Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) (part 3 of 6)
Chekov’s fiasco with the boots is nicely funny, and is a rare moment of humor in a Trek piece advancing the story, rather than stalling it.
It’s been said before, but the Kirk vs. Kirk scene is a definite highlight. Not often Shatner manages to out-ham himself! Also, nice to see even a fake Kirk has the cheesiest fighting style known to man.
The reveal of the real assassins of Gorkon is nice (two minor officers who are shown to be racist pricks, in a rather obvious scene, since Valeris interrupts them), and the reveal of Valeris as a conspirator is also well done.
The scene where Spock gets Valeris to talk is a problematic one. While it’s very dramatic and well-played by both actors, it’s more than a little unsettling to have a beloved character essentially mind-rape information out of the villain in front of a few of his closest friends, plus a few random extra crewmembers who don’t know him from Adam.
Actually, I’m understating things a bit, as Nimoy is surprisingly scary when he gets pissed off. Shame he never played more villain roles.
The race against time to save the Federation president is a nicely tight suspense sequence, with a great space battle… Actually, you can’t really call it a battle when one ship is getting curb-stomped. Still damn good, though.
The music and special effects are so damn good, that you almost feel each hit the ship takes.
The solution to beating the cloaked ship is amusing for a few reasons: First off, as tends to be the case, the bad guys are completely unstoppable until a small weakness is shown. After that, they’re easy pickings, and it’s great when Enterprise and Excelsior take turns blasting the hell out of the ship.
Second, the smartass in me can’t help but notice that this is basically the same way Eddie Murphy got rid of his tail in the first Beverly Hills Cop. Just sub in a banana for a photon torpedo, and a car for a spaceship and… Well you get the point.
I love the resigned way Plummer accepts his fate. It’s just an awesome bit of acting that works like gangbusters.
Another great bit is Scotty getting the drop on the assassin aiming for the President, by kicking in the door like Stallone and blasting the guy through a window. Angry Glaswegian, indeed!
After the assassination attempt is foiled, Kirk and Gorkon’s daughter have a nice moment with each other that’s followed by, of all things, the slow clap that turns into a huge round of applause. My favorite bit from this is the Klingon ambassador clapping stoically in a way that just screams, “I’m clapping so I don’t look like a jerk in front of everybody. Kirk is still an asshole in my book.”
The final sendoff is a nicely done scene (except for one little moment I’ll mention later), that’s genuinely emotional and a little moving.
Having the crew sign off literally with their signatures is just a cool way to end the movie.
And that’s the film! Now, let’s get into the intellectual (for me, at least) crap.