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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan More at IMDbPro »Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (original title)

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Best Trek Film

Author: Jeff ( from L.A. CA
29 January 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Star Trek II is the best Trek film. Why? The cat and mouse game between Kirk and Khan. The relationships of the Enterprise crew just keep getting better and better. The battles between the Enterprise and Reliant are tense and spectacular. The one thing that sets Star Trek II apart from all the others (which are good in their own way) is the death of Spock. I can never make it through the end without shedding at least a few tears. It starts to get you when Bones' voice comes back over the intercom instead of Scotty's, and when Kirk looks over to Spock's empty chair, you know something's wrong. The scene that follows is one of the best acted death scenes of all time, and it is also the saddest. Spock's final line is the kicker, and with that scene you understand the entire relationship that Kirk and Spock had and you feel Kirk's loss.

"Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most.......human."

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20 out of 26 people found the following review useful:


Author: Elswet from .: Fiendish Writings in the Dark :.
26 October 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the very best of this series, Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan gives you the battles and action for which you were so hungry.

A veritable feast for Trekkies, and all other sci-fi fans, alike.

Ricardo Montalban reprises his role as Khan; a genetically mutated humanoid who has powers and strengths beyond that of mankind. Longevity, apparently is one of those powers. Exiled on Seti Alpha 5, Khan and his crew were to have a chance at life in a place where they could no longer interfere with Star Fleet and the affairs of man. But Chekov inadvertently stumbles up on the shell of the Botany Bay, Khan's ship, and realizes immediately what a mistake he has made. He attempts to flee, but it is too late.

Khan wants to avenge the death of his wife; an event for which he blames Admiral James Tiberius Kirk, and he will not rest until he can extract his revenge. It seems Kirk never checked on Khan and his crew, and sometime after they were deposited there, Seti Alpha 5 became a desolate wasteland with murderous creatures which burrow and move beneath the sands.

Meanwhile, Kirk is going through what seems to be a mid-life crisis which is interrupted to deal with the travesties of space, and one of Kirk's many love interests, Dr. Carol Marcus, has developed the "Genesis Project;" a device which can create new planets from dead ones, asteroids, and the like. But were this device to be used where life already existed, it would destroy the present life in favor of the new matrix, thereby making it a very devastating and dangerous weapon in the wrong hands.

Khan has learned of Genesis, and seeks to lay his hands on it, thus tying the plot to the sub-plot, and making for a very entertaining endeavor.

The space battles are extremely well done. The effects are startlingly good, even by today's standards, and the effects of Genesis inside the Genesis Cave, are absolutely brilliant.

The new characters; IE: Savik, a Vulcan addition to the crew of the Enterprise creatively and beautifully portrayed by Kirstie Alley; Dr. Carol Marcus and her son; are very well developed without creating long, slow scenes in which to accomplish the task. There is one slow scene in the entire movie, and that comes just before we get to see the Genesis Effect inside the Cave.

This is the infamous movie in which Spock gives up his life to save the ship and his friends. I remember picket lines outside Paramount Studios for weeks after this movie was released, protesting Leonard Nimoy's retirement from the series in such a manner.

All in all, of the movies in which the original cast stars, I would have to say it is a toss up between 2, 4, & 6 for the title of "Best" of these movies. I do not believe I could choose a favorite among those three.

It rates a 9.2/10 from...

the Fiend :.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

STAR TREK, Done Right!

Author: Ben Burgraff (cariart) from Las Vegas, Nevada
25 November 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN was another miracle moment in a franchise that has had more than it's share of such moments. Paramount never intended to make a sequel to STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (a philosophy it would continue to embrace, after each film!), and, when, after intense lobbying by Gene Roddenberry, a few 'Trekkers' in the studio hierarchy, and a lot of fans, the studio finally caved in, they reduced the budget, dramatically, almost daring the production team to create a film of quality.

