Earlier this year, I bought all eleven Star Trek movies on iTunes with the intent of re-watching them in order. On days I knew I would spend on an exercise bike of the elliptical at the gym, I would bring my iPad Mini loaded with one of the film to watch while exercising.
It was a pretty good plan.
This morning, I finished the final film (Star Trek Into Darkness) and here is my rankings of the best to wort of the lot. I’ve never seen two lists agree, so I don’t expect anyone to agree with the order.
But hey, it’s my blog – right?
Here we go.
1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
This is the best of the best. Kirk’s Shatner defying the odds. Memorable death scenes. Connections to the classic series. When I first started dating my wife, she had watched Star Trek – but wasn’t a “fan”. A local theater in Orlando showed this on the big screen and I took her. She walked out amazed at just how good the movie was. PROOF that anyone, even non-Trekkies, can acknowledge this as a great film.
2. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek in the sixties was a reflection of social issues at the time, and the most comedic entry in the Star Trek film series returned to that concept by warning us to be nicer to whales or our planet might get destroyed. Great flick.
3. Star Trek (2009)
I know I am going to get some hate from “old school” fans, but I love this film. It was a perfect transition piece from the classic Trek universe into the new one without completely discarding all the previous history. The opening scene had all the emotional impact (when Kirk’s father dies) that we deserved – and didn’t get – in Star Trek: Generations when Kirk himself dies.
4. Star Trek: First Contact
The only good Next Generation film – this was a successful mashup of Star Trek and the film style of Aliens. It gave audiences (myself included) what they wanted: the big bad from the TV series facing off against the crew of the Enterprise in an all-or-nothing struggle.
5. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Not the strongest Star Trek film – but still a great movie. It was also a solid “good-bye” from the original crew to their fans.
6. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Fun movie. Some great scenes. Losing Spock (in part two) is more emotional than losing the ship, though.
7. Star Trek: Generations
I was a huge fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, so I was insanely excited at the prospect of this film. The TNG fan and TOS fan in me were both disappointed, though, in how weak Kirk’s death was. That, and the endless plot holes.
8. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
This film has the nickname “The Motionless Picture” for a number of reasons – all true. It’s science fiction. It’s entertainment. It’s a good nap remedy if needed.
9. Star Trek: Insurrection
This felt like a really long episode of The Next Generation instead of a movie. It was just so bland.
10. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
To think, I lived in an age where this USED TO BE the worst Star Trek film! Shatner-style acting does not translate well into Shatner-style directing. That said, this flick has a great soundtrack. (Not kidding.)
11. Star Trek Into Darkness
I struggled with whether this should be last place or not. Re-watching it, though, I am reminded that the film is actually a pretty good movie… until 63 minutes and 40 seconds in when it was decided that you really, REALLY need to see Carol Marcus in her underwear. Then we announce that the pasty white guy is a character from the best Star Trek movie that was originally an Indian character played by a Latin man. (Here’s my complete rant here: http://www.tomcroom.com/archives/9496) The worst part about this film is how good it could have been.
12. Star Trek: Nemesis
This film ended the franchise to the point that it needed rebooting. This movie is BAD. Like, horrible bad. Like: the worst on my list bad.