Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Star Trek movie is the most farcical of the big-screen series. As much comedy as adventure derives from the journey of the Starfleet heroes to 1986 Earth, and the relative rudeness and local color they encounter in San Francisco. There are instances of comical swearing and drug references.
What's the story?
Having rescued a returned-from-the-dead Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and committing multiple offenses against Starfleet in the process, the core crew of the now-destroyed starship Enterprise arein exile on the planet Vulcan. Voting unanimously to return to Earth and face justice, they depart in their captured Klingon ship, only to find their home planet besieged by a bizarre, enigmatic alien space probe that's battering Earth through storms and energy drains. The heroes figure out that the probe is trying to contact humpback whales, described as an intelligent species which, by the 23rd century, have been long extinct, hunted to their doom by greedy humans. Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) orders the crew to time-warp back to the 20th century, where humpback whales can be found.
Is it any good?
STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME successfully captured the same lighthearted spirit of some of the classic 1960s TV episodes. The bulk of the fun -- and it is, much of the time, played for breezy laughs, despite the mortal peril for the Earth -- centers on the super-competent 23rd-century visitors' awkwardness fitting into 1986 Earth society and dealing with money, rude people, profanity, exact bus fare, and more.
The cast has seldom been more charming (and that's saying a lot), and there's a running undercurrent about Spock gradually reconnecting with his shipmates and learning to balance logic with emotion. Sure, the special effects are good too (note the use of early CGI to simulate the time warp), but it's the beloved characterizations that set it apart from the vast majority of screen science-fiction that's all about the gadgets, rockets, aliens, and monster costumes.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the movie's emphasis on comedy, and the culture-shock of the future space travelers in (more or less) present-day Earth society. What aspects of this world do you think would bewilder visitors from tomorrow? Also, what eco-messages do you find in the movie?
|Theatrical release date:||November 26, 1986|
|DVD release date:||March 3, 2003|
|Cast:||DeForest Kelley, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner|
|Topics:||Adventures, Ocean creatures, Space and aliens|
|Run time:||119 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||parental guidance|