I remember this being one of the first Trek films I ever saw on video back in the 80's and since then it's always held a special place in my heart. Although it is a very shoddy idea (Alien Whales for goodness sake) I still love it to bits.
The whole start of the film with the probe reaching earth is just silly if you ask me and goes on for far too long but I suppose it is setting up the rest of the story. I've always found it rather annoying that we could never understand what the probe was going on about but I suppose that was the point in the first place.
It's only right that the noble crew of the Enterprise would want to go home and face the music for their actions and I love how they rename the Bird of Prey the HMS Bounty (Nice one McCoy). Spock on Vulcan still struggling to discover his true self really interests me.
I love Amanda and her speech which sums it up perfectly.
Amanda: Spock, does the good of the many out weigh the good of the one?
Spock: I would accept that as an axiom.
Amanda: Then you stand here alive because of a mistake made by your flawed, feeling, human friends. They have sacrificed their futures because they believed that the good of the one - you - was more important to them.
Spock: Humans make illogical decisions.
Amanda: They do indeed.
Saavik also has a final scene in the movie where I feel she gives Kirk some sort of peace of mind over David's death in The Search For Spock.
Saavik:[to Kirk] Sir... I have not had the opportunity to tell you about your son. David died most bravely. He saved Spock. He saved us all. I thought you should know.
This film also features the debut of Brock Peters as Admiral Cartwright. For the amount of time he is in this film I enjoy his scenes very much and obviously we all know about his fall from grace in a couple of films time so I will shut up about him for now. I also wonder if it has ever been implied he is a descendant of the Sisko family?(I know I am clutching at straws there because of Brock Peters playing Joseph Sisko in DS9).
When they finally get back to 20Th century earth you can tell this is going to be a 'more for laughs' film from the previous instalments but I don't really think that is a bad thing. 23rd century humans suddenly trying to look 'normal' in modern day is going to be funny no matter what. I must admit though I don't know if I should laugh or groan when the Bird of Prey lands and Kirk says the 'Remember where we parked' line.
There are to many great scenes in this film to mention but a few of my favourites are the scene involving Scotty and McCoy -
McCoy: You realise that by giving him the formula you're altering the future.
Scotty: Why? How do we know he didn't invent the thing?
Scotty talking to the computer via the mouse is a classic.
The crossing the road scene -
Taxi driver: [disgruntled] Why don't you watch where you're going, you dumb-ass!
James T. Kirk: Well, a double dumb-ass on you!
The bus scene with Kirk and Spock and the punk-
(Got to love the lyrics)
Just what is the future?
The things we've done and said?
Let's just push the button
We'd be better off dead
'Cause I hate you
And I berate you.
Spock having his 'funny/crazy' moments through out this film are priceless.
The final scene where Kirk is demoted back to Captain is cheesy but satisfying and also when Spock speaks to Sarek I like that Sarek admits he may of been wrong about Spock joining Starfleet in the first place.
Sarek:As I recall, I opposed your enlistment in Starfleet... It is possible that judgment was incorrect. Your associates are people of good character.
Nothing in this film really bugs me but something that has never made sense to me is Dr. Gillian Taylor and her willingness to bugger off to the 23rd century with just the 'Ive got nobody here' line to cover it!?!
And who can resist that fantastic shot of the Enterprise-A at the end and Kirk saying
James T. Kirk: My friends... we've come home.
It's interesting to note The Shat said he would only do this film if he got a pay increase and the promise of directing the next movie. We all know how well that went don't we but that I think I'll save for another day.