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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

A movie directed by Nicholas Meyer

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Nicholas Meyer and Harve Bennet should get a lifetime achievement award

  • Jun 19, 2009
Why?  Because these two men saved Star Trek from what even Leonard Nimoy called and I quote, "A Beached Whale."

Star Trek: The Motion Picture for all intents and purposes only made it's money cause it was feeding a starving audience.  10 years after the original show wrapped up and a few years after the animated show ended.  People wanted a Star Trek fix and they got it, paid money to see it and well...  if you've seen the movie you know what I'm talking about.  It's deadly dull and no amount of editing can save it.

With Gene Roddenberry removed from the chair and given the unenviable task of being a creative colsultant (a figurehead position to bounce ideas off of and you can ignore) Star Trek was dead in the water.  Harve Bennet a TV producer and Nicholas Meyer an author and one time director were signed up to save Star Trek.  Ideas were sketched out, what was good and what was bad and we got a brand new Star Trek with almost a third of the budget and 80 times the fun of the original film.

Star Trek was also made more military with what Meyer called "nautical but nice" in essance to make Starfleet seem more like we would imagine it here on Earth now but still keeping with Star Trek's nuances.  Costumes were completely reinvented with those godawful pajamma's of the first movie tossed aside.

The biggest draw was that Kirk, Spock and McCoy were brought together again.  Spocks logic and reasoning with McCoy's compassion and Kirk to take those ideas and run with them to save the day.  Sadly in this movie almost the entire remainder of the cast is still window dressing with newcomer Kirstie Alley as Spocks star pupil Saavik getting plenty of screen time.  Needing a villian, one who nearly destroyed Kirk in the show and was still around was Khan and Ricardo Montalban reprises his role as s genetically engeineered man from the 20th century with a big ego to feed.  He rocks.

Star Trek II's story involves Khan escaping his Kirk imposed exile for so many years and has revenge on his mind.  Learning of the Genesis Device which is a powerful terraforming device which could be used as a deadly weapon (a WMD if you will) Kirk is involved with coming to the aid of the lab that is building the device.  Khan ambushes him and cripples the Enterprise in an attack.  Kirk knows Khan is loose and wants Genesis and after fighting back is able to get away.  What follows is a cat and mouse game of Kirk trying to stay one step ahead of Khan.

The story is strong but not only that the effects are still pretty nice to this day and don't dominate the story.  If you like action, this Star Trek movie has it with Enterprise and Reliant slicing gouges of each others ships up with their phaser and torpedo weapons.  Theres many other nuances such as Kirks former fling who had his child, Spock and Saaviks relationship and an important sacrifice which was pretty awesome when we first saw it.

Star Trek II is often called the best of the series.  Meyers involvement here and with IV and VI are another good reason why the even is better rule exists in Trek.  Trek movies would have their ups and downs, their whales, their campfire songs.  Khan is just plain awesome and even our President would agree to watch it, lets ask him!! 

"Can we watch Star Trek II right now?"

Ricardo Montalban as Khan, genetic madman Enterprise under fire by Khan Kirk, Spock and McCoy Admiral Kirk and Captain Spock at Starfleet Kirk rescues old crewmen on the Spacelab McCoy and Kirk

