Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan Reviews

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½ September 30, 2006
Entertaining movie after a slower, but very enjoyable first. More, simple action. Mano a mano. A vengeful, but unfortunately passionate Khan, seeking revenge against a pensive Enterprise Crew. Only one way this fight would eventually go. Mom was shocked and cried at Spock's passing. We've asked her to come back for three.
April 27, 2011
February 6, 2015
I saw this when I was eight years old, a time when kids my age watched Harry Potter and other films. but this one truly caught my imagination, my love of star ships, and the famous characters like Spock. Some geniune heartfelt moments, the unforgettable villian, the epic space battle at the end, the chilling music score, the simple but effective plot that ties in nicely with the series, but you don't have to be a complete trekkie to enjoy this film as it explains to new comers about Khan in a non-boring way. The moments of humour and victory for the characters is nicely broken by Ricardo Montalban's presence, and Saavik as a new Spock protege is Masterfully executed throughout as she learns as Kirk learns that command is all about the hard choices, the no win scenarios, and the consequences of your actions. Even though some of the effects are dated it gives the film an edgy realism. My all time favourite film EVER!
January 29, 2015
The moment when Star Trek hit a whole new audience thanks to a killer script and one heck of a bad guy. Full review later.
Super Reviewer
June 29, 2012
I never did understand how this film was so much more successful and popular than the first. Quite clearly the film has gone for a slightly more silly plot losing a lot of the straight laced sci-fi from the first. I suppose you could say they lost the aspiring '2001' type sequences and went back to the more well known cardboard cutout type effects of the old Star Trek show...shame.

Now I realise the slow building straight faced Star Trek we got in the first film was frowned upon but its hard to see what the fans actually wanted in a big screen version. There were complaints that the original was just an outstretched TV episode with fancy visuals, yet this sequel (in my opinion) was even more of an outstretched TV episode with lousy visuals. As we all know this movie is a sequel or follow up to the original TV episode 'Space Seed' where Kirk and co battled against the deadly super strong Khan and his boy band of super studs.

I've always thought this idea was a brave one personally. Although the original TV episode did do well when it was first shown that was way back in 1967, who knew if anyone would take to seeing an old Khan doing the same kind of thing he did once before. Obviously the gamble paid off as we now know but wow talk about risky...if you ask me.

So you gotta give it to the creative teams behind the film. I mean lets face it, if you hadn't seen the original TV episode then you would be a little stuck as to what's going on. So technically the director has already, possibly, excluded most of the target audience as I'm sure many would not have seen it being too young. Of course many would have but back in the old days you couldn't just catch up on an old TV episode and watch it easily, so if you wanted to watch 'Space Seed' again back then you might have been stuck.

That aside I think the film looked pretty poor also, the effects looked a lot rougher (which is saying something) than the first movie and in general the grandiose feeling you got in the first film seemed to have been sucked away. What you had left was a quite cheap looking and very generic film, the only thing that looked spruced up was the character uniforms.

The models were still solid visually don't get me wrong (although they were reused from the first movie), but they were set against some really bad bluescreen space backdrops. Its such a shame because they are very obviously models with stark black lines around their edges giving the game away, plus they clearly looked exactly the same as the previous movies models which was dull. I think the effects team struggled throughout with this movie as you can see various methods used to create the entire illusion which kinda looks like a muddle at times. For the time these effects were decent and did the job but these days its quite shocking how dodgy they can appear but I guess that's to be expected.

The whole production was a cheap affair really with so many props reused or cannibalized from a cancelled sequel TV series idea (sequel to the original series). Whilst certain sets such as the Enterprise bridge were redressed and reused as was the Klingon bridge set. Heck even the old costumes were kinda Frankensteined and reused to save money! but admittedly the new naval inspired look was perfect for the franchise. On the flip side Khan's people were kinda dressed like a band of warriors from the Mad Max universe...or any group of savages you'd see in any apocalyptic sci-fi movie really.

For me the franchise went backwards in terms of visuals with this outing, it was kinda cool how they explored and expanded an old TV episode but the whole thing is so basic looking. I liked the slow strategic galleon/submarine type starship battle between Kirk and Khan in the nebulae, this was obviously the highlight of the movie and created perfect tension. Sure it was basically submarines in space but it worked well. Apart from that there was nothing really that stuck out for me as a big kickass moment (apart from that raging scream courtesy of Kirk).

