Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
211 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
better than you've heard
dr_foreman19 March 2004
I almost never agree with Trekkies! They usually pan "Star Trek III" and label it a disappointing follow-up to the classic "Wrath of Khan." But I just don't see anything wrong here. The Klingons are delightfully over-the-top villains, the effects and spaceship models are great (arguably the best in the series), and the theft of the Enterprise is a wonderful sequence loaded with humor and tension. DeForest Kelley gets some great material as the "possessed" McCoy, and Shatner's performance - slightly more understated than in the last film - is again rock solid.

So what's the problem? I suppose this movie has difficulties standing on its own; it relies heavily on knowledge of "Khan." But, such issues inevitably crop up when you're dealing with a long-running series of interconnected movies, and they don't matter much in terms of raw entertainment value. Some fans complain that nothing really happens in this film - it's just about getting Spock back and nothing else - but the death of David and the destruction of the Enterprise load it up with more than enough dramatic punch for me.

And, can you possibly imagine Picard stealing the Enterprise to go on a rescue mission? I can't. This movie's storyline captures exactly what makes the original crew so warm, funny, and rebellious...and so it's a good Trek movie, despite what the fans will tell you.
83 out of 119 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Underappreciated Star Trek film
perfectbond4 February 2003
I believe Star Trek III is an underappreciated film in part because it is not accessible to a general audience. It is a pure science fiction film. In my opinion it is the one odd numbered film in the series that isn't victimized by 'the curse' of uneven numeration. I enjoyed the film because of the exciting action and fight sequences, the nostalgia, and the developed characterization of characters I am already so familiar with. I also found the film to be surprisingly spiritual and revelatory, a rarity for a sequel in a commercial film franchise. Anyone with close friends will be touched by Kirk's loyalty and sacrifice for Spock. Highly recommended, 8/10.
36 out of 66 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Best odd numbered "Trek"
jhaggardjr17 August 2000
The even numbered "Star Trek" movies (parts 2, 4, 6, 8) have turned out to be the best in the series while the odd numbered ones (parts 1, 3, 5, 7, 9) are the weaker films even though some of the odd numbered ones are pretty good. "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" is, in my opinion, the best odd numbered movie in the series to date. If you recall at the end of "Star Trek II", Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) gave his life to save his friends. His coffin was shipped off to the Genesis Planet, an experiment co-created by Kirk's son David. "Star Trek III" opens with some of this footage from the previous film. As the new scenes begin, the Enterprise crew is on their way home. But weird things start happening. Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) begins to act strange, and a lifeform has been discovered on the Genesis Planet. Is Spock really dead? Is Dr. McCoy going insane? Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) discovers that before his demise Mr. Spock implanted some of his mind into Dr. McCoy, which explains why he's been acting unusual. Spock's father Sarek tells Kirk that he must find Spock's body in whatever condition it's in if there's any chance for Spock and McCoy to have peace. And what follows is a very exciting adventure. In addition to finding Spock, the Enterprise crew must do battle with their most lethal enemy, the Klingons, who's leader (Christopher Lloyd) wants the secrets to the Genesis Project. As far as how good this film is, "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" is just a few notches below "Star Trek II". The story could have used a little tightening and it's a little slow in the first half. But then the film picks up the pace with a thrilling second half. Will Spock be rescued? By now I think everybody knows the answer to this question. Leonard Nimoy made his directorial debut with "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" and did a very good job (he did an even better job on the next film "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home"). "Star Trek III" has all the other elements as well: action, special effects, and performances, all above average. The cast does a good job as usual. Shatner, Kelley, and the rest of the Enterprise crew are back in good form. Lloyd is an exceptional villain here. Look for a pre-"Night Court" John Larroquette as a Klingon. "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" is a fun movie, which was a perfect set-up for the next "Star Trek" adventure.

*** (out of four)
36 out of 68 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A solid and good yet predictable sequel that does not disappoint
mike4812828 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
One of the better written and directed Star Trek (early) movies. The actors (especially "Scotty and Bones") look quite long-in-the-tooth. So many full head wigs, probably sold at a "fire sale" to Pat Sajak of Wheel Of Fortune. Just a comment about Vulcan men in "season". There must be more to it than the intense rubbing of fingertips. The ILM models are good but some of the scenes look over-processed and a bit fake. Christopher Lloyd makes a pretty good "Klingon" and his snarly alligator-dog is a hoot! The new "Vulcans" prove that it's all in the ear make-up as female "Saavik" can truly be played by anyone, so it appears. A rather fast-moving story with pretty good scenery and somewhat convincing set decoration. The "puppet worms" on the planet look truly disgusting. The Genesis Planet doesn't look quite as hokey as most Star Trek "worlds" do. I expected Kirk's son would die as both the other hostages were needed for the movie to continue. Star Trek (usually) only kills off extraneous female aliens. As usual, typically over-tight costumes on female personnel. Saavik was needed to help transport young Spock's "body shell" home to Vulcan. A good satisfying film although quite a predictable ending. A nice Star Trek adventure from beginning to end.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
William Shatner VS Christopher Lloyd
DarthBill15 April 2004
Picking up where "The Wrath of Khan" left off, McCoy seems to be going mad, the Enterprise is being retired, Kirk mourns the loss of Spock and his son Dr. David Marcus is off exploring his newly created Genesis planet with the lovely Vulcan vixen Saavik (exit Kirstie Alley, enter Robin Curtis). Kirk then finds out from Sarek (Mark Lenard, who had a brief, unrecognizable role in the opening of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" as an ill fated Klingon Commander and played a Romulan before playing Spock's dad) catches up with Kirk and tells him that there's a chance at resurrecting Spock, who's mind and spirit are housed in McCoy's brain while his body is on Genesis. Feeling obligated to return the favor for saving them all at the end of #2, Kirk and the gang hijack the Enterprise and rush towards the Genesis planet to rescue Spock "in whatever form he may still be alive." Meanwhile, a bodily resurrected and rapidly re-aging Spock has been found by Saavik and David and they are stranded on Genesis after their ship is destroyed by Klingon Commander Kruge (Christopher Lloyd) and he comes looking for them in hopes of unlocking the secrets of the Genesis project, which he thinks could be used as a weapon against his people. Who will survive?

