Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) – DVD Review

star trek vi undiscovered country dvd cover

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Leonard Nimoy, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, and Denny Martin Flinn
Directed by: Nicholas Meyer
Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, David Warner, Kim Cattrall, and Christopher Plummer

Features:

  • Running audio commentary by director Meyer and screenwriter Flinn
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda
  • Six production featurettes: “It Started with a Story,” “Prejudice,” “Director Nicholas Meyer,” “Shakespeare and General Chang,” “Bringing It to Life,” “Farewell and Goodbye”
  • Five Star Trek Universe featurettes: “Conversations With Nicholas Meyer,” “Klingons: Conjuring the Legend,” “Federation Operatives,” “Penny’s Toy Box,” “Together Again”
  • Art Imitates Life: The Perils of Peacemaking
  • A farewell: DeForest Kelley – A Tribute
  • Original cast & crew interviews
  • 1991 convention presentation by Nicholas Meyer
  • Archives: Production gallery, storyboards

Released by: Paramount
Region: 1
Rating: PG
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Own it.

Fresh off their exploits where they murdered God (the less said about that the better), Kirk and company are tasked with a diplomatic mission. In an effort to bring an end to the long-standing hostilities between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, Kirk (Shatner) is to escort Chancellor Gorkon (Warner) to a meeting on Earth. When the Enterprise seemingly opens fire on the chancellor’s vessel, things start to get a little hairy. With the revered chancellor and several other high-ranking officers dead, Kirk and McCoy (Kelley) find themselves suspects in the assassination, and it falls to Spock (Nimoy) and the others to clear their names, restore peace, and get to the bottom of a mystery involving the bloodthirsty Klingon General Chang (Plummer) and members of the Federation’s highest command.

In sharp contrast to the previous installment, Star Trek VI is a tightly-paced, well-written sci-fi thriller that calls to mind all the best of the franchise’s shining moments. Fusing classic space opera action sequences with more cerebral conspiracy/mystery elements, the end result is arguably one of the best stories told in the whole of the franchise (second only in my mind to the incomparable Wrath of Khan). The story is excellent, and utilizes the universe and characters to their fullest potential–something that some of the other installments haven’t quite pulled off as well.

The cast steps up to the plate and does the fine job that has come to be expected from Kirk and Company, and are here complimented by excellent supporting performances from Warner and especially Plummer, who just radiates menace throughout. Kim Cattrall does an admirable job as Lt. Valeris, but is sort of a fish out of water in a cast so familiar with each other and the world. This was to be, sadly, the last big-screen appearance of DeForest Kelley and Mark Lenard (as Spock’s father Sarek), and fittingly, there is a tribute to Kelley included as a bonus feature. It would have been nice to give the same attention to Lenard–even though he was a less central figure–if only because he was the only actor to play a member of all three “major” alien races in the original series and films: Vulcan Sarek, a Romulan commander in the original series, and the Klingon commander from the first feature film.

That very minor quibble aside, the features list on this film is as packed to the rafters as all previous installments in the Special Edition line of films. There’s the requisite amount of tearful farewells, as this was to be the last “original series” film, but the occasionally maudlin and over-sentimental analysis aside, there are some really solid production features here. The Okudas’ text commentary is full of trivial goodness, and the audio commentary is excellent as well. The inclusion of the storyboards is cool, and Meyer’s presentation of the film at a 1991 convention is a neat addition. While not as meaty as some of the science-heavy bonus features on previous films, there’s certainly plenty here to absorb. Fans of any science fiction should find this more than entertaining enough to merit purchase.

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By | 2017-09-25T00:00:37+00:00 April 7th, 2004|DVD, Reviews|0 Comments

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