In an inspired move, Harve Bennett, a television veteran, was brought in to executive produce, and his sensibilities, honed on the budgetary restraints of the small screen, helped to get the most out of the available funds. A director of the stature of Robert Wise was out of the question, but Bennett and Roddenberry were impressed by young Nicholas Meyer, and his one directorial effort, the cult SF favorite, TIME AFTER TIME, and the 37-year old leaped at the opportunity to tackle another SF film. Contrary to popular belief, Meyer was NOT familiar with the series, but he quickly immersed himself with the series' episodes, then looked at Harve Bennett's script outline, and the two of them then hammered out a shooting script. Gone would be the sterile, monochromatic future envisioned in the first film, replaced with warm colors, frequent references to classic literature, and the sense of camaraderie that had made the original series so popular.

Both men had been impressed by Ricardo Montalban's charismatic Khan, in the episode, 'Space Seed', and agreed in bringing back the superhuman, yet sympathetic villain for the film. Leonard Nimoy provided the film's theme; with rumors of a possible new TV series still circulating, the actor, not wishing to be subjected to the weekly grind, suggested 'killing off' Spock, in some heroic fashion. Bennett loved the idea, although he wisely left a 'hook' in the script, in case Nimoy changed his mind, and he and Meyer could now address both the passage of time, and death, issues that were relevant, as the original cast were beginning to show their years!

William Shatner, after the stinging reviews of his stilted performance in ST:TMP, needed a strong script to provide 'damage control', and he got it. In perhaps his finest performance, he dominates the screen, whether ruminating on his own mortality with McCoy, explaining how he 'beat' the Kobiyashi Maru scenario by cheating ("I HATE to lose"), discovering that after years as an interstellar lothario, he is a father (and by the one woman he truly 'loved'), playing 'cat and mouse' with Khan, or facing the death of his best friend, Spock. Both decisive and likable, Shatner's Kirk is the glue that holds ST:TWOK together, and he is brilliant.

Leonard Nimoy, getting every actor's dream, a chance to 'die' onscreen, gives Spock a poignancy that is, ultimately, heartbreaking; DeForest Kelley, excellent as Dr. McCoy, not only offers righteous indignation over the implications of the Genesis Project, but projects such an obvious affection for both Kirk and his 'sparring partner', Spock, that, far more than in the first film, you can see the nearly symbiotic link between the three leads. The rest of the original cast, despite small roles, still have far more to do than in the first film, and are obviously enjoying themselves (except, understandably, Walter Koenig's 'Chekov', when the parasite is put into his ear!)

Of the other leads, Ricardo Montalban lustily chews up the scenery as an 'Ahab'-influenced older Khan; a pre-'Cheers' Kirstie Alley gives Vulcan Lieutenant Saavik far more sex appeal than did her successor in the role, Robin Curtis; Paul Winfield makes the most of his brief role as Chekov's new boss, the doomed Captain Terrell; and Bibi Besch provides a combination of intellect, toughness, and affection playing Kirk's lost love, Carol Marcus. The only disappointment is Merritt Butrick, as Kirk's newly-revealed son, David; in a poorly-written role, he has little to do but gripe about Kirk, before and after he discovers their relationship.

The film score was composed by 29-year old James Horner, who was told not to incorporate any of Jerry Goldsmith's themes from ST:TMP; he later admitted that he sneaked a bit of it in, anyway, along with Alexander Courage's original TV themes. While lacking Goldsmith's grandeur, the music is evocative and sweeping, and Horner would return to score STAR TREK: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK.

Despite budget restraints, ST:TWOK had terrific FX (particularly during the Mutaran Nebula sequence), and was able to reuse the space dock and voyage sequences from ST:TMP quite effectively. The space battle scene between the Enterprise and Reliant is one of the best sequences in the entire 'Star Trek' film series.

ST:TWOK was a HUGE success, both with critics and fans, vindicating Gene Roddenberry's faith in the franchise, and the decision to use Meyer as the director. And in a twist worthy of Scheherazade in 'The Arabian Nights', Spock's death created such an uproar that Paramount HAD to keep the series alive, just to resolve the issue.

From a one-shot film deal, a THIRD film would be produced!

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25 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Light Years Ahead of Star Trek The Motion Picture

Author: marxi from Louisville, Kentucky
20 June 2003

When Star Trek The Motion Picture was released, the masses flocked to it. Unfortunately, the first film outing for the crew of the USS Enterprise was about as exciting as watching paint dry.