Considered by some to be trash and by others to be the only good odd numbered Star Trek film, this is a sufficiently entertaining bit of science fiction yarn that continues following the theme of what happens when you mess with mother nature. Good performances as usual, with Lloyd giving one of his best as the Klingon Commander Kruge, who becomes oddly sympathetic in light of his blood thirsty actions when you consider that he was just looking out for his own brood and was willing to spare the crew of the USS Grissom. Shatner's brawl with Lloyd is also fun to watch, and the film still has that great James Horner music. Don't miss Shatner kicking Lloyd in the face shouting "I... have HAD... enough of... YOU!"

Robin Curtis is a capable Saavik. As a bit of trivia, Saavik apparently engaged in sexual intercourse with Spock while he was going through his aging phases and, as part of an idea never utilized in the films or even in the spin off series, Saavik became pregnant with Spock's child, which was originally why she was supposed to stay on Vulcan in "Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home".
21 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Intelligent life in the universe....
Mister-617 May 2002
Let's fact it, wasn't this film inevitable? I doubt true Trekkers would have it any other way.

After Spock's sacrifice in the previous "Wrath of Khan", it only stands to reason that if there was a glimmer of hope to bring him back that his friends would seize the opportunity...which they indeed do in "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock", leading the Enterprise crew on their most risky "Trek" of all.

Upon urging from Spock's father Sarek (Lenard, great as always), Admiral Kirk (Shatner) gathers up Bones (Kelley), Sulu (Takei), Chekov (Koenig) and Scott (Doohan) race for the slowly degenerating Genesis planet to find their friend.

This being the "Star Trek" universe, however, intrigue abounds as a group of treacherous Klingons (headed by the suitably villainous Lloyd) also head to the planet to find its secrets. Instead they find Lt. Saavik (Curtis), Dr. Marcus (Butrick)...and a young Vulcan boy.

As directed by Leonard Nimoy himself and penned by Harve Bennett, this film plays much like a Greek tragedy, with loss, great drama and pathos played out against a backdrop of galaxies, heroes, villains and hope itself: the greatest power in the universe.

The acting is right on note as is the action, neither of which pushes the story any further than it will go. And the FX are as good as what you've come to expect from this galaxy. Everything and everyone is uniformly fine, right down the line.

But do they actually find Spock at the end? Ah, that would be telling. You'll have to catch the next film in the series as (without any doubt), the Enterprise crew's adventures continue.

Ten stars for "Star Trek III", a "Search" well worth seeking out.
35 out of 71 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Criminally underrated
mozillameister14 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I think the problem with The Search For Spock was that it followed such a spectacular movie. Wrath of Khan is one of the best sci fi movies ever made. Even if you aren't a Trek fan, it's intensity and pacing is unrivaled.

TSFS never tries to even touch what TWOK did. Even though it's right after the events of that film, it has a much light hearted and optimistic tone.

And if you go watch them as separate films and come in with no expectations, you'll see a very fun and tightly wounded story with impeccable acting and great dialog.

Story wise, it's a really simple tale. Spock was left on Genesis but his mind is still in McCoy. They need to go back and get Spock in whatever condition he is to mend his soul. Except Klingons.

The plot isn't what drives the film, but the characters really do flesh out the story. Seeing McCoy acting all crazy is hilarious, and several really memorable scenes really make this film a joy to rewatch. Christopher Lloyd is awesome if a bit hokey as a Klingon baddie. Some truly memorable quotes here too.

In the end, it's a very enjoyable film with great acting and pacing. It's a top notch film done on a shoe string budget. Even more impressive that it's Nimoys first directing film, and you would never know it watching this.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Nothing new, except actress!
rememberdave14 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This part in the film series reused everything that was interesting in part II and just made it corny and illogical. With part II, we know that the third test of the Genesis project is underway. The Federation is looking for a planet in order to test Genesis. We have gotten this far because the other tests have succeeded. The underground cave from the second test was a paradise. From here, it would have taken at least some time to prepare test 3, and they would have reviewed test 2 at least a little bit. It did not take a genius to see that test 3 was failing. Savik and David knew something was wrong early on. In sum, the cave paradise of test 2 didn't destroy itself and was a tried and true success after 2 tests. This movie cancels all of that out apparently. Another logical sticking point in my side is when Savik gives David a hard time about using Proto-matter and all the lives lost due to him using this proto-matter. At this point in the movie, no one had died on the collapsing planet from the good guys at least. The Genesis Device could be used as a weapon regardless of the existence of proto-matter. Where does death actually occur due to the fact that proto-matter was used? The device was already deadly if it were used where life already exists. So here we are canceling out earlier logic from the previous film, or at least, added confusion. Who did the proto-matter kill that a non-proto-matter device would not kill? And finally, the actress who played Carol Marcus was not in this film. When the Klingons are watching the stolen proposal for the Genesis project, it is now Kirk giving the proposal instead of Carol.(I am sure this is because in real-life the actress was not in this film.) How do we explain why Kirk is now in the proposal to the Federation? The Federation is hip-deep into the Genesis project. There is no need for Kirk to record a new proposal. The project is already on stage 3. Moreover, if he was going to record anything regarding Genesis, it would have been updated material. It would have included everything regarding Khan setting off the device, etc. It seems like the producer or director wanted to show the very costly, but very cool Genesis simulation so bad but they didn't have the actress's permission for the briefing portion, so they used Kirk, but didn't provide a practical, logical reason in the story why Kirk was the person presenting this very old information. To the Federation, this is old news. Why was Kirk saying word-for-word what Carol Marcus had said? Why the change? And then who was Kirk's intended audience? Logically, they would have the scientist explain what the scientist invented, but again, The Federation is well beyond the introduction stage with Genesis. This whole movie seemed to be stuck on the introduction of Genesis. Also, the Genesis Device was used up in the last movie so malevolent parties have to go after the data regarding Genesis not the device. Physical device versions currently do not exist. The Klingons in this movie behaved as if Kirk is the only one who has this information in all of the Federation, yet, in the beginning of this film 2 random Han Solo type dudes were able to steal the plans from The Federation. This fact makes Christopher Lloyd's motivation a little flaky, or even disingenuous. It was almost like he had a personal grudge like Khan, yet he did not have a personal grudge. Why bother with Kirk so much. Go after a scientist on Savik's ship. Don't destroy it. He wanted Genesis, but the writer wanted him to have to go through Kirk to get it. Just before Lloyd's character dies, he yells at Kirk, "GIVE ME GENESIS!!!" His henchmen just killed one of the main scientists that created Genesis by picking him at random to kill in order to get Kirk to submit. David and Carol have no special allegiance to the Federation. Why was he messing with Kirk again?