There is of course the small subplot of Spock's death which at the time stunned everyone. Yet this was clearly a setup for the next sequel, to turbo charge emotions and get people back into the cinemas again. It was pretty clear that Spock would not die for good and he would come back in the next movie, no way they would let one of the most popular characters get killed off. So in all honesty that shocker never really affected me, sure it was sad seeing Kirk choke up at the funeral, a real tearjerker I'm willing to admit...but it was also kind of a cheap tactic really.

Of course a sneering seething Ricardo Montalbán really helped the film with his portrayal of the dastardly Khan but he doesn't do much does he. I still don't really understand why he blamed Kirk for the death of his wife. In the TV episode after Khan is defeated he happily agrees to be marooned on Ceti Alpha VI to rule as a king on his own planet. OK so things went tits up with the neighbouring planet causing massive troubles but that's got nothing to do with Kirk. Khan was happy with Kirk's original decision can't blame Kirk surely, you agreed Khan.

The movie is really all about the main trio of Spock, Kirk and McCoy, everyone else is there of course but they don't get much screen time. Even back then it was clear that the team were cracking on age wise with Shatner at 50 years of age. Despite that the movie is most definitely a solid Star Trek entry offering thrills and spills of a nautical theme...dare I say Hornblower in space. Its nowhere near as visually epic as the first movie and I did miss those Kubrick-esque shots as I've already said, but it does have that classic Star Trek feel even though its somewhat missing the classic technical babble. I still think its a pretty basic and generic concept overall but I guess the original TV series had both action based plots and thinking based plots to cover all angles.
½ January 7, 2015
Classic. Great storytelling. Witty, moving, tense.
½ December 7, 2014
Star Trek II is a great sci-fi film,with interesting action scenes,great performances and an unexpected emotional depth to the story.
December 21, 2014
Awesome. Montalban obviously WAY BETTER than B.C
December 13, 2014
I will never not cry for the Wrath of Khan. It's the best star trek movie made. It's exciting, action packed, emotional, and exciting. It's a must watch. The movie had such an influence on popular culture today, with great reason. Star Trek the wrath of Khan is one of the most magnificent movies in history.
January 7, 2014
Ah this is much, much better than the last film! It manages to fix every problem the first one had.
The plot is stronger and more interesting, the characters are much more engaging, and it's an overall more enjoyable movie. Combine that with Ricardo Montalban's awesome portrayal of the villain Khan and you got yourself a pretty good Star Trek film.
½ August 23, 2014
October 1, 2014
Another boring entry in a lesser franchise.
September 27, 2014
Star Trek II is a great sci-fi film,with interesting action scenes,great performances and an unexpected emotional depth to the story.
½ September 20, 2014
For hard-core Star-Trek fans, there is nothing better than this. It incorporates all the fan-favorite characters effectively. The familiar characters are more interesting with greater dimension and emotion in this movie than in the last. It is a good move allowing each of the classic characters to influence the story in a meaningful manner. The visuals are most impressive; they still look great. While it is more interesting than the fist movie, the main problem with the Star Trek franchise persists. Dialogue drives the tension and action, but never builds into a fully rewarding excitement. The action sequences just do not hold the impact they should. Kahn is a quality villain with a good story, but Kirk seems to manipulate him a little too easily. Character development and story are most important, but a little more action would help a great deal. This is an emotionally polarizing story that finishes in an awkward manner. Parts of it are uplifting, as expected, but there are uncharacteristically sobering events that I did not care for. It finishes off on a gloomy note that leaves an empty and unsatisfying feeling.
July 25, 2012
"Khan...!" One of the most iconic lines in Star Trek history! This sequel is a great improvement. The cast works well together and it brings back good memories of the show.
½ August 4, 2014
Still possibly the best Star Trek film, though the 80s costumes date it a bit! Not quite as awe-inspiring as the first film, but a great story which matches the tone of the original series and a super cliffhanger.
July 24, 2014
It's more like the return of Khan, not the wrath. It's hard not to compare it to J.J. Abrams's far superior "Into Darkness", but The Wrath of Khan, despite the fact it's been over 30 years since its release, still manages to provide some sci-fi thrills.
July 18, 2014
So bold and over the top, just the way Star Trek should always be.
July 15, 2014
The best of the Star Trek movies. It has an intelligent script, great villain, and amazing performances. This is better than the '09 reboot, and better than Into Darkness.
July 11, 2014
Shakespeare in space, they aimed for a Moby Dick parallel and succeeded.
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