Never underestimate Trekkies! This Second Star Trek movie was even more greatly anticipated than the first. Reluctantly, I went to see it. I was pleasantly surprised. Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan, in my estimation, is everything the first one should have been, and then some!

Captain Kirk, now an admiral, is experiencing some sort of mid life crisis. And of course, he ends up back in the command chair when a routine inspection and review of the rookie crew on the Enterprise runs in to unexpected trouble. The crew of the USS Enterprise is in fine form in this outing, and much of the camaraderie of the original TV series is recaptured. And when and old adversary of Captain Kirk shows up with revenge in his heart, this movie gets rolling. It has twists, turns and surprises aplenty. The ending is truly a surprise.

Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan is a wonderful complement to the original TV series and stands on its own as a very good space adventure film. I'd rate it a 89.5/100. If you want to see what all the full about Star Trek is, Star Trek II is a great place to start.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Captain Kirk Vs. Captain Ahab

Author: The_Other_Snowman from United States
4 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan" is everyone's favourite Trek film, even if they're not big fans of the show. Nicholas Meyer, the writer/director, is competent in an efficient, workmanlike way, and the movie zips along at a fine pace but with barely an original bone in its body.

Khan, from the original series episode "Space Seed", hijacks a starship with a plan to kill Captain Kirk. Kirk's having a midlife crisis, and has just met the son he never knew he had, who happens to be a scientist who's created a MacGuffin with limitless destructive potential. Kirk is full of angst, and talks a lot with Spock and McCoy, so some of the feel of the classic series is preserved. Everyone quotes liberally from Shakespeare and "Moby Dick", with a little Dickens thrown in, to the point that they might have written the entire script by perusing Cliff's Notes and skimming Horatio Hornblower novels.

The redesigned Starfleet uniforms signal a change in the way our heroes will be portrayed in future films. They are no longer exploring representatives of an idealistic utopia, but servants of a futuristic military. The space battles that make up the bulk of the film's action are dazzling, in a modest way, but the main characters spend most of their time on the bridges of their respective ships, pressing buttons and talking. You can plainly see that the budget was not very impressive.

This movie might be noteworthy in that it's the only Star Trek film to have no aliens in it, besides Spock. It's got action and excitement, and those timeless themes of loyalty and honor or something equally wishy-washy, but there's nothing in here to really make you think, which is what the TV show always tried to do, even when it was being silly.

EDIT: I recently watched "The Wrath of Khan" again, and found that I was wrong on a couple points. First, the pacing is leaden. Only James Horner's music creates any sense of excitement while the story slogs along. Second, there is hardly any chemistry among the three leads. In fact, Kirk and Spock only share two or three important scenes, and are separated for the rest of the film. Spock's famous final sacrifice is rendered nearly meaningless. Most of the actors appear lifeless; Shatner's performance in particular is shockingly wooden, and he mumbles his dialog. Was anyone really asking for a subdued, realistic performance from William Shatner?

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

20th Anniversary of One of the Greatest Sci-Fi Films of the last 20 years

Author: Dennis Chiu from San Jose, California
25 July 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(Caution: This review will discuss in detail themes, plot and characters that may be considered spoilers. Do not read this review if you do not desire such information about this film.)

"Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" is one of the best science fiction films of the past 20 years. At its core, it is a story of vengeance, rebirth and sacrifice. Even more admirable is the script's sophistication in combining literary themes found in Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" and Melville's "Moby Dick".

The film opens with the administration of the Kobayashi Maru test at Starfleet Academy; the test is known to cadets and Starfleet officers as the "no-win scenario". In the test, an impossibly challenging situation is encountered, where the cadets tested must demonstrate their reaction to their own mortality. As Admiral Kirk notes to Lt. Savik, after Savik questions the purpose of the test, "Well, how we deal with death, is at least as important as how we deal with life, wouldn't you say."

As part of the test, the instructors who are the former senior staff of the Starship Enterprise fake their own deaths. This is the first hint in the film that symbolically Admiral Kirk and his crew are dead. He and his crew accepted promotion to teach at Starfleet Academy, and stopped being the explorers in command of a starship facing the unknown.