I think Genesis really did kill this movie. If they wanted to wrap a movie around Genesis, maybe they should have just started out on Earth where they learn that Romulans, Klingons, and others are all trying to get their hands on Genesis information, or maybe one of them already has had it for a little while? I know Kirk and the Enterprise needs to be a barrier for the bad guys, but a barrier to information that probably quite a few upper-rank members of the Federation and multiple scientists has knowledge of, makes Lloyd's character seem dumb, and dumb characters are no match for Kirk. By The Search for Spock, Genesis is not going to be secret for long and to go through Kirk is like taking the long way around a mountain.

They also spent too much running-time on the Genesis planet itself. The kid should have grown into an adult Spock in one sequence/shot. Too much running-time was spent with adolescent Spock. A continuous transform into adult Spock would have made a great scene. If they started the movie on Earth, we wouldn't have needed Savik either. No need for 2 actresses. I liked Robin Curtis, but it is hard to ignore that she is a different actress playing an established role. Too much carry-over from the last movie. The Wrath of Khan should have been exposition only, or mostly. TWOK had many events and seemed to span multiple days of movie-time. TSfS picked right up, kept the same pace for a little bit of the running-time, but ran out of steam by ACT II.

In sum, at least half of this movie's running-time seemed to take place in a few hours of movie-time. This film has too many mundane moments and unnecessary actions that really don't move the story forward. We basically watch an afternoon unfold for the last half of this movie. The writer did a poor job of reusing the elements from TWoK, and they seem forced. They used the elements for the sake of using them and not out of creative desire.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
You'll never watch "Taxi" reruns the same way again!
ray-2804 August 2006
Christopher Lloyd has to be one of the most brilliant actors in history. When I first saw him, as Reverend Jim Ignatowski, I was very young, and his presence was very "memorable." As with Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, it takes several different performances to truly grasp his range.

The rest of the cast? If you have to ask....

The plot? If you have to ask...okay, this time the crew goes on a mission to find Spock, whose mind has been placed in Dr. McCoy for safekeeping while his body chilled out at the Genesis spa. Only a vulcan ritual can make everything right, but first the crew has to retrieve Spock's body from Genesis, and in doing so they encounter the evil Klingon commander Kruge (Lloyd).

The special effects on this film were subpar, particularly the fight scenes on the exploding Genesis planet; I've seen better special effects with fire on a soap opera. That's acceptable, however, since when the film came out, we needed Spock to return to the living, though today's audiences wouldn't understand the significance of having killed him off at the end of II.

To those who don't know, when Kruge says "I come all this way for Genesis, and this is what I find," Lloyd is in the character of Reverend Jim from Taxi, and the theater I was in exploded in laughter at the time; this joke would be lost on anyone who hasn't seen that series. All that was missing was Danny DeVito as a space dispatcher or Andy Kaufman as an alien.

Whereas Star Trek I tilted a little too much towards the hardcore fan base, and Star Trek II was perfect for everyone (by far the best of the series), Star Trek III was a decent film that satisfied the intense cravings of Trekkies (not Trekkers, as there was no shame in being a Trekkie back then) for more footage of the famous crew of space pioneers. This was before the internet, before cable and even video stores (almost), and when all we had were the 78/79 episodes that were in reruns and which we had memorized every line to. I left the theater pleased with the film, knowing it could have been better, but it also could have been far worse.

Perhaps the film's greatest achievement is that it was obviously made to cash in on the growing rerun audience from the series, yet it still managed to be superior to most episodes, while stacking up decently against every other Trek film ever made, except for Star Trek II and First Contact.

If you're a hardcore fan, buy the DVD; if not, catch it on cable. Either way, you'll be pleased.
22 out of 47 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Competent, but not great...
mentalcritic5 October 2004
Perhaps it is the inevitable comparison to the previous episode, but Star Trek III very much has a feel of being low-rent or second-rate. An excellent example of this can be seen whenever Saavik is on the screen. Kirstie Alley may not be the greatest actor in the world, but Robin Curtis succeeds in making her look like Anna Paquin or Sigourney Weaver by comparison. The strange thing is that Merritt Butrick seems to suffer a decline in performance whenever he is in the same frame with her.

Let's face it, any dialogue heavy film was going to be a letdown after the epic battles in Star Trek II. A very personal battle between two enemies that have been festering in one another's minds for years is always going to make a brief fight with a crew of Klingons seem pretty restrained by comparison. A lot of the film's plot elements also come second-hand from the previous film, so it isn't as if much is done to separate it.

The spaceship sequences also look far less realistic in this film than is the case in the past two films. It seems that Paramount hired another effects house to simulate these moments, and the result is that the ships look as if they are under a constant invisible spotlight, rather than the realistic tones that were evident in the previous two films. The combat doesn't seem nearly as realistic, either. After the massive tradings of torpedoes and phaser energy in the previous film, expecting us to believe the Enterprise can be disabled by a single torpedo is a bit much.

