Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country [1991]

Genre: Action, Adventure, Mystery
Devoted Star Trek fans will surely cite the "even number" rule in evaluating the Original Crew Movie Collection, but all six of these films qualify as rousing entertainment. Undeniably, the even-numbered films in Paramount's lucrative Trek franchise tended to be the best, as demonstrated by the superiority of The Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home, and The Undiscovered Country. And yet each film has something to offer die-hard Trekkers, beginning with the epic-scale wonders of the first Motion Picture (presented here as a two-disc special edition). Evolving from Gene Roddenberry's aborted attempt at a second Star Trek TV series, the effects-laden Motion Picture divided fans while proving that Star Trek had a promising big-screen future. Nicholas Meyer's The Wrath of Khan made good on that promise, reviving the Star Trek spirit and proving, in the case of Mr. Spock, that beloved characters "never really die." It's widely regarded as the best of these half-dozen features. With its deadly Klingon confrontation, the Leonard Nimoy-directed Search for Spock was a thrilling (albeit contrived) excuse for Spock's inevitable resurrection, and its somber tone was readily countered by the Earth-based humor of Nimoy's The Voyage Home, combining a planetary crisis with a lively--and phenomenally popular--time-travel plot line. Unfortunately, William Shatner then lobbied for the director's chair, and The Final Frontier--an uneasy mixture of cheesy humor and grandiose themes--was the regrettable outcome. Paramount rallied by inviting Nicholas Meyer to repeat his Khan success, and Meyer rose to the occasion with the sharply scripted thrills of The Undiscovered Country. By ending the film with an official signature send-off from the "classic Trek" cast, the original crew brought their big-screen legacy to a graceful and upbeat conclusion, setting the stage for a transitional adventure in Star Trek: Generations. --Jeff Shannon

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