, pitted Spock (Leonard Nimoy) against his captain and best friend, James T. Kirk (William Shatner) in a battle to the death. The return to Spock's home planet in this film was a cool way to bring the story back around to his Vulcan roots and add to the mythology of Star Trek by introducing such concepts as the Fal-tor-pan (the refusion of Vulcan legend), and the soul essence of Vulcans called the 'katra'.

With the Genesis planet at the heart of a galactic controversy, and Admiral Kirk confronted by the possibility that he might have betrayed Spock, he has no alternative but to hijack the dry docked Enterprise and proceed on a mission that turns the original theme of 'Wrath of Khan' on it's head. In other words, the mission to bring Spock back to Mt. Seleya on planet Vulcan is one in which the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many. The Star Trek core group is at the ready for this rescue mission, with Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) in particular an indispensable part of the group - he has inadvertently become the keeper of the katra so to speak. Spock transferred the essence of his soul into McCoy with a version of a mind meld before making the ultimate sacrifice in the prior movie.

Now if you're a Christopher Lloyd fan but only know him from the 'Taxi' TV series or the 'Back to the Future' flicks, his role here elevates him to the status of one of Star Trek's top villains. I've read that portraying Klingon Commander Kruge was one of his favorite movie roles, and one can readily see why. He plays the part with a vile malevolence that's quite extraordinary. I'd like to say the same for his canine companion, but that was one sorry looking mutt, wasn't it?.

The battle of wits between Kirk and Kruge brought to mind another favorite TV episode, 'The Corbomite Maneuver', a story in which Captain Kirk seemingly made up all that business about a destruct sequence to thwart an overpowering enemy. Apparently it was a good enough idea to incorporate into Star Trek lore as a legitimate way of dealing with an enemy who got the upper hand. Or in McCoy's words, a way of turning death into a fighting chance to live. A brilliant strategy on Kirk's part as it turned out, as the Enterprise was headed for the scrap heap anyway.

I could probably go on with more positives for the story, but I think you get my drift. Rewatching the Star Trek movies in order once again is like reuniting with old friends, an exercise that never seems to grow old, even if the players do. In some ways, Star Trek is a lot like life, the stories come and go, ...and the adventure continues...

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Up your shaft.....

Author: FlashCallahan from Leicester, United Kingdom
2 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The unpleasant incident with Khans Wrath had cost the life of Mr. Spock...........or so it seemed.

Admiral Kirk is informed by Spock's father Sarek that his son is being kept alive in the thoughts of one of the crew members. It now becomes necessary to search for Spock's body, so that flesh and soul can be rejoined on Vulcan.

It turns out that Spock's spirit is residing within the mind of the Vulcan's longtime shipmate, Dr. McCoy.

Finding the body is another matter, since the Enterprise has been consigned to the trash heap and thus is out of Kirk's jurisdiction......

With a helpful 'previously on....' At the beginning of the film, ST:TSFS takes no time in getting straight to the main point of the narrative, find Spock, and maybe we can find ourselves along the way.

There are a lot of metaphors in the film surrounding life, mortality, and finally death, but these never really hinder the pace of the story, and after the tense and dark second entry, it's a bit of a relief that this has a more light hearted, almost Schumacher touch to the sets and the colours of the film.

Take Lloyds uber villain, as despicable as he is, he's almost pantomime with his performance and gait, and when we first meet him with his Henson Workshop pet, and that really eighties neon lighting, it takes the urgency away from his motivation.

But Lloyd seems to be enjoying the fact he is playing a Klingon, and Nimoy as director just seems to let him do what he wants. Shatner is more Shatner in this, and he hams up the screen, especially in the hilarious final fight between him and Lloyd (I particularly loved the backflip).

But it's all highly enjoyable, the sets are astonishing, and the film is full of vibrant colours that almost make the film feel a little like 'The Temple Of Doom' in the final act (which was out at the same time).

But do yourself a favour, don't do what my father did and take me to see this without seeing the prior movie, you'll feel like you're watching totally incoherent.

It's best watching II and III back to back.

It works so much better...

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A dull and forgettable entry into the series

Author: Daniel Loe from United States
17 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So, I'm not generally one of those people who are really critical of the Star Trek movies just because they don't 'have the intelligent messages' of the show. I get that they need to appeal to a broader audience, and sometimes I think that works better, because I've liked most of the Star Trek movies to some degree and then there are some that I can just respect but don't really care for them.

