A Vulcan exile hijacks the Enterprise to fly to
the center of the galaxy in search of God himself.
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
Directed by William Shatner
Written by David Loughery
Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley,
James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Laurence Luckinbill, David Warner, Charles Cooper, George Murdock
Sequel to 1986's Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
I've heard for years that The Final Frontier was the Star Trek film to avoid. It was stupid, poorly directed, and a colossal waste of time. After finally watching it, I can understand some of the hate, but not all of it. The concept is brilliant, and most of the execution is done fairly well. My one real hang-up is the finale, where we finally meet God, he turns out to be evil, and then they just leave. No fight, no attempt by God to escape, nothing. Even with the terrible ending, it's still leagues better than Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Our story begins with the arrival of Spock's half-brother Sybok (Luckinbill), a religious zealot who was exiled from Vulcan for embracing emotion. He believes that God exists at the center of the universe, and he rallies a cult to find him. He hijacks the Enterprise and brainwashes the crew, only to find God behind the Great Barrier and realize he's a psychotic, all-powerful alien who wants to escape. I guess the budget ran out, because we get two scenes of God roaring at the camera, and then it's just over. We do get a nice Klingon mini-peace, but that's really it.
The Final Frontier is not terrible. It has its flaws, though. Shatner is not an accomplished director, but he did manage to make something I consider memorable. It's far from the worst Trek movie, but that third act ball-drop is pretty bad. At least the original series cast goes out on a high note, I've heard.