The Captains, or Klingon Sex: A Movie Review

Boldly go where no man has gone before. Or not. The new documentary The Captains, directed by Captain Kirk himself William Shatner, dives into the lives of the six people who have portrayed captains in the various “Star Trek” franchises. If only their lives were interesting.

In all fairness, the captains – Chris Pine, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula and, oh, what’s that other guy’s name? – are not boring. They’re all more interesting than me. They have talent. They can act. They can sing. They can make more money in a week than I can in a year.

But to watch 90 minutes about their inspirations and motivations in life… Well, I’d rather screw a Klingon and watch Star Trek 5 a thousand times in a row.

In all fairness, The Captains isn’t that terrible. It’s perfectly harmless, and Trekkies who will suck down anything “Star Trek” will eat it up. Or suck it down. Whatever. The documentary is a passion project for Shatner, who also narrates and interviews the other actors. He clearly struggled with being known as Kirk and nothing else for so many years, and is intrigued by how the other actors approached their roles and dealt with the corresponding fame.

But it’s just boring. Patrick Stewart has some good things to say, but it sounds like he’s reading from a script. Brooks sounds like he went off the deep end since “Deep Space Nine.” Mulgrew and Bakula are almost indistinguishable from one another. Pine is included just for an arm wrestling scene. And Shatner isn’t a very dynamic interviewer.

In all fairness, again, The Captains is made for Trekkies and no one else. I’m a big Star Trek fan, but no Trekkie. Or is it Trekker? Either of those groups will likely enjoy this movie simply because it exists.

For everyone else, it’s a waste of time. Its presentation is plain, making even An Inconvenient Truth look dynamic. Shatner is an uninspiring interviewer. The Captains isn’t going boldly anywhere, let alone where no man has gone before. Star Trek 5, now this? Beam me out of here, Scotty. Engage. Make it so. This review is done.

The Captains comes to DVD on October 18, 2011.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Documentaries, DVD Releases, Movie Reviews