Search for Spock, is more like that, except, I really have very little respect for it. Movies like Generations, or even Nemesis, have lots of flaws whether it's in the acting, the story, the characters or whatever, but those always have some entertaining sequences, but Search for Spock really doesn't have anything like that. It is just so boring.

I mean, nowadays, the Kirk era style just feels a little corny, so you kind of have to judge it based on the time. Wrath of Khan, for example, has corny moments, but the story, atmosphere, acting, and writing all elevated it past the cheesy moments, so that the audience was willing to ignore the weak links. The problem with Search for Spock is that it doesn't give us anything. We get the slowest build-up ever, as we spend at least an hour just to get Enterprise to the Genesis Planet, and let's not mention this is essentially a glorified reset button for Wrath of Khan.

Spock is resurrected by a deus ex machine plot device introduced for the movie (the Vulcan Khat'ra), David Marcus dies, Carol Marcus disappears, never to be mentioned again, the Genesis planet is destroyed, so…yeah, you take one of the best Star Trek movies and nullify it. Also, we have one of the lamest villains in Kruge, who tops even William Shatner on overacting. The only positive to him is that he is so cheesy he makes his scenes marginally entertaining, but they still aren't actually good scenes. He and Kirk get into a really weak, fake-looking brawl, which is the final battle of the two action scenes in the movie (the first being the 5-second space battle between the Enterprise and the bird of prey). I'm not saying action is the most important part of a Star Trek movie, or even necessarily an important part, but when a movie has nothing else going for it, an entertaining action scene can go a long way. This is by no means the worst Star Trek movie, but this one has so little going for it that it's hard to see why it would even be considered one of the better ones.

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Where's the logic in offering me a ride home?

Author: Maddyclassicfilms from United Kingdom
15 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is directed by Leonard Nimoy and has music by James Horner. The film stars William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, Christopher Lloyd, Robin Curtis, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Merritt Butrick, Mark Lenard, Judith Anderson and Leonard Nimoy.

This is a very good film and pretty underrated compared to some of the others. It has several moving scenes and is really funny too. McCoy trying to charter a ship in an alien bar is hysterical. The mind meld scene between Kirk and Sarek is very moving and Christopher Lloyd is excellent as the cunning Klingon Captain. It's a bit odd that Carol Marcus isn't in this film, you'd think she would have wanted to study the Genesis planet.

The Search for Spock is set shortly after the events of The Wrath of Khan. Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew are returning to Earth, Kirk is devastated by Spock's loss and is struggling to come to terms with it.

David(Merritt Butrick) and Lt. Saavik(Robin Curtis)have been assigned to the Starfleet ship Grissom, they are in orbit of the Genesis planet and are studying how the planet is evolving. That sector is off limits now to anyone apart from their science team.

When the Enterprise returns to Earth, Kirk is told the ship is to be decommissioned. Dr. McCoy(DeForest Kelley)appears to be having some sort of breakdown and Kirk is visited by Spock's father Sarek(Mark Lenard).

Sarek pleads with Kirk to return Spock's body to Vulcan(at the end of the previous film he was buried on the Genesis planet), he tells Kirk there is a ritual that could restore Spock to life. It is discovered that McCoy is now carrying Spock's memories and personality within his own mind, that is why Spock melded with him at the end of Wrath of Khan.

Spock's memories must be taken from McCoy and placed back into Spock's mind. Kirk, Scotty, Sulu, McCoy and Chekov steal the Enterprise and head to the Genesis planet.

Rogue Klingon Captain Kruge(Christopher Lloyd)has found out about the Genesis device and realises the potential it has to be a weapon. He and his crew head to the Genesis planet.

This film has some very interesting things in it, such as the mystical Vulcan ceremony that can restore life and the accelerated development of the Genesis planet. It makes you think also about the positives and negatives of building a device like Genesis.

Although it's great that Spock lives again, I think this lessens the impact of his sacrifice at the end of The Wrath of Khan. I think it would have been better if he stayed dead, and then we could see the impact on Kirk and McCoy and how they coped with that loss.

Well directed by Nimoy, with strong performances from the cast. Shatner is good as the devastated Kirk who will stop at nothing if there is even the slightest chance of saving Spock. Robin Curtis is good as Saavik, but it is a shame that Kirstie Alley didn't reprise the role.