For his birthday, Spock gives Kirk Dicken's "A Tale of Two Cities" and Kirk reads the first line, "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." This begins Kirk's journey in the film that parallels the themes of the book. In Dicken's story, Dr. Manette is imprisoned and symbolically dies until word arrives that his daughter, Lucy with brilliant gold hair, resurrects him into the outside world of France, which is disintegrating to social unrest under ruthlessness of the monarchy and royalty.

At the same time that Kirk sits in the prison of his own promotion, Khan is buried alive on a barren windy desert planet where Kirk had placed him decades ago. Khan is resurrected from his "death" by the chance landing of Genesis Project terra-formers who are working with Starfleet and the chance to revenge himself upon Kirk. The Genesis Project is a missile that when detonated will take all matter in an area and recreates it into a planet livable for human life.

Similarly to Dickens' story, Kirk is contacted by one of the terra-formers who is the mother of his son, because they face imminent attack from Khan who had taken control of a Starfleet research vessel. Kirk is given permission to respond with the Enterprise and the trainee crew and to rescue his son.

In addition to Kirk's rescue of his son, vengeance at this point becomes the catalytic event that resurrects Kirk and Khan from their symbolic deaths. Khan takes on the obsession of Melville's Captain Ahab in "Moby Dick" and relentlessly pursues Kirk for revenge, despite protestations that he could do so much more with his new found freedom.

The price of vengeance is death. After Khan's first devastating attack, a young engineering crewman dies. Kirk stands at his bedside and as the crewman reaches out for Kirk's tunic, blood smears on Kirk's white bib just before the crewman dies. In "A Tale of Two Cities" red wine or blood foreshadowed death for an aristocrat who killed a baby with his horse drawn coach.

Kirk and Khan at the end of the film engage in a battle to the death. However, just prior to Khan's death, Khan engages the Genesis device that will devastate all life and matter in the area, in its effort to reformulate the matter to make it a planet fit for human life. It appears that Kirk will die in the end as well. Spock makes the supreme sacrifice and repairs the ship at the cost of his own life, which allows the ship and Kirk to escape the Genesis explosion.

Spock's sacrifice mirrors Charles Darnay's and Sidney Carton's sacrifice at the end of "A Tale of Two Cities" where one person is hanged in place of the other.

Just as the film began with the first line of "A Tale of Two Cities", the film ends with the last line of "A Tale of Two Cities". "It is a far better thing I do, than I have ever done before. It is a better resting place, than I have ever known."

To study "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" is to delve into some of the most important human themes in English literature. It is a "Star Trek" film that aspired to be more than the mindless action films that come out every year. It is a study of characters' death and rebirth that one rarely finds in any film. Each of the characters are well acted and the direction and cinematography are outstanding. If one studies "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan", understands all that it attempted and succeeded in doing, I think without a doubt it will be considered one of the towering cinematic achievements in science fiction film history.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:


Author: DarthBill from United States
15 April 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Middle aged Admiral James T. Kirk is suffering a mid life crisis while overseeing the trainee crew of the Enterprise who are under the watchful eye of everyone's favorite Vulcan, Spock. Then Khan (Ricardo Montalban), the villain of the episode "Space Seed", escapes the planet turned wasteland where Kirk left him and his people, hijacks the USS Reliant and goes after Kirk with a death wish. But where does Project Genesis, created by an old flame of Kirk, Dr. Carol

Marcus (Bib Besch) and her son David (the late Merritt Butrick), have to do with all this?

A lot flashier and more adventurous than the first film, it none the less touches upon ethical topics such as taking control of the power of creation, good intentions turned into horrible weapons, the usefulness of our elders, and the self destructiveness of obsession followed by sacrifice. Ricardo Montalban is a memorable villain, full ham, fire, gusto and cold malice. Besch and Butrick are fine. Kirstie Alley makes her memorable debut as the lovely Vulcan babe Saavik and it's a part she plays well (too bad they couldn't hang on to her). The original cast of course, play their parts the way their fans expect them to play them and they play their parts fine. The late Paul Winfield is also good in his role as the ill fated Captain Terrell.

