In this first theatrical venture for the television series created by Gene Roddenberry, going boldly where no man has gone before mainly means floating … and floating … and floating through space, until you reach a state of Zen bliss or crushing boredom. If the endless interstellar vistas of 2001: A Space Odyssey tested your patience, Star Trek: The Motion Picture will make you cry like a little star child. Those looking to defend the Star Trek oeuvre shouldn’t start here. Journeyman director Robert Wise (Sound of Music, The Day the Earth Stood Still) relies heavily on the outer-space imagery, either because he’s worried the series itself wasn’t very cinematic (which it wasn’t) or because he knows that the script has little else to offer. The plot sends James T. Kirk (William Shatner) back to the starship Enterprise to take over for Captain Willard Decker (Stephen Collins), and the power struggle between the two offers the movie its only dramatic interest. (That’s partly because Shatner’s Kirk is a pompous, stubborn egotist whose rash decisions make him a blowhard, if not a buffoon.) These two jockey for control of the Enterprise as it enters an ominous energy field headed toward Earth. At the center, they encounter an artificial intelligence that questions the necessity of human existence. It’s a facile intellectual argument too neatly handled, though not until we’ve endured many, many long shots of various vehicles drifting across the screen. The only one of these segments that amuses doesn’t do so for the right reasons. When Spock (Leonard Nimoy) hops on a space scooter to conduct his own scouting mission of the energy field, he zips around as if he’s on some souped-up, 22nd-century Harley. Add a psychedelic wormhole sequence, and I guess you could recommend Star Trek: The Motion Picture as a science-fiction nerd’s Easy Rider.