I just watched The Final Frontier and realized that this movie is not one of the worst, but one of the best Trek movies of all time. These are the reasons why:
- Flawless Golden Trio character dynamic. Kirk, Spock and Bones spend more time together in this movie than in any other, and be it fun or grave danger, you can feel the friendship and respect that binds them together.
- The secondary characters are also great. The Scotty/Uhura hinted at in this movie is much more believable than the Spock/Uhura nonsense in the Abramsverse. Also, there is a fun cameraderie between Sulu and Chekov.
- The Pain Relief scenes of Spock and McCoy are great. Especially that of McCoy. A chilling experience even to watch. I think these scenes add great volumes to the characters. Also, Kirk's classic I need my pain!
scene is the pure embodiment of Jim's character: an unyielding leader who would never allow even his own self to endanger the Enterprise and the crew.
- Tons of foreshadowing, including the future alliance between the Federation and the Klingon Empire (and possibly the Romulans), as well as Kirk's death. Whle we all hate the way he died, he was right all along: Spock and Bones were not there, he died alone.
- A plot that combines science fiction and philosophy, and its resolution by Kirk: God is within us all. To find Him, you have to find yourself.
Now I won't say the movie is perfect. Most VFX scenes are horrible, although they were touched up in the Blu-Ray release. I also miss the deleted scene which shows a completed Mount Rushmore, with an added female President's face. The commonly cited mistake of the Enterprise making it to the center of the Galaxy in a matter of hours doesn't bother me. TOS speeds were different to those in TNG (a new thing at TFF's release, screwing over the previously established tech and timeline), and let's not forget the Enterprise also travelled beyond the edge of the Galaxy.
Anyway, I think TFF is better than most TNG movies, not counting First Contact. But enough of the blah-blah-blah, I hope you like my tribute image
Models by me