By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Two Beers) –
On their way home in a captured Klingon vessel after rescuing Spock in Star Trek III, Admiral James T. Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, and the rest of the Enterprise command crew discover Earth is being threatened by a mysterious probe that is wreaking havoc on communications, evaporating the oceans, and causing violent storms that are threatening the planet itself. Analyzing the signals from the probe, Spock concludes that it is attempting to communicate with humpback whales in the Earth’s oceans. With whales long since extinct, the crew travels back in time to find and bring back a pair of the creatures.
A direct response to criticism of the prior film’s dark and moody atmosphere, Star Trek IV is a light-hearted story, more interested in making the viewer laugh than presenting a philosophical treatise. Particularly amusing is the sequence where Spock attempts to communicate with a Whale at an aquarium.
Mind meld or mindfuck? You decide!
Honestly, as silly as it all is, it is also easily closer in feel to the Original TV series than any of the other film entries. The humor is well-timed, and while lacking the mystery of other Trek offerings, the concept is strange enough that it keeps the audience intrigued. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, and Walter Koenig all seem to be having the time of their lives, making great fun of their character’s through the norms and mores of 1980’s American Society.
Why this comeback hasn’t become more popular, I have no idea…
The environmental message of the film has aged quite poorly, and in a modern context feels quite naïve. There is a certain retroactive charm to this, however it can feel like listening to a 14 year old freshman biology student rant about saving the whales.
“Yeah, these whales are like, totally getting killed and stuff”
Emphasizing fish out of water humor over explosions or action. Hard not to enjoy a film where everyone is having so much fun making it.
Take a Drink: each time Kirk or Spock use a curse word incorrectly
Take a Drink: whenever a problem is scienced away with technobabble
Do a Shot: anytime 80’s style music plays