The Movie Maestro's Reviews: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) dir. Robert Wise
A momentous landmark in the Trek franchise that is unfairly savaged. There, I said it. Lumped in with the other odd-numbered films as sharing the same nonexistent "Curse," TMP is a remarkably different film from every single one to come after. Focused on pure sci-fi storytelling instead of good vs. evil tropes, TMP achieves the same moral code and tone as the Original Series, with it's characters seeking peaceful resolution and understanding with both the unknown and each other.
Yes, the pace of this film is slow and plodding; I'd argue that was the point, considering this was a multi-million dollar tentpole feature adaptation of a series never known for remarkable production value. Every shot is designed to allow viewers in 1979 to let their collective jaws drop, to savor the incredible detail in every starship that lumbers by the screen. While Jerry Goldsmith's lush and bizarre alien orchestrations fill the sonic void, veteran director Robert Wise actually forms a mostly-coherent story out of Roddenberry's constant rewrite demands, and ILM completes the experience with amazing footage of the Vger "miniature." (The damn thing was 60 feet long!) Yes, it is slow. Yes, there are problems with continuity. Yes, the Starfleet uniforms are ridiculous. But putting aside the nitpicking, TMP is not devoid of merit, for without it's existence and financial success (yes, it was), the continuation of Star Trek would have been in jeopardy.
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