The dynamic between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy was always a big part of what made the original series work, so it's not surprising that an entire film be dedicated to restoring this dynamic. To the credit of the screenwriters, it works. The fights on the surface of Genesis, and some of the dialogues, give the whole film a connection with the audience that later films in the franchise particularly lack. Everyone certainly has a friend that they'd do things like this for if they had to, so it's hard not to get behind the Enterprise crew as they battle for one of their most prominent members.

I would have appreciated more footage to show how Uhura arrives on Vulcan, and what the Federation does when they learn that the crew is on Vulcan. Still, the film is much more tightly paced than some give it credit for, so we can let that one slide. It is, however, interesting to note how little internal security the Starfleet orbital station has. I would have thought that the Starfleet version of the drunk tank would have more than just two security guards, given the wide variation in alien races that make up the organisation.

In all, I gave Star Trek III a six out of ten. Most sequels try to be bigger and bolder than the previous episode. Star Trek III is an exception, but it certainly is a worthwhile viewing if you like a bit of science fiction.
24 out of 54 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The weakest of the "trilogy."
Li-126 January 2003
3.5 out of 10

Star Trek III, naturally entitled The Search for Spock, should have been an exhilarating adventure that lauded the bonds of friendship and honor, but instead, it comes off as a hokey, boring journey lacking in imagination and exciting conflict. Even the movie's key scene, the destruction of the Enterprise, is delivered in ho-hum fashion.

It turns out Spock is still alive, mind-melded into the doctor's body while his own physical state is currently regenerating on the planet Genesis (why Spock would do this without knowing his body would be regenerated is pretty harsh, considering the schizoid mental problems McCoy begins to suffer from). Thus, Kirk disobeys his superiors, hijacks the Enterprise, and goes on a quest to mend Spock's body and mind together.

Highlighting the movie's biggest flaw is the horribly unconvincing soundstage that represents Genesis. Most of the visual effects are quite good, but any scene set on that planet's surface throws all "reality" out the window. The film also moves at a painfully slow pace, never delivering much in the way of taut suspense, and the plot fails to conjure up any intriguing ideas or surprises. This Trek was a necessary installment, and at least the follow-up, The Voyage was superior, but this is one movie that's hard to plod through, and I'm a Trek fan.
14 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The search for script (DVD)
leplatypus25 August 2010
I never liked this segment and the new viewing doesn't change anything: it's dull and flat as all rescue stories. It's a galactic Baywatch, without the"talent" of Pamela! If Davis is a fine substitute for Saavik and "Doc" the best Klingon ever, the magic of Trek eludes me there.

The audio commentary says that in a trilogy, the middle part is always the weakest or hardest because the audience loses the excitement of the original surprise and lacks the pleasure of the ending climax. Well, i remember to have seen excellent "Part II" movies: Back to the future, Superman, Empire strikes back, War of the clones, Aliens! Here, I think the explanation comes the empty seat for Spock that tells a lot of the importance of the character. Thus my reluctance to see next generation, explorer, deep space, enterprise shows and my pleasure to go to the revamping of the original series in 2009.

That's makes me aware of a strange fact: as a child or a teen, we never went to a Trek movie in spite my parents are really cool about movies. But it's true than in France, Trek haven't the same glamor than Star Wars, maybe because the merchandising was quite nonexistent. I discovered Trek, show and movies, with the defunct TV channel "La Cinq" thus around the beginning of the nineties that's is to say the end of this wonderful story of filmmaking.

Thus, just Warp 10 to ST 4 !
9 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Needs of One...
cariart27 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK was yet another 'Star Trek' film Paramount had not originally intended to make (considering the profits the studio has reaped from the franchise, their continuing narrow vision is astonishing!), but Spock's death in STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN had created such controversy, and the first two Trek films had been so successful, that it required little arm-twisting to convince studio bosses to 'green light' a third installment (with a very modest budget).

Producer/Writer Harve Bennett knew how he wanted to resurrect Spock, but with Nicholas Meyer unavailable to direct, he needed someone familiar with the 'Star Trek Universe' to helm the project. So when 'Spock', himself, Leonard Nimoy, expressed a desire to direct it, Bennett was more than pleased. Nimoy was not a complete novice, having directed for television (including an episode of William Shatner's 'T.J. Hooker'), his understanding of his fellow crewmates and Vulcan ritual was unimpeachable, and he had little 'ego', making the working experience with him a joy for everyone involved.

As was the case with ST:TWOK, THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK was filmed primarily on sound stages, due to budget restraints, utilizing existing sets, when possible (which was why the Genesis Planet sequences appeared so claustrophobic). The film begins with a flashback from the previous film, concluding with Spock's coffin on the Genesis Planet. As the Enterprise returns to Earth to be decommissioned, strange things are happening to Dr. McCoy (the always reliable DeForest Kelley). He is hanging out in Spock's darkened quarters, and Spock's voice can be heard, coming from him. Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) chalks it up to depression, something the entire crew is experiencing, and sympathizes with him. Meanwhile, Kirk's son, David Marcus (Merritt Butrick), and Lt. Saavik (Robin Curtis, replacing Kirstie Alley, who had joined the cast of 'Cheers'), are on a science ship investigating the Genesis Planet (why David's mother, Carol Marcus, isn't involved, or even mentioned, is left unexplained), and they are detecting a lifeform reading that shouldn't be there. Faster than you can say "Spock!", the pair beam down to investigate. Also investigating the planet is a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, helmed by the ruthless Commander Kruge (Christopher Lloyd), who hopes that any technology powerful enough to 'remake' a planet might provide a weapon against the Federation. Destroying the science ship, he and a party beam down to the surface to capture it's 'creator', Marcus.

