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Star Trek: The Motion Picture

#38 - Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Robert Wise, 1979

When a strange and destructive entity starts making its way towards Earth, it's up to Kirk and the crew to take control of the Enterprise and deal with it.

The voice of Simon Pegg's character in Spaced echoes in my head: "Sure as day follows night, sure as eggs is eggs, sure as every odd-numbered Star Trek movie is sh*t." I'm sure I'll think of that every time I end up watching an odd-numbered Trek film, but even so I thought I'd try to give this one the benefit of the doubt anyway. The resulting film has an interesting premise, but the problem definitely lies in its execution.

For one thing, it's too damn slow. I can understand taking the 2001 route and taking the time to show off all the shiny effects (and they are good effects for the most part) but it somehow manages to come across as tedious, even with that awesome new theme song playing behind it. It's taken to absurd levels with the scene where the Enterprise goes through a wormhole and everything happens in slow-motion - even the dialogue. There's the usual re-introduction of the main cast and a couple of plot-relevant supporting parts, but having the antagonist be a nebulous ball of light doesn't make for that good a conflict, though the reveal of its true nature is a good one. It's technically well-made for the most part and the Star Trek charm is there, but there's just too much wrong with it to genuinely like (the plot doesn't really make the most of its potential, either). I definitely would not recommend this to people unfamiliar with the franchise.