In the classic 80s movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Admiral Kirk and his crew have repaired their stolen Klingon ship and decided to leave the planet Vulcan to return to earth and face the charges they have acquired in their quest to save Spock. On their voyage home, they receive a Planetary Distress Signal alerting them a probe orbiting the earth is emitting a large amplification wave that is neutralizing star ships and wreaking havoc with the planet!
The crew is quickly able to establish the amplification wave as the song of the humpback whale, a species now extinct on the planet earth. With some quick calculations and a slingshot around the sun, Kirk and the crew land their ship in the middle of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco in the year 1986, where the perfect pair of humpback whales are being held in captivity. When the crew steps off of the Klingon ship, the fun begins!
The crew splits into three separate groups to accomplish the mission in San Francisco. Most of the films humor occurs within Jim and Spock’s travels. Spock’s Vulcan thinking has provided mild humor in a more cerebral sense throughout Star Trek’s history, but in this installment the chuckles are a bit more ‘human’ oriented. One of the best instances is Spock trying to adapt to the use of “colorful metaphors” indigenous to the people of the late 20th century. He never gets the knack of it, and his use of “the hell” in completely bizarre places never fails to produce a laugh. When Spock administers a nerve-deadening pinch to an annoying punk with a boom box while he and Jim experience public transportation, it is done to great comedic effect and produces a round of cheers from his fellow passengers on the bus!
Spock isn’t the only source of laughs in this film though! Chekhov manages to get off several one-liners while being interrogated aboard the “nuclear wessel” Enterprise in San Francisco Bay; Scotty speed types on a “quaint” computer inside a plastic’s manufacturing plant; and Bones and Kirk, along with their new friend, Dr. Gillian Taylor, stage a fun rescue to save Chekhov’s life from the hands of “medieval” doctors and their medical practices at Mercy Hospital.
After Kirk and the crew slingshot back around the sun, the movie plot tidies up quite quickly and reaches a highly satisfactory conclusion. Star Trek fans will appreciate the juicy surprise that greets the crew after they are sentenced, and people new to the series will enjoy the cheesiness of the closing line!
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is the funniest big screen adventure including Captain Kirk and the original crew. The crew is beginning to show their age, but they don’t look quite ready for AARP yet in this film! Only two more movies featuring the entire cast were released after this one, and their storylines did not reach the quality of the first four films. This really is a must-see classic 1980s movie; it will not disappoint!
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