Back on Earth, Kirk is visited by Spock's father, Sarek (Mark Lenard), who is stunned to discover that Kirk had 'dumped' his son's body on the planet, and didn't possess the Vulcan's 'soul'. Unknown to Kirk, Vulcan ritual required a melding of both body and mind, with resurrection as the end result. Kirk quickly deduces that McCoy possesses the 'soul', (explaining his 'lapses' into Spock's personality) and finds him in a padded cell, after the good doctor, trying to hire a ship to go to the Genesis Planet, attempted to fight off Federation security using a Vulcan nerve pinch. Despite the warnings of the Federation, Kirk, after 'springing' McCoy, and the original crew hijack the Enterprise, and are soon on their way to recover Spock's body, and return it to Vulcan.

Saavik and Marcus find a rejuvenated and rapidly maturing Spock, and the female Vulcan introduces him to sex, when the youth experiences Pon Farr for the first time (one wishes Alley had been playing Saavik during THIS scene!) Soon after, the Klingons capture the trio, and threaten torture to learn Genesis' secret. Learning that the Enterprise is en route, young Marcus sacrifices himself to save the others (Kirk's stunned reaction to the death of his son would color his opinion of Klingons, ever afterward). With the planet self-destructing, Kirk would have to defeat his son's killer, and rescue Spock and Saavik, returning them immediately to Vulcan, or risk losing his friend, forever. The climax, featuring the destruction of the Enterprise, and re-emergence of Leonard Nimoy, as Spock, make ST:TSFS a memorable experience.

While the film lacked the electricity of ST:TWOK, it is a moving, powerful film in it's own right, with a haunting variation of the earlier film's music, by James Horner, and a cameo by legendary Dame Judith Anderson. Nimoy's direction was strong and cinematic, assuring him the directorial duties for the next Trek, THE VOYAGE HOME.

No matter what 'tradition' says about 'odd' and 'even'-numbered 'Star Trek' films, ST:TSFS is not a 'loser', in any sense of the word. It provided Scotty, Uhura, Chekov, and Sulu (James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, and George Takei) their best big-screen appearances, gave Kelley an opportunity to play 'dual' roles, and reaffirmed what ST:TWOK had demonstrated about William Shatner; that after his fiasco in STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, the Canadian actor had truly reclaimed the role of Kirk.

Definitely worth watching!
12 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
You Klingon bastards! Kirk gets personal.
Spikeopath4 March 2008
It is what it is folks, it's a good honest Star Trek story, it beats a real emotive heart and although some may decry the lack of blistering space battles, or end of the universe peril scenarios, it's an essential film for dealing with the protagonists we know and love.

Into the mix here we have our favourite alien enemies The Klingons (led by the oddly cast Christopher Lloyd), Spock's father, Sarek, who adds grace to the story, and crucially Kirk gets an emotional kicker. While elsewhere hardcore fans get a big surprise with the beloved Enterprise.

It's of course merely a set up for the next (and delightfully great) instalment of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, but on its own terms this stands up as one of the better character pieces in the series. Due in no small part to having Leonard Nimoy directing it because he shows care and thought about a subject he obviously knows quite a bit about. 7/10
14 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Is it a search if they know where he is the whole time?
jonathanfisk13 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It feels a little strange to say, but this film may be worse than the first Star Trek movie. At least the first film was creative and slightly intriguing, even if it did not translate to the big screen. But The Search for Spock contained little mystery, a prolonged and obvious outcome, and continued the same flawed subplot (and basically the only negative aspect of) The Wrath of Khan, that being the Genesis Project. This unlikely Federation project was at least a bit on the afterburner in the previous film, compared to Khan's quest for vengeance against Kirk. Now it's the main story as it gives Spock his rebirth, but this time there is hardly any thought to the moral dilemma of the project.

There are some positives in this film; I don't think it is a disaster. It was nice to see the rest of the crew given a little more of the spotlight, such as Uhura putting the young Federation member in his place (then she disappearing for basically the rest of the film…) and Sulu taking out the Federation MP's (his hand-to-hand combat is much more believable than Kirk's; more on that in a bit). Also, while it is a little strange to see Christopher Lloyd as a Klingon, he made the character sinister and interesting.

But my main criticism with Search for Spock is that we always know Spock will return, and the child version of the character is found early on. The film could have been so much better if the Spock regeneration was settled during the first or second act, then we can move on to a new Star Trek adventure with the crew back together. There is a sense with this film, especially since it was directed by Leonard Nimoy himself, that Kirk got his movie with Wrath of Khan, now let's explore more about Spock's nature throughout this entire film. But it all just comes across as a lackluster, immediate follow-up to the previous installment. With Wrath of Khan, it felt like a reboot to the franchise, not a sequel. But this film exemplified exactly what most of us don't like about sequels: trying to wrap- up loose ends from the last film and taking it up a notch from there, but failing.

Final thoughts: Please, no more hand-to-hand combat from Kirk, it doesn't work anymore. The character plays so much better as a captain outwitting the enemy, as he does with the destruction of the Enterprise. And are you serious with that Ponfar scene? I know Kirstie Alley said she didn't want to be typecast, so she chose not to continue her role as Saavik, but I have to think that this scene with post-adolescent Spock had to really push her over the edge. Plus, do we really think that these characters who are pushing 50 could walk up all of those steps on Vulcan carrying a comatose Spock? Scotty must have been freaking out. And what is Bones regular "poison"? Gotta be Romulan ale.

