Film: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

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Film:

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Series: 2nd in Original Cast series
Director: Nicholas Meyer
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: Paramount

Although Star Trek: The Motion Picture had been a box-office hit, it was by no means a unanimous success with Star Trek fans, who responded much more favorably to the “classic Trek” scenario of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Inspired by the “Space Seed” episode of the original TV series, the film reunites newly promoted Admiral Kirk with his nemesis from the earlier episode—the genetically superior Khan (Ricardo Montalban)—who is now seeking revenge upon Kirk for having been imprisoned on a desolated planet. Their battle ensues over…

Reviews

Amazon.com

Although Star Trek: The Motion Picture had been a box-office hit, it was by no means a unanimous success with Star Trek fans, who responded much more favorably to the “classic Trek” scenario of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Inspired by the “Space Seed” episode of the original TV series, the film reunites newly promoted Admiral Kirk with his nemesis from the earlier episode—the genetically superior Khan (Ricardo Montalban)—who is now seeking revenge upon Kirk for having been imprisoned on a desolated planet. Their battle ensues over control of the Genesis device, a top-secret Starfleet project enabling entire planets to be transformed into life-supporting worlds, pioneered by the mother (Bibi Besch) of Kirk’s estranged and now-adult son. While Mr. Spock mentors the young Vulcan Lt. Saavik (then-newcomer Kirstie Alley), Kirk must battle Khan to the bitter end, through a climactic starship chase and an unexpected crisis that will cost the life of Kirk’s closest friend. This was the kind of character-based Trek that fans were waiting for, boosted by spectacular special effects, a great villain (thanks to Montalban’s splendidly melodramatic performance), and a deft combination of humor, excitement, and wondrous imagination. Director Nicholas Meyer (who would play a substantial role in the success of future Trek features) handles the film as a combination of Moby Dick, Shakespearean tragedy, World War II submarine thriller, and dazzling science fiction, setting the successful tone for the Trek films that followed. —Jeff Shannon

Barnes and Noble

Regarded by many Star Trek aficionados as the best of all the feature films based on the popular TV series, The Wrath of Khan synthesizes the show’s best qualities and revives its most memorable villain in Ricardo Montalban’s Khan. Escaping from the planet on which he and his followers have been exiled, the nefarious Khan hijacks a starship and threatens to deploy the doomsday weapon “Genesis.” He’s challenged by Admiral James T. Kirk, recently coaxed from retirement to command his beloved U S S Enterprise again. Director Nicholas Meyer (Time After Time) imparts an epic sensibility to this adventure while retaining the show’s mythology and reuniting Kirk with his lost love (Bibi Besch). Montalban nearly steals the show with his bravura performance as Khan, and Kirstie Alley makes her screen debut as one of Spock’s fellow Vulcans. The Wrath of Khan is rousing, flamboyant space opera certain to please Trekkers of all ages. Ed Hulse

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