Movie Reviews: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan


Star Trek II: The wrath of Khan directed by Nicholas Meyer

If you ask 95% of Star Trek fans what their favorite movie is, they will say Star Trek II. I mean, come on, this is the Star Trek movie everyone compares every new movie to, much like The Empire Strikes Back in the Star Wars universe. Why is the Wrath of Khan a masterpiece? Was it the Shatner and Montalban over-acting? (They never see face each other in the same proximity at any time). Was it the plot holes that fanboys dismiss? (Chekov wasn’t in the Space Seed episode and why is the genesis technology only trusted to a few scientists?) Was it new costumes? (Getting rid of the weird gray uniforms of the Roddenberry disaster of “The Motion Picture” and going all naval-like) Was it the scream heard around the universe? (Khaaaaaaaaaaaaan!)

I think it comes down to one thing: Nicholas Meyer. The production was mired in a movie executive quagmire of idiocy. Roddenberry was retired (thankfully). Harve Bennett came up with a bombastic version of a Khan script involving 12 face-t0-face confrontations between Kirk and Spock mirroring the original series. They also had Spock dying unceremoniously in the first act. It wasn’t until they hired Nicholas Meyer, who wrote a tight script in 12 days for no credit or pay that Star Trek changed forever (well … until Shatner got his turn directing, but that’s another story).

Meyer turned Star Trek to an adventure. Simple as that. We already loved the characters. This was Horatio Hornblower in space. All of the character building and backstory was already given. The Wrath of Khan is a story about revenge, life, sacrifice, and death. Yes, Meyer militarized Star Trek, but what do you expect? The Federation doesn’t arm their starships with photon torpedoes for no reason. Characters die. Villains are angry. People are willing to follow their leader to the very end. This is how the world works.

The film is a masterpiece and holds up to today (far superior to the hot mess/remake called Star Trek into Crapness). The story starts with the Kobayashi Maru scenario and a discussion of growing old, giving a bookend with Spocks death at the end of the film. Captain Kirk is the whale for Khan’s version of Ahab. We watch the longest and greatest space battle in Star Trek film history. The movie is epic and one of my favorite films and is the start of the 2nd greatest sci-fi trilogy of all time. (Star Wars Original Trilogy over Star Trek II, III, IV)


I do not agree with your insinuation that the great Chekov did not know about Khan. With a  helmsman of his caliber, he would have surely reviewed all the greatest adventures of James T. Kirk and studied them like a hawk. Chekov was what Starfleet called a “fast warper” and had all his boxes checked to command a Constellation Class Starship someday. If it wasn’t for backstabbing Sulu and an obvious quota system, he would have been the first Cosmonaut Russian to command something in space. I only point to the end of this fine movie when after Chekov almost vaporizes them with a phaser because of a space bug in his ear, Kirk trusts him like nothing happened and lets him drive the starship through the nebula. If that doesn’t say trust, I don’t know what is. There ain’t nobody that can go “Z minus 200 degrees” like Chekov. Nobody. 

Movie Rating: 11/10 (Off the damn charts … part of me sheds a tear when Kirk says “human” in his eulogy)




8 thoughts on “Movie Reviews: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

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