Thursday, December 10, 2009

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

A couple movies ago they showed how to make Star Trek funny and make it work, and this time they showed that it can totally succeed by taking itself seriously. There are of course a few moments of levity sprinkled throughout, but Undiscovered Country is generally a very somber, tense movie that succeeded beyond my expectations for the franchise. The conflict is yet again with the Klingons, though it's different this time - a lasting peace is in the cards, but a plot involving mistaken identity and sabotage puts that in jeopardy. The Klingons were always a sci-fi parallel to the USSR, and with the Cold War ending, the writer decided to absolve their differences with Starfleet in basically the same way. There's some really interesting scenes of diplomacy and non-violent conflict, like a dinner with some emissaries that doesn't go too well, and a surprisingly suspenseful trial. Kim Cattrall is another surprising actress to play a young Vulcan officer, but she does a decent job and helps provide the only time the mind meld has ever been scary. It's not a perfect film, but it's definitely a good one, and a nice send-off for the original crew. The end credits begin with the cast literally signing off in farewell, which makes it all the more pathetic that three of them came back yet again in the next movie. But I won't be seeing that for a while.

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