Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)


Adventure | Mystery | Sci-Fi


Robert Wise




William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Persis Khambatta, Stephen Collins, Majel Barrett, Grace Lee Whitney, David Gautreaux, Mark Lenard


When an alien spacecraft of enormous power is spotted approaching Earth, Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) resumes command of the Starship Enterprise in order to intercept, examine and hopefully stop the intruder.


I've never been a Star Trek fan, I don't know, probably the lack of charm. But the new saga directed by J. J. Abrams, that was good, and it made me change my mind about this cinematic universe and I decided to give a try to the originals. I'm not sure that was a good idea.

Mostly like a motionless picture, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" is a tedious and emotionless waste of time.

The basic and rather thin plot is dragged - almost literally because the pace is probably the slowest in Sci-Fi films history - for more than two hours, and nothing happens other than the Enterprise trying to stop V'ger from destroying the Earth. I kept watching because there was this voice inside my head saying, "Something exciting is gonna happen, trust me", but guess what, nothing happened.

The opening wasn't great: a black screen with some music playing for 1 minute and 45 second before anything happens was quite annoying. Unfortunately, that's not the only pointlessly long shot. There are long, very long shots of the Enterprise when Captain Kirk first goes on it, and other than that we see Kirk admiring the ship.

However, there's some great highlights, you know, like the scene where Kirk stares at the Enterprise, or that other one, even greater, where Scotty stars at the Enterprise. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that spectacular scene where Bones stares at the Enterprise. If those aren't memorable scenes, I don't know what they are.

Have I mentioned the breathtaking shot of the Enterprise moving out of the space dock? That scene is so beautiful, they decided to show it again later in the film, only this time is coming from the west.

Okay, now I'm not being sarcastic. The special effects really are impressive, and they still hold up quite well over the decades. But I'm afraid visual appeal can't make up for the lack of solid basis.

The acting is very poor: nothing but wooden performances are given and there's not even good chemistry between the members of the cast.


  1. I am a bit of a ST fan, but this one was a total misfire for all the reasons you give. Part II is a much better representation of the franchise. Funny thing is, as you move through the series, that pattern holds - a bad movie followed by a good (or at least better) one.

    1. Many have told me the same. I can't wait to see part II.

  2. My ex loved this movie because of the pure science fiction part of it and he is not one for...emotions so this was spot on for him. I was OK with it after seeing it a 2nd time since I love Star Trek. If one looks at this movie as just pure science fiction then it's OK. Much, much better than Star Trek 5-ughhh. My favourite is Mad Magazine's take on this film. I laughed so much when I kept seeing the Bald Girl (Persis Khambata) wearing pins saying Telly Savalas Fan Club or Yul Brynner Fan Club. The writers also through in a bowling ball and the ball is asking if she can come out and play-hahahahaaa. It doesn't take much for me to laugh