Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Star Trek III: The Search for Spock</strong> (1984)

(Second Viewing, On Blu-ray, November 2018) The running gag about the first Star Trek movies is that the even-numbered ones were bad and the odd-numbered ones were good, but it’s all relative—Star Trek III: The Search for Spock may be a bit dull at times, but it’s not quite as bad as the first or fifth instalments. Directly picking up where Star Trek II left off and leading directly to Star Trek IV, this instalment is entirely dedicated to tying up the big loose end left by the second film: Spock’s death. It feels more like an episode of the TV show that a movie-worthy story, although there are definitely stronger moments scattered in the film. I mean: Spock is found! Kirk’s son dies! The Enterprise self-destructs! Compared to Star Trek: Genesis, at least it’s to save Spock, and part of the film’s explicit moral is that sometimes a single person can justify heroic sacrifices. At least The Search for Spock is reasonably interesting to watch, with nearly every original cast member getting something to do. The special effects, alas, are very uneven: Some sequences look terrible, while others look great. Leonard Nimoy’s direction is usually average, falling back on TV-worthy framing and never quite attempting anything out of the ordinary. The Search for Spock all amounts to an acceptable entry, and one that doesn’t quite overstay its welcome at 105 minutes.

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