Picks and Pans Review: Star Trek—the Motion Picture

updated 01/07/1980 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/07/1980 01:00AM

Deadlier than the Klingons! More insidious than a planet of neo-Nazis! As confusing as the force that created an evil Captain Kirk! Yes, Trekkies, it's The Attack of the Special Effects Men. Even Spock can't stave off the worst disaster since Cancel Date 1969. To be sure, the effects—masterminded by John (Star Wars) Dykstra, Douglas {Close Encounters) Trumbull and an army of technicians—aren't bad. Even if the Enterprise still looks as though it ought to be plugged in and used to dry hair, there are spectacular light shows, computery sounds and, of course, all those undersides of things passing above. What makes Star Trek—The TV Reruns so endearing, however, is not hardware but the chemistry among William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelly and James Doohan. In this feature-film reunion, they're allowed little time with each other, so busy is director Robert Wise making sure every gizmo gets lovingly photographed. There are also two new characters. Stephen Collins, the Enterprise's replacement skipper, resents it when Shatner (now Admiral Kirk) resumes command against a cosmic menace—after all, he's younger than Shatner, more up-to-date and much better looking. So is Collins' love interest, Indian actress Persis Khambatta (page 29). They're the focus of a flashy ending that is half ingenious, half inane, leaving only Star Trek—The Disappointment. (G)

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