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October 21, 2010
Another great review Sir, this one is a classic.
October 21, 2010
As much as I like this one, I still like VI most.
July 26, 2009
When it comes to the TREK movies I like mine with Humpback Whales, but this would obviously be my second choice. Very funny ending to your review by the way. It was a stroke of genius on their part to take something from the series and expand upon it.
July 26, 2009
Thank you. Personally Star Trek VI is my favorite. I like IV but to me, it's too easy to like.
July 26, 2009
That's why it's liked.
July 26, 2009
I like it don't get me wrong and I just wrote about it the other night, and while finding stills to put up I remembered how great it is. It's just when I see STAR TREK, I don't think time travel so much. Like that He Man movie they did years ago where He Man goes to New Jersey and meets Courtney Cox. I want to see HeMan land or Greyskull or whatever it's called. Star Trek IV is good but I enjoy II and VI more. Thank you again for reading. The link if you wanted to read what I thought of IV is here: http://www.lunch.com/data/Star_Trek_IV_The_V...s_this_movie-11616.html
July 26, 2009
They did several time travel episodes that I can think of right off the top of my head, a couple of them are among the most popular episodes, like "City on the Edge of Forever"< stone knives and bear skins.
July 26, 2009
And Joan Collins It's a good episode I don't hate time travel stories, just would rather see a show set in the future be about the future is all.
July 26, 2009
WEll, there's that nice combination episode that seemed like a pilot for another series, "Assignment:Earth" with Gary Seven. That was a time travel episode too.
July 26, 2009
Wasn't that meant to be a pilot for a whole 'nother show that didn't happen? I saw 1/2 that one and don't remember it much.
July 26, 2009
It certainly seemed to be, and I would have watched it. It seemed like a nice concept.
June 19, 2009
I think this was the best of the films...certainly the darkest. Mantalban was awesome.
June 19, 2009
I personally felt that Star Trek VI and Nemesis were darker but thats me. Star Trek II was terrific even though I do perfer VI. II at least doesn't have the political stuff in it.
More Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kha... reviews
review by . August 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
All of the failings of Star Trek: The Motion Picture were erased with The Wrath of Khan. Even the uniforms are cooler. While The Motion Picture took place (in Star Trek time) only a few years after the conclusion of Captain Kirk's first five-year mission, this sequel takes place much further along in the future. James Kirk and his crew have concluded a second five-year mission, and Kirk is back in an admiral's post. The film begins with the Enterprise being destroyed in a conflict with …
Quick Tip by . May 01, 2011
STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. I remember it well. Despite the predominantly youthful audience, you could still hear a pin drop during Spock's death scene. The film works so well on so many levels but the single greatest reason STII is revered by so many Trek enthusiasts worldwide is b/c it is, perhaps, the only Trek film to celebrate the passion of life and death so poignantly. If you haven't seen it, do so ... even if you're not of the Trek variety.
Quick Tip by . February 20, 2011
posted in SF Signal
Who says that rebooting tranchises is a new idea? In a real sense, this is a reboot of the first Star Trek film, and it starts a trilogy of perhaps the best of the Star Trek films.
review by . September 10, 2010
Take a classic television series with a dedicated fanbase, insert one of its most popular villains and toss a major motion picture budget at it and what do you get: "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." Perhaps the closest film in the "Star Trek" catalogue to the original televison series, "Khan" finds Kirk as the admiral in charge of assessing a green crew on routine training maneuvers. They happen to be aboard his old ship, the Enterprise, and the crew includes most of his key past crewmates. In …
Quick Tip by . August 13, 2010
Still stands as my favorite Star Trek film of all. Exciting, fun and mesmerizing! Full review coming soon...
Quick Tip by . August 12, 2010
It has been forever since I've watched this, but it has some vividly memorable scenes
Quick Tip by . May 16, 2010
Khan escapes being deserted and wants Kirks blood. Fantastic story and action of old age and sacrifice. No wonder it's seen as the best.
review by . October 13, 2000
posted in Movie Hype
. . .this film is, by far, the greatest pure science-fiction movie ever made, regardless of whether or not one is normally a fan of "Star Trek".A quality drama, with good character development, wonderful special effects, a remarkable villain (played with incredible melodrama by Ricardo Montelban), and an unbelievably powerful and emotional ending (complete with the catharsis of a Greek tragedy) make this the most unforgettable movie in the "Star Trek" series -- and arguably one of the greatest Sci-fi …
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Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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AlthoughStar Trek: The Motion Picturehad been a box-office hit, it was by no means a unanimous success withStar Trekfans, who responded much more favorably to the "classicTrek" scenario ofStar 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-basedTrekthat 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 futureTrekfeatures) handles the film as a combination ofMoby Dick, Shakespearean tragedy, World War II submarine thriller, and dazzling science fiction, ...
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Science Fiction Movies, Star Trek, Star Trek Ii The Wrath Of Khan


Director: Nicholas Meyer
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: 4 June 1982 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 113 min
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