Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
Dir: William Shatner
Star Trek fans at a convention recently voted Into Darkness as the worst film in the franchise… They had clearly forgotten this absolute lemon!
While they are meant to be on a break, the crew of the Enterprise find themselves caught up in a journey to the centre of the Universe in the search for a supreme being.
One of the shuttles is called Copernicus, named after the astronomer who made a model of the universe that put the sun at the center. However, I think director & writer William Shatner was attempting to put himself at the center of it here, and by doing so completely lost touch with what he was doing.
Right from the opening the film is distinctly odd, with the opening scene intended as mysterious and intriguing, however directly followed by an incredibly silly rock climbing scene with the main leads having a go at camping. I’m sure these scenes of the men bonding are intended to be endearing, but they didn’t work for me at all.
What was even worse for me was what felt like a blatant rip-off of the Mos Eisley Cantina scene from Star Wars, featuring a terribly misjudged erotic dance from Uhura. It’s another instance of this film undermining the well-regarded characters by putting them in situations that cause them to act very much against their established characterization.
Essentially, the tone of the film is not right throughout. For a start Kirk never seems to hit the right mood, Shatner plays him always far too light throughout the film, there’s a distinct lack of gravitas, especially when you consider that the mission they embark on is meant to be the search for god. The attempts at humor come across closer to slapstick, and it doesn’t work at all.
It’s a mess of a film, a real dud in the franchise, and clearly worse than Into Darkness.