Boldly Going Pt 6 (Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country, 1991)

ST_The_Undiscovered_Country_PosterStar Trek: the Next Generation was a good half way through its run when the work began on the final voyage of the original crew. Plans were already underway to transition the theatrical films to bring on the Next Generation crew. To try and set up a solid sendoff for Kirk and his crew, they brought back the director of the Wrath of Khan, Nicholas Meyer. The film revolves around plans for the Federation and the Klingon Empire to make peace and join together.

Kirk is not thrilled to be assigned to this, and aside from Spock, the crew begrudgingly following their orders. After a tense dinner with the Klingon Chancellor and his team the Chancellor is murdered and Kirk and McCoy framed and sent to a Klingon Prison Moon.

This forces the rest of the crew to solve the conspiracy and save Kirk and McCoy.

Does the Undiscovered Country work and achieve its goals? I would say that it does succeed. The Conspiracy is not overly complicated and the goals make sense. This allows the tight time frame the characters are working in to not work things out blindly.

It also closes things out feeling like while the crew’s futures are open, we the audience have a real sense of closure. There are some nice little touches like Michael Dorn appearing as Worf’s Grandfather as the Defense for Kirk and McCoy in their trial.

It also has some really good performances (Plummer really chews the scenery with grand pomposity) and great action sequences. It is interesting to see the role “government politics” tend to play in this film, as it often is not something the films really have had a lot of interest in. It was more of an aspect that grew within the later television shows.

While no Wrath of Khan or First Contact, this is a really enjoyable entry within the Star Trek Canon.

A New War (Rambo III, 1988)

first_blood_3_movie_posterThe directorial debut of Peter MacDonald (whose had a bigger career as a second unit director, part of films such as Guardians of the Galaxy and the Empire Strikes Back), Rambo III brings us a Rambo once again in a self imposed exile.  But he is brought back out of this “retirement” because the Soviets have captured Trautman (Richard Crenna).

Rambo goes into Afghanistan and teams up with the Freedom fighters.  He also becomes a father figure to a young Afghani boy.  Ticking off the tropes again.  Rambo earns the trust of the Freedom Fighters, so that they are willing to help him, but Rambo needs very little help.  He is going to solve the cold war the old fashioned way…bullets.

Rambo is full on super hero here, unstoppable by even missiles.   This is not surprising, there had already been a Rambo cartoon on in the afternoons back in 1986.  In the cartoon, he was fighting a terror group called S.A.V.A.G.E. (Specialist-Administrators of Vengeance, Anarchy and Global Extortion) all over the globe. I am not joking.  It may surprise you to hear that neither Stallone or Crenna reprises their roles.  So the fact that Rambo III is the most cartoonish take on the character should not be a surprise.

Like Part 2, this film is enjoyable and amusing for what it is, even though it lacks the emotion of First Blood.  It is not for lack of trying.  Both sequels tried to approach heavy subjects related to war, but their simplified approach to Stallone’s Rambo is far more angry than broken.  The character suffers for it overall, and the action is pretty by the numbers, but still make for an enjoyable Stallone action film.

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