Special effects are pretty good, with two well executed space shoot outs, the second and more memorable one taking place in the Mutaran Nebula. The death and funeral of Spock is very touching, and the film is also highlighted by some very beautiful music by James Horner. Shatner brings out a lot of sympathy from his Kirk in this entry.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

From hells heart

Author: Dandy_Desmond from United Kingdom
28 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm not a Trekki but I love Star Trek 2 : The Wrath of Khan. A classic in my opinion. A movie I have grown up with yet still manages to thrill me whenever I occasionally dig it out of my DVD collection. William Shatner, however hammy, simply IS Captain Kirk, a leader of men, a decision maker and a fighter. Khan is a bitter vengeful man determined to kill the man who marooned him (kirk) and is a most worthy villain. Ricardo Montalaban is brilliant in his role as Khan eating up his lines and delivering them with a poetic madness. What is most impressive about this story is that it is simply not just a story about one mans obsession, hate and bid to avenge being marooned on a desolate planet. It allows characters to develop and grow (especially Kirk and Spocks bond) it builds the tension slowly and the showdown is exiting and very well executed by both the director and I also must say by James Horner for a terrific score to compliment the action. Overall Star Trek 2 has great characters, a good story, terrific action and best of all an exiting and ultimately tragic ending. Oh and Kirsty Alley is without doubt the hottest vulcan/romulan I ever saw! oo ah!

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

From Out Of The Past

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
4 October 2008

I've heard some Trekkies argue that The Wrath Of Khan is the best of the Star Trek big screen productions and I'm for one am inclined to accept that. Of all the Star Trek films it's the only one to have origins directly from the cult television series.

And the origin is from the episode Space Seed where the Eneterprise finds a ship floating in space with cryogenically frozen people of all kinds on board. Their leader is Khan Nooriam Singh played by Ricardo Montalban. What they are is a group of genetically enhanced human beings who back in the day tried to take over. Earth justice at the time being what it was, they were not killed, but frozen and were out there in space for several hundred years.

William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk had a close run battle with this crowd again and they were sentenced to a different kind of exile, on a barren planet where they would have to struggle to maintain life itself.

Fifteen years later Khan is down, but not out. He's out for blood now because the wife he took from the original Enterprise crew is dead and he blames Kirk. Khan's also after bigger game as well, something called the Genesis Project, a thing that scientists Bibi Besch and Paul Winfield have been working on. A method of generating life itself on a dead world.

Khan's a genetically enhanced being both physically and mentally which makes him maybe the most dangerous foe Kirk faced on the three year run of the television series. He hasn't lost a step, but even a genius can't think of everything even if he's taken over a starship of his own.

With both the television episode Space Seed and the film the Wrath of Khan it could well be argued that Ricardo Montalban got his career role, maybe he's known for playing Khan better because of Trek fans than for being the inscrutable Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island. All the Star Trek regulars are in their accustomed and comfortable parts.

I'll let you in on a secret, The Wrath of Khan is my favorite of the Star Trek films and it will be your's if you see it.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Best Star Trek movie (and one of the best sci-fi movies) ever!

Author: Longest_Lasting_Redshirt from United States
27 April 2008

I rented the first three of the six original Star Trek movies a couple of months ago. After trying to sit through The Motion Picture twice, and couldn't, This one I expected to be similar. Quite contrary. While The Motion Picture (TMP) had bleak and dull lighting, costumes (bad costumes even for Star Trek) This starts off with Spock's Iconic ear, and we see a well done scene (The reason I knew what was going on is because I read Leonard Nimoy's biography, where he talks about the movie) Then we have Khan, the best Star Trek villain ever! Ricardo Montalban gave the best performance of the movie with great lines, and he was threatening.

This movie also broke new ground with one thing: Chekov (Walter Koenig) actually did something that progressed the plot! after two seasons of just saying "mother Russia" and occasionally giving an input, he actually progressed plot! I suppose that you know the ending by now (I won't say, just in case you don't. But even if you do know what will happen, you still will love the scene (If you just want to watch it, I first found it on YouTube, result of lack of patience to sit through the movie for hours when I just want to watch that scene) After watching the whole movie, I still loved it very much and almost cried.

Just watch this movie, It is the best Star Trek movie, with First Contact as a close second. The only advantage this movie has is it isn't actually a geeky movie like the other nine (or the five of which I have seen)

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