Well that last installment was exciting eh? How do you follow that? This was the task that producer Harve Bennett faced, and together with Leonard Nimoy directing a Star Trek feature for the first time, they set about the task of continuing the story from where The Wrath Of Khan left off. Now a clever trick used here was to re-use the end of the last film’s footage to give us a recap of what had happened. So, you know who is dead, and we saw his casket land on the Genesis planet.
Moving onto the next film made in 1984, The Search For Spock, Dr. McCoy is acting strangely and has been detained. Secondly, Spock’s father Sarek (Mark Lenard) has confronted Kirk about his son’s death, but learns that Spock’s living spirit has been transferred to McCoy and Kirk realises that in order to re-unite Spock’s soul with his body, he has to return to the Genesis planet and then go to Vulcan where a ceremony will take place under the guidance of the High Priestess (Dame Judith Anderson). There is one problem; the Enterprise has been earmark for scrap and Kirk will no longer have a command. Kirk and his crewmates decide to steal Enterprise and make their way to the Genesis planet, but not before Scotty sabotages the USS Excelsior so they cannot be followed.
Meanwhile, a shipful of Klingons led by the evil Kruge who is brilliantly played, as you would expect, by Christopher Lloyd. He is hell bent on getting hold of the Genesis device to use it as a weapon of destruction, but as they can see from the state of the planet that is very quickly disintegrating around them, Genesis does not work and Kirk’s son David and Lieutenant Saavik explain this much. Spock has been found, reborn and is rapidly growing into a man in synchronisation with the planet and if they do not get off the surface, they will all die.
It was nice that they decided to finish this story in another movie, although I think if they had been made now, it probably would have been covered in one longer movie. There were some personnel changes aswell. Kirstie Alley was no longer playing the role of Saavik, instead the part went to Robin Curtis who I personally think did a better job of the part. This was one of the shorter films in the series and I think they got it pretty much right, it was a conclusion of a story and it does exactly what it says on the tin.
Apparently, the bad guys of the film were meant to be the Romulans, but it was decided that as the Klingons were a more recognisable foe, they would be used instead. Of course, the Romulans would become more widely used in The Next Generation, but as a movie antagonist, that race has been largely ignored until the reboot of the series. As for the special effects, I think the work on the Klingon Bird of Prey was very nicely done, in particular the “cloaking” effect which was a new technique for this movie. The film on the whole is good, but it didn’t come close to The Wrath Of Khan and although it finished the good Spock story arc, it did lack a little pizzaz that Khan had possessed. I personally put it in the “its okay” list of the Star Trek movie series.
Star Trek III: The Search For Spock Stats
Budget – $18M
Worldwide Box Office – $87M
Film Length – 103 Minutes
Score On Rotten Tomatoes Review Site – 77%
IMDB Rating – 6.5
Smurfin’ The Web Rating – 3 Stars