Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Reviews
Plus Kahn is truly Kirk's arch enemy. Every bit the ego and brash battlefield commander that Kirk is. Plus there is this bit of dialogue:
Kahn: "No Captain I've done more that kill you, I've hurt you. And I wish to go on hurting you..."
In 1982, audiences weren't expecting much from this franchise, after the TV series was unceremoniously canceled years earlier and the first film was such an uncharacteristic slog. Maybe the cool sets, practical effects, corny posturing and brilliant score were of no surprise. Maybe even the great correlation and juxtaposition between our hero and villain may have been inevitable, with Khan and Kirk basically being two sides of the same bloated-chest coin. However, to get a Star Trek film that's such a dark and powerful metaphor for the hardships of war must've been a watershed moment, especially within the Spock-Kirk arc.
What especailly surprises me is this film's status as a bonafide classic of the genre. Like other so-called "Trekkers", I love it, but how much of that is helped by my pre-existing fandom? Wrath... makes the decision not to waste time with character introductions or clunky backstory exposition; it assumes our knowledge of these things. Instead, it allows its strong script to stand on its own. The humor-injected dialogue, the consistent character moments, the straightforward plotting, and the wide-reaching themes connect us to these characters, whether for the first or hundredth time.