Doohan, Takei, Nichols and Koenig get more to do in this film and that's great to see. DeForest Kelley steals every scene he's in as a very different Dr.McCoy.

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Is it a search if they know where he is the whole time?

Author: Jonathan Fisk
13 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It feels a little strange to say, but this film may be worse than the first Star Trek movie. At least the first film was creative and slightly intriguing, even if it did not translate to the big screen. But The Search for Spock contained little mystery, a prolonged and obvious outcome, and continued the same flawed subplot (and basically the only negative aspect of) The Wrath of Khan, that being the Genesis Project. This unlikely Federation project was at least a bit on the afterburner in the previous film, compared to Khan's quest for vengeance against Kirk. Now it's the main story as it gives Spock his rebirth, but this time there is hardly any thought to the moral dilemma of the project.

There are some positives in this film; I don't think it is a disaster. It was nice to see the rest of the crew given a little more of the spotlight, such as Uhura putting the young Federation member in his place (then she disappearing for basically the rest of the film…) and Sulu taking out the Federation MP's (his hand-to-hand combat is much more believable than Kirk's; more on that in a bit). Also, while it is a little strange to see Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon, he made the character sinister and interesting.

But my main criticism with Search for Spock is that we always know Spock will return, and the child version of the character is found early on. The film could have been so much better if the Spock regeneration was settled during the first or second act, then we can move on to a new Star Trek adventure with the crew back together. There is a sense with this film, especially since it was directed by Leonard Nimoy himself, that Kirk got his movie with Wrath of Khan, now let's explore more about Spock's nature throughout this entire film. But it all just comes across as a lackluster, immediate follow-up to the previous installment. With Wrath of Khan, it felt like a reboot to the franchise, not a sequel. But this film exemplified exactly what most of us don't like about sequels: trying to wrap- up loose ends from the last film and taking it up a notch from there, but failing.

Final thoughts: Please, no more hand-to-hand combat from Kirk, it doesn't work anymore. The character plays so much better as a captain outwitting the enemy, as he does with the destruction of the Enterprise. And are you serious with that Ponfar scene? I know Kirstie Alley said she didn't want to be typecast, so she chose not to continue her role as Saavik, but I have to think that this scene with post-adolescent Spock had to really push her over the edge. Plus, do we really think that these characters who are pushing 50 could walk up all of those steps on Vulcan carrying a comatose Spock? Scotty must have been freaking out. And what is Bones regular "poison"? Gotta be Romulan ale.

*My film rating follows the soccer player rating measure of 6 as a baseline: you did what was expected of you. This film is a 4 because it fails to intrigue and shows essentially nothing new. It is simply a sequel trying to continue the excitement of its predecessor, but utterly failing.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Send in the Klingons……

Author: John M Upton from Southern England
21 August 2004

Well the plot is a little thin here, little more than the rescue and recovery of Spock, interrupted along the way by some passing nutty Klingons. There seems to be nowhere near as much substance to this film unlike its wonderful predecessor, however again the intelligent dialogue from the second Trek film is also present here and it was wonderful to see the return of another character from the original series played by the same actor, this time Mark Lenard as Spock's father and Vulcan Ambassador Sarek.

The special effects are turned out well even though the seemingly endless Genesis planet gradually disintegrating scenes started to grate after a while. One oddity that just did not work however was the change of actress for Vulcan Lt Saavik whilst the Commander of the Klingon vessel was just a plain loon.

There where some great comedy moments, McCoy in the bar trying to perform a Vulcan neck pinch, the whole USS Excelsior debacle with one of the best stutters and stops I have ever seen and Kirk's wonderful riposte to the Klingon Commander from the Genesis planet after the Enterprise has been destroyed along with most of the Klingon crew – cest la vie!

All right but not one of the best, still watchable none the less.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Decent Search.

Author: phillafella from Nashville, TN
16 February 2004

STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK picks up where THE WRATH OF KHAN left off with a bittersweet situation. The Starship crew have defeated Khan, but in the process, Spock died, McCoy (Kelley) is beginning to go insane, and Admiral Kirk (Shatner) and the rest of the team have lost control of the Starship Enterprise, but when Spock's father visits unexpectedly, they steal the ship back and thus beginning the search for Mr. Spock, with the evil Klingons right behind them. A decent, but rather weak entry in the Star Trek movies that manages to push past average status with the help of some great special effects and Nimoy's fine direction.

3 out of 5

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