*My film rating follows the soccer player rating measure of 6 as a baseline: you did what was expected of you. This film is a 4 because it fails to intrigue and shows essentially nothing new. It is simply a sequel trying to continue the excitement of its predecessor, but utterly failing.
7 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
a cheese fest film that seems quite the antithesis of its predecessor
citizenchris29 June 2008
Cheap, If I were to asked to describe Star Trek III: The Search for Spock in one word that would have to I'm not just talking about production values, though they would have to be at the top of the list, but every aspect of the this film permeates a kind of cheap feel. The climax of the previous film featured the heart wrenching sacrifice of one of pop cultures more beloved characters. So what is a sequel to do....bring him back of course. So you see the very concept of TSFS is cheap as it nullifies said sacrifice. Where as TWOK shied away from Star Trek's trade mark fuzzy narrative logic and non since science. TSFS could be thought of as one long challenge of your ability to suspend disbelief. Though its not an entire waste as (like the previous film) the score provided by the wonderful James Horner is fantastic. Christopher Lloyd is wonderful as the quintessential Klingon two dimensional protagonist. At the end of the day a cheese fest film that seems quite the antithesis of its predecessor.
9 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This third part in cinema Star Trek turns out to be an exciting and thrilling sequel well directed by Leonard Nimoy
ma-cortes20 October 2005
The film talks the veteran crew of the Enterprise NC1701 piloted by James T.Kirk (Wililam Shatner) arrives in spacial station for repairing their starship but they quickly must set out to search Spock (Leonard Nimoy) who's found on planet Genesis . They'll face off nefarious enemies and battle the Klingon (commanded by Christopher Lloyd) . This Star Trek is principally the follow-up to ¨Wrath of Khan¨ that finished with death of Khan (Ricardo Montalban) and Spock sacrificing his life to save his friends .

The storyline is concentrated on characters as well as thrill-packed action and special effects although there're numerous of that too . The movie has tension , comedy , emotion ,suspense and sensational spacial scenarios as is customary development in the franchise , besides with impressive aircrafts made by means of miniature and non computer generator . Spectacular, exciting , fast-paced , thrilling this is the description of this new outing of Star Trek , film that reinvents various elements , including a perfect pulse narrative that does not give a second of rest to the spectator who is trapped for almost two hours approx. in a genuine visual spectacle . As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew . Usual saga actors making brief appearances as Uhura (Michelle Nichols) , James Doohan (Scotty) , Zulu (George Takei) , Chejov (Walter Koenig) and trademark effects abound in a film that will please the fans and even non enthusiasts will most likely find it agreeable . The villains of the film were originally intended to be Romulans, but upper studio management wanted Klingons to be used since they were better-known enemies. By the time the decision was made, the Romulan ship was already built and they did not want the expense of replacing it. However, since the original Star Trek (1966) series had already established that the Klingons and Romulans had shared technologies and ships in the past (for exactly the same real-world cost-cutting reasons), the idea of Klingons using a Romulan-style vessel was not a problem . The motion picture has a climatic and spectacular ending . Stirring final amazing the spectator , in which the moving and spectacular scenes create a perfect union that terminates with an ending that leaves you stuck in the armchair facing the formidable spectacle as a privileged witness . James Horner musical score (replacing Jerry Goldsmith)is exceptional and atmospheric . Release was well directed by Leonard Nimoy who appears secondary in this film , too . The flick will appeal to long time series buffs such as the neophite .
10 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A dull and forgettable entry into the series
danielloe17 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
So, I'm not generally one of those people who are really critical of the Star Trek movies just because they don't 'have the intelligent messages' of the show. I get that they need to appeal to a broader audience, and sometimes I think that works better, because I've liked most of the Star Trek movies to some degree and then there are some that I can just respect but don't really care for them.

Search for Spock, is more like that, except, I really have very little respect for it. Movies like Generations, or even Nemesis, have lots of flaws whether it's in the acting, the story, the characters or whatever, but those always have some entertaining sequences, but Search for Spock really doesn't have anything like that. It is just so boring.

I mean, nowadays, the Kirk era style just feels a little corny, so you kind of have to judge it based on the time. Wrath of Khan, for example, has corny moments, but the story, atmosphere, acting, and writing all elevated it past the cheesy moments, so that the audience was willing to ignore the weak links. The problem with Search for Spock is that it doesn't give us anything. We get the slowest build-up ever, as we spend at least an hour just to get Enterprise to the Genesis Planet, and let's not mention this is essentially a glorified reset button for Wrath of Khan.

Spock is resurrected by a deus ex machine plot device introduced for the movie (the Vulcan Khat'ra), David Marcus dies, Carol Marcus disappears, never to be mentioned again, the Genesis planet is destroyed, so…yeah, you take one of the best Star Trek movies and nullify it. Also, we have one of the lamest villains in Kruge, who tops even William Shatner on overacting. The only positive to him is that he is so cheesy he makes his scenes marginally entertaining, but they still aren't actually good scenes. He and Kirk get into a really weak, fake-looking brawl, which is the final battle of the two action scenes in the movie (the first being the 5-second space battle between the Enterprise and the bird of prey). I'm not saying action is the most important part of a Star Trek movie, or even necessarily an important part, but when a movie has nothing else going for it, an entertaining action scene can go a long way. This is by no means the worst Star Trek movie, but this one has so little going for it that it's hard to see why it would even be considered one of the better ones.
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Worst Star Trek by far!!!
Tschibo31 January 2003
Sorry, but this is the most boring, stilted, non-enjoyable ST movie of them all. I'm really a big ST fan, but all this meta-matter stuff and oh-so-angry Kirk/Kirk's son story isn't really enjoyable. For me it's the worst ST movie. By far, as the summary says
11 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Worst Trek Movie
pkanzow23 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Who are all these people saying Star Trek V was the worst ST movie? It wasn't. This one was.

*** Here be spoilers ***

"The Search For Spock" was boring most of the time. Merrit Buttrick was boring. Where was his brilliant mother, Bibi Besch? Robin Curtis was boring. Why in all heavens did they let Kirstie Alley go? These boring persons were walking trough a planet which was instable. We knew that from the beginning, and were just waiting for the thing to explode. It took way to long. The film did not make us fear and mourn one second for the dying planet and the failing project which should have brought life to desert planets.

Yes, and they had Spock with them. A kid at the beginning, rapidly aging but never showing any interesting feature. Not only because Spock's soul was elsewhere, but because the script had no ideas for him. He was played by four actors other than Nimoy himself, none of which did anything interesting.

