For the Love of Spock full movie review - Meekly going where we've been before...
This film should have been entitled 'For the Love of Leonard', for, in essence, it is director Adam Nimoy's eulogy to his late father.
As such, the film is drenched in the sentimentality and nostalgia of a recently bereaved son. There's a whole lot of interview footage he conducts with the much missed actor's family, friends and colleagues and, unsurprisingly, no-one has a bad word to say about his dad. What they do say is, on the whole, trite and predictable. The broad strokes of Leonard's life and career are dutifully documented and, while this may hold some interest for anyone unfamiliar with his trajectory, it offers little that fans of Star Trek won't already know. We gain absolutely no insight into his relationships with Gene Roddenberry, Paramount or, especially, the cast and crew. His fractured friendship with William Shatner is never alluded to (Shatner himself appears for about 30 seconds), and Deforest Kelley and James Doohan are barely mentioned. Of the show's directors and writers there is hardly a peep (but we do get plenty of time with his sister-in-law).
But by far the film's most disappointing aspect is the treatment of the character of Spock himself, the apparent subject of the piece. Yes it covers the evolution of the ears, the nerve pinch, the Vulcan salute etc. and yes, there is some examination of his motivations, inner turmoil and the relationship with Kirk and McCoy. But there's no depth, no insight, no analysis of the growth of the character over time. Any discussion of particular scenes, episodes or films is fleeting and perfunctory. The cultural impact of Spock, and Star Trek in general, is also treated in a facile manner unrelated to any wider social context.
This film works as a fairly insipid memorial to Leonard Nimoy's life and work but disappointingly fails to offer anything else of substance.