Director: Nicolas Meyer
If Star Trek I: The Motion Picture started out extra slowly, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan learned from that …not ‘mistake’ really, but deliberate pacing that led to a less that thrilling adventure …and came out swinging with a story that audiences have remembered with great fondness for over 40 years. This is the Star Trek I remember from my youth, watching & loving, the awesome spectacle and over-dramatic journey of a team of wildly badly acted heroes. I’m in; let’s watch more.
Admiral Kirk, now feeling old and not useful, is teaching theoretical battles at the academy, and dreaming of days past when he was a starship Captain. On a training course aboard the Enterprise, Captained now by Spock, Kirk takes command when a distress call is received and a mission goes underway. An old enemy awaits Kirk out in the galaxy, a previous foe named Khan, who is still angry about the “justice” that Kirk handed down some years before. He’s now a madman looking to destroy everyone in his path, and the crew of the Enterprise are the only thing standing in his way.
That’s more like it. I get that the first film was only showing off, but it’s nice that the second gets down to story, taking a classic episode, bringing it back to life, and creating a new adventure around it. The crew, the uniforms, the danger, the planets, the characters; everything we love about Star Trek is featured well in Wrath of Khan, down to the awesome villain and the iconic scenes. Meyer got it right, he fixed the series, and of course it would only go on from here, but imagine what would have happened had the wheels come off for II; we most likely wouldn’t have seen this team again. The acting is awful, the music is great, the effects are silly, the mood is magnificent; Star Trek has always been a little up & down, a little cheesy but brilliant, and this film is no exception; it’s everything you’re looking for.
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