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Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan VHS
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Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan
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 ShannonSee all Editorial Reviews
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Very good direction from Nicholas Meyer as Kirk and Spock move out to investigate really without a clue. The best sequence in the film starts with the mysterious jammed message from Dr. Marcus to the first space battle with Khan. These directors are all Spielberg students at this time, and they know how to move plot elements like chess pieces into a powerful and suspenseful combination.
It really hit me watching 'Wrath' this time how good Kirstie Alley is, to step in to this ensemble of legendary stars and more than hold her own. She's great! I love her flirty Vulcan-to-Vulcan bit with Spock: "You lied!" "No I didn't, I exaggerated!"
A nice touch, particularly in a revenge story, is how visceral this film is. An early scene shortly after Montalban is introduced would feel perfectly at home in a horror film (not gory, but very terrifying and handled well). The usual "clean" space battles of Star Trek where ships chip away at each other shields are absent. Both sides lose their shields immediately and then keep fighting, resulting in visible damage and heavy losses.
The Blu-ray edition doesn't add much, so there's no reason to buy this if you have the DVD.
In PARAMOUNT's second Star Trek film THE WRATH OF KHAN (directed by Nicholas Meyer), the decades seem to drop away and we're right back amidst those vintage Trek TV shows, thanks in great part to a spot on script and Ricardo Montalban's magnificent reprise of the evil superhuman of the "Space Seed" episode, marooned so long ago with 80 of his followers on Ceti Alpha V by Capt. (now Admiral) James T. Kirk.
Furthering the illusion of time stood still in this swashbuckling sci-fi adventure is Leonard Nimoy's recital of a revamped "Space... the final frontier" opening speech, also a self-admittedly aging Kirk's assignment to the equally high-mileage original USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), which has been reduced to an outmoded training ship.
Kirk and his crew of newbies, among them Vulcan/Romulan designated commander Lt. Saavik (Alley) are on a two-week milk run that includes the infamous Kobayashi Maru simulation, when barrel-chested Khan Noonien Singh and 15 other genetically engineered survivors take control of the USS Reliant and its commander, Pavel Chekov.
Khan and Reliant attack Space Station Regula 1, where Kirk's lover and adult son are developing a Genesis Device. After receiving Regula 1's SOS, Kirk relieves Saakik of command and warp speeds toward the station. While enroute, a surprise attack from Reliant cripples Enterprise and kills many of its green crew. Next comes a cat-and-mouse war sequence inspired by THE ENEMY BELOW (1957), a battle of wits between two old adversaries in which only one will survive.
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.
(7.7) Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) - William Shatner/Leonard Nimoy/DeForest Kelley/James Doohan/Walter Koenig/George Takei/Nichelle Nichols/Paul Winfield/Kirstie Alley/Ricardo Montalban
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