15 July 2016

Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country

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Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country - what the fuck is it about?

The Klingons are about to become our friends after years of constantly getting their head-fannies in a twist. In response, the Federation holds a top-secret meeting to discuss the future. Oh, but Scotty's there, by the way. Because if you're holding a top secret meeting about the future of galactic politics, you'll definitely need a ship's engineer there. When the Berlin Wall came down I'm pretty sure that there'd have been room for a car mechanic around that Dr Strangelove-style table at The Pentagon. The Federation decides that Kirk is to meet a Klingon leader and escort him back to Earth to join in negotiations. This is despite Kirk still being a little space-racist towards the Klingons for murdering his boring son a few movies back. We know this because Kirk says it out loud whilst alone in his bedroom. I guess he has nothing better to do than talk to himself whilst walking around a spaceship as it travels around the galaxy.

Anyway, despite Kirk being on his best behaviour, things do go titties up when most of the Klingons are murdered and he finds himself framed for it. A murder mystery type plot then begins in which Spock tries to decide which of the Enterprise crew may be the actual culprits in order to clear Kirk's name. Could it be their friend Uhura? The trusted Chekov? What about Scotty? Surely at his weight, the only thing that he could murder would be a bacon fucking butty. Okay.. so what about the new recruit played by Kim Cattrall? You know... the one who it most definitely is? Hmm, I guess you'll have to watch and see!

So was it shit or not then?

Beyond anything, this entry probably has the best cast of any of these movies so far. I mean, Christopher Plummer plays a patch-wearing Vulcan as the villain, and who doesn't love watching Christopher Plummer? Plus, if you need your movies villain to be a dick then you can certainly do worse than a one eye'd alien with a pink head. As mentioned, Sex And The City's Kim Cattrall also pops up making this her first appearance in the spin-off movie to a long-running TV show that refuses to acknowledge the ageing of its cast. Although that's probably being a little unfair. Not on her, but on this film which for the first time has Spock say to Kirk “Have we grown so old that we've out-grown our usefulness?” in a moment of poignant brilliance. It's just a shame that it's taken six films and God knows how many tight leather belts to get to it.

As is always the case with the Star Trek films, there's an obvious but admirable subtext here in the way that its story paralleled the recent end to The Cold War. Although fuck that, the movie also features a scene in which Kirk fights an alien that takes on his appearance. I'd argue that that was the most unbelievable part of the franchise- that any creature would willingly look like a portly old Kirk, but who can be cynical with two Shatners on screen? That also means that the veteran Trek actor is now in the same club as such esteemed actors as Dead Ringers' Jeremy Irons, Legend's Tom Hardy, and Double Impact's Jean-Claude Van Damme. In fact, Kirk V Kirk aside, this entire scene is pretty enjoyable as it also features the widest range of visually interesting aliens seen in the series so far. The only thing that worried me is that it's set in a prison called Rura Penthe. When Kirk was sentenced to “hard time” there, I misheard Rura Penthe as "Uhura's panties" and at their age, I really didn't want to see that.

Is this film worth watching? Well, yes. I'm watching them in order of their release and so far it's the best since Wrath Of Khan. Plus Plummer's villain is constantly quoting plays such as Julius Caesar and Hamlet. So regardless, I'd say this movie is worth seeing simply for being a Star Trek film that's co-written by William fucking Shakespeare.

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