Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

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When Star Trek: The Motion Picture came out in 1979, Trekkers were excited to see their beloved franchise made in to a movie. Then they saw it, and that excitement quickly faded.  The movie was less than great.  The studio decided to give it another shot a few years later with a decreased budget and using a popular villain from the TV show in Khan Noonien Singh as the antagonist.   This seemed to work, as Wrath of Khan is regarded as one of the best of the Trek movies by fans and general movie goers.   In the series, Kirk marooned Khan and his flunkies on a remote planet, as they were too dangerous to transport. Fifteen years later, the crew of the USS Reliant is looking for a remote planet for use as a testing site and set down to search for life.  It happens that it is the same planet Khan is on, and the environment has turned hostile, with most of his group dying from the elements.

Through the use of a mind-control worm indigenous to the planet, he is able to gain control of the Reliant; and Khan sets his sights on getting revenge on the man who left him to die. James T. Kirk is now an admiral and is aboard the Enterprise, currently being captained by Spock, on a routine training exercise with a crew of new cadets.  Nothing is routine about a fellow Federation starship attacking another one however, as the two ships severely damage each other.   The battle rages on with Khan using his super-human intellect and Kirk with his tenacity and refusal to lose. Although the crew of the Enterprise wins they day, they lose one of their own. Not to spoil anything, but the sequel to this is called ‘The Search for Spock”, so make your own assumptions.

Alex’s Thoughts: While not the biggest Trek fan, this one is by far my favorite featuring the original TV cast.  After this one, they get either really boring or suffer from too many bad jokes and lame attempts at humor.  There are several important on-going themes in this movie, which include aging, friendship and revenge; all of which get equal screen time.  I think my favorite scenes are when Kirk, through his sheer stubbornness, is able to outwit Khan who is totally revenge drunk and can think of nothing else but Kirk’s death.  If he could pull the Tina Turner mullet wig out of his ass for two minutes and commit to using his super-weapon, the Star Trek universe would have been a very different place.  Comparing this to the JJ Abrams movies is not recommended, as it makes it look like 30 years old crap (which it does indeed look like), but on it’s own, it’s a decent sci-fi flick.  Alex Rates This Movie 8/10.

Tim’s Thoughts: Yeah, this is everyone’s favorite Trek movie, I know, but it should be, because this is by far the best. Even better than any of the Next Generation films, mainly because this is the sequel all sequels are measured against. Wrath of Khan generated 4 more original cast films when the franchise was thought dead.  Plus who know you could use the same Khan all these years later, and he would be just as epic a villain. A hallmark not only for the franchise, but for Science Fiction movies overall. Yes it’s dated but if this isn’t for you, then it wouldn’t matter how old this movie was. I recommend this for fans of the series or if you just wonder what’s the big deal about Star Trek.  Tim Rates This Movie 10/10

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View the IMDB entry for this movie here.

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