"Okay, here's the premise. We take the crew of the Enterprise, and stick them in a big city in the present time! How's that sound?"This could have been a disaster. But the fourth in the Trek theatrical series turns out to be a pretty cool (and pretty amusing) flick. Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) is in deep shit for destroying the Enterprise and other Federation violations. With he and his crew speeding home in a hijacked Klingon vessel, they find that their home planet of Earth is being threatened by a strange space... pipe. Something about the ship is wrecking the Earth's environment, virtually tearing the planet apart, and the only language the passengers speak is that of the now-extinct humpback whale.
So how does Earth get out of this predicament? Using the whip-around-the-sun method, Kirk & Co. travel back in time to 1986-era San Francisco to grab some still-living whales and bring them back to the 23rd century to talk some sense into the aliens. This is where the fun begins. Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) complains about the "Dark Ages" of 1986 medicine; Spock (Leonard Nimoy) covers up his distinguishing features with a headband and passes himself off as a Far Eastern monk; Kirk schmoozes with a marine park worker to get a couple of humpback whales to be set free in the Federation era. (Somebody say "Free Willy"?)
A cynical type would probably regard this storyline as an excuse to cut back on the special effects budget. True, this ain't your typical muck-about-in-space Trek film. But there's still a lot of action and more laughs than usual.And if you don't like that, well... double dumb ass on you.