On the eve of retirement, Kirk and McCoy are charged with assassinating the Klingon High Chancellor and imprisoned. The Enterprise crew must help them escape to thwart a conspiracy aimed at ... Read allOn the eve of retirement, Kirk and McCoy are charged with assassinating the Klingon High Chancellor and imprisoned. The Enterprise crew must help them escape to thwart a conspiracy aimed at sabotaging the last best hope for peace.On the eve of retirement, Kirk and McCoy are charged with assassinating the Klingon High Chancellor and imprisoned. The Enterprise crew must help them escape to thwart a conspiracy aimed at sabotaging the last best hope for peace.
This is the best of the film series for several reasons. The timeliness of the film's release with real-world events. (Funny how Col. West had a contingency plan for terrorism along the Federation's border. Made me wish we had one prior to 9-11) The issue of how people can be frightened of drastic change (what a very Clinton-esque message) mirroring Kirk and crew's emotional baggage helps propel the plot forward and makes it believable.
A great tense score and tight editing (sorry, no overlong speeches and theorizing) combined with terrific performances from Christopher Plummer and the best yet from the original ensemble kept me glued to my seat the whole time. Additional characters are actually relevant, unlike Saavik, the Marcuses, et al., and although I should have seen it coming I was surprised how far-reaching the conspiracy to kill Gorkon actually was, even including a Vulcan! Fun cameos from Michael Dorn, Christian Slater and Iman lighten the mood. Her presence finally makes McCoy quip to Kirk "What is it with you, anyway?" which is something that should have been said years ago. Must be the girdle. The Klingon attack scene at the end is great unrelenting action and was better than Khan's attack on the Enterprise in Part II (see my comments on that film to get an idea).
"The Undiscovered Country" is essentially a mystery in space with political overtones and it's great fun watching Spock and Valeris unravel the mystery piece by piece. Valeris (Kim Cattrall)is given more to do than Saavik ever was. The only nit-picking comments I have is just why couldn't the assassins just throw the boots out the window? If an explosion in space wasn't monitored until the shockwave hit the Excelsior, how would the Enterprise find the boots? Would the NCC-1701 just shift gears into reverse?
A lot has been made about the clock errors. To me, it's not terribly important since it's just background and your attention should not be there anyway. It was a bad idea to include such a prop though.
The only wasted role belongs to Scotty but he had his moment of greatness in "The Voyage Home" during the transparent aluminum scenes. He also delivers the corniest line of the film during dinner with the Klingons: "Maybe we are looking at something of that future here!" Well, duh!
Everything that made Star Trek great is in this film: action, great one-liners from McCoy and Chekhov, the peace message, the Klingons, Spock's logic skills, literary quotes and celebrity cameos makes "The Undiscovered Country" a worthy send-off to perhaps the most celebrated ensemble cast in entertainment history. Even if you're not a Trek-fan, you would enjoy this picture and is well worth the rental/purchase.
- May 4, 2004