13Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
The Final Frontier suffers from issues of quality in story and direction that easily make it the weakest of the series to date. William Shatner (Captain Kirk) had a stipulation in his contract that he was to receive equal pay and opportunities to that of Leonard Nimoy (Spock). With Nimoy
having directed the last two movies of the series, Shatner wanted his turn at the helm.
While the themes of belief, religion, and human nature were explored, they were done with far too much humor, giving the movie an unbalanced tone. The main villain, Sybok, is unthreatening despite being able to take over the Enterprise. While he has charisma, and chews through his poor dialogue with epic zeal, he just can’t match previous antagonists such as Khan.
The scenes with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy sharing shore leave are entertaining, but once they get on board the Enterprise, things become muddled and the plot feels directionless. Coming after the trilogy of films from Wrath of Khan through to The Voyage Home, The Final Frontier had a lot to live up to. While it didn’t scale to the same heights -- indeed, Kirk’s failed attempt to climb El Capitan at the beginning serves as a metaphor for Shatner’s failed attempt to produce something of equal quality to his friend -- the movie does deliver some entertaining moments, just not enough to make it feel like a true Star Trek picture.