The crew of the Starship Enterprise investigates a
colossal alien spacecraft that is headed directly for Earth.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Directed by Robert Wise
Written by Harold Livingston
Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley,
James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols,
Majel Barrett, Stephen Collins, Persis Khambatta
Sequel to the 1966-1969 TV series
Oscar Nominations - Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects,
Best Original Score (Jerry Goldsmith)
I can understand the massive cult following of this film, its preceding TV series, and its many sequels. I doubt there's a person on this planet who hasn't heard of Star Trek. Still, not all of them can be winners, especially when that film spends two hours building up a climax and fails to deliver. I don't care how big your cult status is. When your movie has no story, it's a bad movie, plain and simple. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was the revitalization of one of pop culture's biggest phenomenons. I find it incredible that it ever went past the first movie, because there are very few things to like about it.
It is cool to see the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise reunited again, even if the film ignores Chekov, Uhura, Scotty, and Sulu in favor of keeping up with Kirk, Spock, and Bones. Say what you want about the reboot (which I highly enjoyed), but at least it gave each character a moment to shine. This film devotes no time at all to character development and instead opts to focus all two hours and eleven minutes on establishing shots of the mysterious villain V'Ger, who turns out to be a roided-out version of the Voyager VI spacecraft. This reveal basically means that there is no real villain and therefore, no conflict. It means we just spent two hours watching the Enterprise crew watch a big space cloud.
I've seen a decent chunk of the Star Trek films, and most of them are worth-watching. It's a chore to get through this first one, but the end result is ultimately worth it. This film has an incredibly weak script and features some solid phoned-in acting from pretty much everyone involved. I'll never know why the plot for the very first Star Trek movie revolved around a staring contest between the Enterprise and a poor man's Death Star, but it's a wonder the rest of the films weren't cancelled on the spot.