Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Reviews
We open the film as the enterprise seemingly has a new captain in Kirstie Alley's Saavik, only to find out its a training exercise put together by Spock and Admiral Kirk. I was worried they may rehash the same story line as the first film as Kirk seemed to hint that he may be done with the Enterprise, only to run into an old foe in Khan. Even though I have seen bits and pieces of the original series and had been somewhat familiar with Khan as a villain, I didn't know to the extent to which him and Kirk were linked. I was glad to see viewing of his appearance in the TV series wasn't entirely necessary as they explained enough in the 103 minute run-time.
Khan has become somewhat of a pop culture icon over the years, so I had my fair share of expectations going in. Ricardo Montalban's performance and the writing didn't let me down. So much so that you understand where Khan is coming from when he wants Project Genesis from the crew and wants revenge for what Kirk did. In many ways, he was Kirk's arch nemesis and proved to come through with a lot of what he swore to do to Kirk. My only gripe with him as a villain was that I feel like we were missing an in person interaction with Kirk himself. Speaking through a video screen inside the Enterprise isn't enough, you need that human interaction.
With that said, The Wrath of Khan has the emotional layers and character depths that the first film was lacking. All of the original dynamics of the ship are there, plus some new and enjoyable ones as well. Plus, it doesn't take 45 minutes for things to get going, the pacing is much improved. James Horner's haunting score also sets the tone immediately from the opening scene, all the way through the bittersweet ending. Overall, everything feels bigger and better with The Wrath of Khan. Having seen the new Trek films, I think this can rank up there with them as some of the best outings the Enterprise crew has ever had.
+Special effects & pacing much improved
+Very good villain
-Although Khan was missing the human interaction with Kirk