It’s not just for Trekkies….
by Martin Hafer
When I began watching For the Love of Spock, I had no intention of reviewing it. After all, I assumed it would only appeal to Star Trek fans and I’ve already written several articles about the franchise. However, after a while I began to realize that this was no ordinary fan film but was instead one of the most incredibly well-made biographical documentaries I’d ever seen. The closest thing to it was the amazing documentary on Roger Ebert, Life Itself (2014). And, because of that, the film has appeal for everyone…not just Trekkies.
The driving force behind this film is Leonard Nimoy’s son, Adam. Adam had envisioned making a film about just the Spock character but later decided to also make it about his father as well…particularly since Leonard had just died. However, Adam didn’t have the money to make the film and did what many indie filmmakers do today—he started a Kickstarter campaign. Now considering this, you would expect the resulting film to be cheap…really, really cheap. And this is what really shocked me about the film, as it was anything but cheap. In fact, it looked as if the documentary cost many millions to make. All the clips from the original Star Trek show were gorgeously remastered and vividly colored and it’s obvious that Adam was able to get the studio to give him access to these clips. But, more importantly, the number of stars from the Trek franchise in the film was incredible—and not just from the original show but the new movies as well. It also helped that the film features much of the narration by Leonard as well as some nice clips of the man as he talks about his life, his family and legacy.
As far as the film goes, it’s part biography of Leonard Nimoy, part the history of the Spock character as well as healthy doses of the family life of Nimoy…a family life that was, sadly, rather rocky until his later years. But, and this is what I really enjoyed, there was redemption for him and his estranged children and grandchildren…which leads to the part of the film where you really do need to brace yourself and have some Kleenex handy. I found myself shedding a few tears as Adam and his sister revealed how estranged this relationship had been as well as the efforts made to repair it…as well as Adam’s sad second marriage. As I said, this part is tough to watch—but ultimately very satisfying.
I score this movie an A+, something I almost never do. This is because like the Ebert film I mentioned, it was not just some superficial biography but a deep look into who the person was. It also features absolutely amazing special effects and is a quality production throughout. Clearly it’s a must-see for Trek fans but anyone could enjoy and learn from this slickly produced film. One of the best films of the year and a movie that just debuted with Netflix’s streaming service.