Part VI: The Search for More Money
Let me pose a quick conundrum for you. Let’s say you have a franchise on your hands. Furthermore, with the previous addition to said franchise you did very well and made lots and lots of money. You even managed to gain a whole onslaught of new fans and your franchise is more popular than ever! What profitable fun this must be for you! But wait, one of the reasons that film did so well is because you went ahead and killed off the most beloved character. Uh oh! Test audiences aren’t gonna like your franchise without him! So, what do you do to solve this little pickle?
Well, the answer comes in the form of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (SFS). “What’s the point of this movie?” you ask. Well it’s simple, SFS systematically undoes every single thing done in Wrath of Khan (WOK). Seriously. Everything! New planet that was created in WOK, gone. James Kirk’s son who he just met in WOK? Nah, he’s got to go. What about Spock though!? Oh that’s easy, since his corpse was sent to a newly created planet, surely Spock would get reincarnated once there right? Suuuuurrre…… ??? Nobody wants a child Spock though! Oh, okay, in that case maybe while boy Spock is on the planet he ages rapidly? Great! Then we can get him out of there just in time! Whew! We did it guys, now lets count our money!
Yeah, plot holes a plenty in this one. Despite that, this movie is actually okay. Not great, at best it’s pretty good. It tries, and things aren’t all hunky dory at the end of all things in this one either. Remember in my blog for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (TMP) when I pointed out that Kirk stole the Enterprise? Well in SFS, Kirk genuinely steals it. He and his crew sabotage another ship. Lie, cheat and steal their way into getting the Enterprise off Earth, directly disobey several orders, and eventually Kirk succeeds in what I think he’s wanted to do all along and finally blows up the Enterprise! Way to go Admiral!
The movie just lacks energy and theres something wholely anticlimactic with the whole thing that holds it back. Somehow Kirk’s repeating of “You killed my son you Klingon bastard!” just doesn’t have the same power as him screaming “Khaaaaann!!!!” Sulu, Scotty, Uhura and the rest of the gang all have significant roles in this one. I’ve been wanting that, and yet, it’s all just still very blah. They have Spock’s soul living in McCoy’s body with McCoy. While this could be a great opportunity for DeForest Kelley to show off some acting chops and have some real Spock/McCoy comedic banter within himself. The whole thing seems wasted and reduced to a few scenes.
Search for Spock desperately wants to be Wrath of Khan, and it’s a true sequel to WOK. The problem though is that this one feels like a sequel. Sure, it sucks to be the movie after WOK. Very hard to live up to that marvel of a film. I just wish they spent more time working on SFS. The whole thing feels like they just kept going with the first ideas they thought of.
If you felt I had too many spoilers in this one: what more did I tell you that the movie’s title hadn’t already?