Newest Review: ... through Paramount Pictures in December 1991. It is available from Amazon for £4.75 DVD or £6.99 Blu-ray although there are many versio... more
STVI:TUC-Discover this and enjoy
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (DVD)
Member Name: jonnyfun06
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (DVD)
Advantages: Star Trek as I remember with a little shakespear thrown in
Disadvantages: Terrible picture quality for not an old film!
At the end of the eighties, the world changed in ways that we could hardly imagine. One of the factors was the Chernobyl accident in 1986. When the Ukrainian reactor exploded, sending a radioactive cloud across most of Western Europe, it became clear that the Soviet economy and infrastructure was in dire straits. The subsequeunt events reshaped the political world and ushered in a brief era of peace, culminating in those memorable days when the Berlin wall came down. After the disappointing Star Trek V, the sci-fi series needed an explosive film to end the Original Series era, and by reflecting the world shaking events of the time, The Undiscovered Country certainly proved to be a memorable swansong for the original cast.
When Praxis, the moon of the Klingon homeworld explodes in an industrial accident, the Klingon Empire finds itself at a crossroads in its history. With their economy in tatters and no longer able to pursue their aggressive foreign policies, the Klingons take the opportunity to sue for peace with their traditional enemies, the Federation. Spock has met with the Klingons to arrange peace talks between the two powers on behalf of the Vulcan Ambassador, and presents this at an emergency meeting with Starfleet. He has volunteered the Enterprise and Captain Kirk to extend the first hand of friendship and meet the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon at the border. Kirk is livid though, as he still has a deep hatred for the Klingons, who he blames for the death of his son.
Nevertheless, the Enterprise makes it's rendezvous with the Klingon ship, and Kirk even goes as far as to invite the Klingon delegation to dinner, a dinner that sees animosities barely restrained. Kirk has barely slept off the effects of the Romulan ale consumed at the dinner, when the Enterprise suddenly fires at the unshielded Klingon ship. The Klingons lose their gravity, and two space-suited figures beam aboard and assassinate the Chancellor. Kirk in an attempt to salvage the peace process surrenders to the Klingons, and in an effort to help, beams aboard the stricken Klingon vessel with Doctor McCoy. The Klingon General Chang arrests the two officers and charges them with the assassination of Chancellor Gorkon.
While Kirk and McCoy stand trial on the Klingon homeworld, Spock must discover what really happened and who it is who wants to destroy the peace initiative. For while the peace talks have been rescheduled, the real assassins are still out there.
The picture on this disc raises a rather contentious issue, not least for the fact that it's absolutely dire. If the resolution wasn't low enough, the picture itself is soft and indistinct in itself.
It's a considerable shame as Director Nicholas Meyer creates an atmospheric and moody style for the movie. Many of the scenes are dark and expressive use of light and shadow creates a style not seen in Star Trek prior to this movie.
It's a shame that one of the best produced and memorable of the Star Trek movies, which is also the last hurrah for the original cast is presented on a disc which is little better than the VHS version.
On the other hand, the sound is presented in impressive DD 5.1 English or German, with a DD 2.0 Surround track in Czech for good measure. The surround is powerful and effective, though of course it isn't up to the thunderous standards of modern sci-fi movies. The sound is suitably atmospheric when needed and conveys the action well. When starships are zipping by at warp speed and photon torpedoes are pummelling vessels, your speakers make you fully aware of the fact.
Cliff Eidelman provides the music and it is an excellent score that suits the story perfectly. His music is ominous as required as the opening credits presage events of galactic consequence, as well as the fitting fanfare for the Enterprise' final voyage.
Two trailers make up the bonus features, how unusual for Paramount.
"Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!" Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is a fitting end to a generation's voyages. A compelling story and exciting action figure strongly in a film that will entertain fans and non-fans alike. The witty script allows us to see the regular cast at their best, and in a nod to Sherlock Holmes, we see a good old-fashioned mystery on the Enterprise driving the suspense in the film.
The movie very closely parallels the world events of the time, and the hopeful message of peace is all too evident here. While the film does take a while to get going, the climax is explosive and thrilling, and they do send off the cast in the right way.
The entire original cast are comfortable in their roles and it's great to see the magic one final time. Notably, William Shatner's Kirk in this film is a more human character, a little world weary and burdened by his losses. He's more a small player in big events rather than the heroic Kirk of previous movies, and this film is all the better for it. Each of the original characters has his own part to play in the proceedings and gets to make his or her mark on the story.
The guest cast is also good and play off the regular cast well. David Warner stars in his second Trek in a row, this time as the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon. Kim Cattrall is the Vulcan Lieutenant Valeris and is a fundamental character in the story. Christopher Plummer is General Chang and his propensity to quote Shakespeare at every opportunity makes for an entertaining character and something more rounded than the usual Star Trek bad guy. Added cameos include Iman as a shapeshifter and Christian Slater as a crewmember. Star Trek links include Michael Dorn as Colonel Worf, the grandfather of his TNG character and an early Trek appearance for Rene Auberjonois, who would later play Odo on DS9.
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country isn't as good as I remember it to be. A tiny niggle, but one that bugs me every time I see it is the addition of a digital clock to the bridge of the Enterprise. Supposedly there to add dramatic tension, now all it does is scream continuity error every time it comes into camera. Slightly more problematic is the amount of exposition. The middle act of the film is quite bloated in terms of dialogue and information to be put across. While the forms of the courtroom drama, and the mystery are usually quite effective in disguising this, and Nicholas Meyer uses directorial flourishes to enliven the dialogue, it still tends to slow the film down considerably.
Those problems aside, Star Trek VI is still an entertaining romp A good film is let down dismally by a pitiful picture quality
Summary: Up there with the best.