Boy, was that boring.

The better parts of this movie were Kirk and his crew stealing the Enterprise, but Scotty sabotaging the Excelsior seems rather unbelievable. I wish they had escaped because they are the better sailors. Then they have a confrontation with some Klingons. I always like space battles. But this one was disappointing. It started promising. Kirk's and the Klingon ships both damaged, both captains thinking the other was in the better position, and both bluffing. But then intelligence left the Klingon when he sent all his men into Kirk's simple trap. No comparison to Khan.

Overall, these Klingons were far worse than the ones of ST V. The Klingon Captain running around only screaming for the Genesis device became boring fast. Fortunately, he killed one of the other bores.

Since the plot was not really interesting, something exciting had to happen. Let's blow up the Enterprise and swap ships, the writers thought. So Kirk blows up the Enterprise to get rid of a dozen Klingons whom he had lured on board. These dozen Klingons had come, by the way, to take over a ship of 400 crewmen. Wow. And then they went into a trap. And there was no way to fill the bridge with narcotic gas to knock them out? It had to be self-destruction?

At the end, we have to force ourselves through the Vulcan ritual of transferring a soul from one body to the other. We knew it would succeed. Why was it taking so long then, and why did everybody say "it wasn't done forever, and only in legends" ? It was plain boring.

Finally, Spock was back, and the film started to be interesting, trek-like - five minutes before it ended. Maybe we had to go through this to get Spock back. The price was not too high, thinking e.g. of his brilliant role in ST VI. But hey, hadn't the crew left Spock on Genesis, they could have spared themselves from becoming criminals, destroying the Enterprise, and boring the fans with this superfluous film where only the music is remarkable.
12 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The end justifies all that is wrong
SnoopyStyle31 December 2013
This is a weak movie, but all is forgiven. Star Trek II ends with the heroic sacrifice of Spock's life. This one aims to bring him back to life. The franchise needs Spock. So even if this is a bad movie, it's justifiable as long as Spock returns.

The Genesis device has caused great consternation with the Klingons who see the device as a dangerous weapon. Klingon commander Kruge (Christopher Lloyd) is seeking the device at the newly created planet. Saavik and David are there to research the planet, but they find a Vulcan boy near Spock's final resting place.

Meanwhile the Enterprise crew returns to base to find that they have lost their ship. Spock has transferred his mind into McCoy. Now the crew must steal the Enterprise and return to the Genesis planet so that Spock's mind could be reunited with his body. The whole story of Spock's resurrection is completely hokey and clunky. I guess it's hard to avoid. Bringing back a major character from the dead will do that sometimes. But the cost is small compare to the rewards. Even the final ceremony is hokey and unbearable.

There are plenty of other problems. Not having Kirstie Alley return as Saavik is a minor disappointment. Robin Curtis is way too stiff. She's only half Vulcan after all. On the other hand, Christopher Lloyd is a great actor. The problem with his storyline is that he's so weak. His battles with Kirk are pathetic. The action is lukewarm. Stealing the Enterprise turns out to be the only fun part.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
not bad
mattkratz2 September 2001
A decent entry into the Star Trek motion picture saga. McCoy is going over the edge, and it seems that Spock melded his spirit into McCoy's body shortly before dying in the Wrath of Khan. Kirk must travel to an unstable planet to try and find Spock's body in an effort to rescue his old friend and end all three men's suffering. If you are a fan of the series, you might find some things to like about this movie. I recommend it.

*** out of ****
9 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Search for Plot.
dunmore_ego7 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The rumors of his death have been greatly exaggerated.

It was a fantastic climax, bringing tears to the eyes of Terrans and Vulcans alike, as Spock bad his final farewell through perspex, busting his Live Long and Prosper sign to his lifelong friend whom he could not touch, radiation eating at his body; as Kirk pulled some of the best overacting of his Starfleet career while shooting Spock's coffin at the heart of the Genesis Planet... The conclusion to STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN was a tear-jerking scorcher... But now we find out it needn't have been so overwrought...

You see, in this sequel, STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, we see that just before his death, Spock (Leonard Nimoy), had mind-melded his essence, his "Katra," into Dr. "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley) with what could have been construed a sexual harassment touch and a single word: "Remember!"

Would it have been too much to ask that Spock MENTION THAT FACT to Kirk, who thought he was gone forever and therefore shot his corpse at the Genesis Planet, instead of keeping his body and rushing him to Vulcan General Hospital?

Enticed back into the fold by being offered the director's chair, Leonard Nimoy helms a story by Harve Bennett, that picks up where TREK II left off...

Back on Earth, Kirk (William Shatner) is confronted by Spock's father, Sarek (Mark Lenard), seeking Spock's Katra in the lifelong friend whom we believe Spock would have left it in. Tragically, it is not there. But Bones starts acting weirdly Spocky - and everyone realizes Spock's body must be retrieved from Genesis, to download it with Bones.

Bones-as-Spock tries to hire a black market ship to Genesis, in a cantina sequence that reeks of cheap masks and flimsy plastic sets. Bones is arrested. Kirk, Chekov and Sulu pull a wild west rescue, steal the Enterprise with Scotty and Uhura, and head for Genesis.

Meanwhile, on the science vessel orbiting Genesis, Vulcan Saavik (now Robin Curtis, warp-factor-two hotter than Kirstie Alley) and Kirk's son, David (Merritt Butrick, warp-factor-three feyer than Richard Simmons), discover some terraforming element of Genesis has affected Spock's man-corpse and rejuvenated it as a boy, who is aging in years by the minute. (I dare any Trekker to explain it "scientifically.") Actually, the script makes no sense at all. But we'll continue anyway, just like the filmmakers.

As Kirk's Enterprise wings its warp way to Genesis, so does a Bird of Prey - a Klingon warship of ferocious design, helmed by Captain Kruge (Christopher Lloyd, chewing plastic scenery like Juicy Fruit), the Klingons seeking the Genesis Device. Don't know how they plan to use it for ultimate domination - but it should be great for growing a nice terrarium on their Bird of Prey patio.

Spock continues his growth at an alarming rate, so he goes through his seven-year jones for pointy-eared pussy every few minutes. Saavik does a sensually-charged finger dance with the teenaged Spock, which should outrage a few puritanical thumpers - if they had the wherewithal to apprehend sensuality rather than blatant humping as more conducive to causing social disharmony.

The technical prowess of this production is once again light years ahead of its predecessors, and Nimoy proves himself a good director. Unfortunately, the story is simple in a bad way. And knowing Nimoy is pouting there behind the camera kinda gives the game away, dunnit? And Saavik finding young Spock early in the piece seals the deal that our pointy-eared playmate will soon come out and play with us again. So... what now?...

Let's kill something.

In this TREK, two more Grand Deaths - that of the Enterprise and Kirk's son: one poignant, one very, very fey. Kirk dupes Kruge's Klingon Krew onto the Enterprise, then self-destructs it, as he and his man-crew beam down to Genesis's surface to watch the fireball which used to be their party bus flame into the atmosphere - a heart-wrenching moment for fan boys, almost as bad as the cancellation of the Scott Bakula line of action figures.

David's death is a little funnier: in a callous gesture, Kruge orders a henchman to kill either young Spock, Saavik or David, which prompts David to jump their would-be Klingon assassin, only to get knifed by the Klingon. (Must've gotten that weak fighter gene from his mother's side...) For "tampering in god's domain" (trying to create life with Genesis) David was punished with death - at least, that's what the filmmakers say, to tenuously connect the neck-sweater-wearing David with the brooding genius of Victor Frankenstein) - but I think they just didn't want someone around that fey to tamper with the masculinity of the Kirk legacy.

The dramatic climax involves Kirk fisticuffing Kruge on the Genesis Planet - two middle-aged hammies throwing movie punches on a cardboard set.

Then it's all aboard the Bird of Prey to Vulcan, where Bones is thrown on the op table and mind-melded back into Spock, Teen Spock very conveniently having grown to the age of Leonard Nimoy.

Revived Spock, disoriented, asks of Kirk, "Why did you do this?" Kirk replies, "Because the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many." But I'm not buying it. You mean after all that turmoil in the last movie to illustrate sacrifice, you've just gone through the same amount of turmoil to prove the opposite? What if Chekov or Uhura had died on the Genesis Planet? Think Kirk would have wasted the fuel to go back? There would have been ten irate fan letters and the series would have green-lit production on STAR TREK IV with one less above-the-line paycheck to worry about.

Because the needs of the many (the fans) outweigh the needs of the few (one minor bad actor).
7 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The equal of Star Trek II whatever others might say.
ozthegreatat4233011 April 2007
Those who whine and complain about the Star Trek movies are usually not fans of the series. This film was a logical progression from what came before. Shatner (admittedly not an Olivier) nonetheless handles the character of James T. Kirk very well, and never better than in this episode. Deforest Kelly was at his finest as McCoy. Christopher Lloyd and John Lithgow were excellent as Klingon villains. But it was the hand of Leonard Nimoy who both helped write the script and direct to bring his knowledge of this Star Trek universe together in a manner that could not be expected from someone not intimately involved with it. Paramount Studios never seem to learn their lesson. No matter how much money the Star Trek series or films rake in, they seem to be bound to try and destroy the whole concept. Always miserly with a budget, the directors of the films in particular have had to be extra creative to manage a film on a lot less than they should have been allowed. Despite this Nimoy, to my mind the best director of Star Trek, did an admirable job of directing and acting in this feature.
7 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
There's something about Trek
metalrox_200018 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Never before had so much time been devoted to the characters. Star Trek III: Search for Spok, does get panned by more then a few trek fans. That is very, very sad. Star Trek was one of those that seemed to get better with each passing movie. Each one had a message.

This one took a road that had never been really traveled before. Whereas one expected a hero's welcome for the gallant Enterprise crew. A welcome well deserved for their defeat of the ruthless Kahn, the rescue of the poor Reliant's crew. And, quite by a stroke of luck, the launch of the project known as, Genesis.

Instead, Kirk is greeted with a cold reality. He's told by command that the Enterprise is to be decommissioned, and her crew, to go their separate ways. For all that they had done. Even with the loss of Spok still on their minds, they get hit with the worst bit of reality. Age has caught with them.

They also deal with McCoy's rapidly declining mental status. ENter Sarek, who seeks answers to Spock's death. He thinks that Spock mind melded with Kirk, for Kirk was the last one Spock had contact with.

Turns it that it's McCoy, in a great show of Irony, that Spock melded with. Despite all the banter they endure, now Spock and McCoy are one.

Now it's up to the Enterprise crew to not only save McCoy, but save Spock as well. And unbeknown to Kirk, Savvik and Kirk's son David are held hostage by renegade Klingons, seeking the Genesis devoice for their own means.

What happens next lays the ground work for the next series of movie. This is the best set up of sequels perhaps ever done. David's death at the hand of the klingons fuels Kirk's hatred towards them. This serves as a key point in the Undiscovered Country, when the Klingon's seeking peace after their moon explodes, are attacked. All the blame is laid at Cpt. Kirk. Kirk is used by renegade star fleet members looking to pro long the Klingon federation war. The rescue of Spock actually paves the way for Kirk and his crew to save mankind when Earth is attacked by a space probe in Star Trek IV: the Voyage home.

The movie moves along at a great pace, and always keeps the viewer interested. It also expands the klingons, as well. It makes them a little more, shall we say, human, in their own sadistic way.

And it also contains the classic exchange where Kirk sends the Klingon Captian, played to perfection by Christopher Lloyd, where Kirk send the Klingon to his death, saying "I have had enough of you!" This is one of the best Star Trek films ever made, and deserves to be treated as such.
8 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed