Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Boldly going where they’d already gone before.

Before you spout hatred at me for that, please know that I wanted to adore this film. You only have but so many science fiction franchises that have survived this long—Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who—come to mind, and time has a way of deeming certain entries “the best.” Perhaps, if the circumstances were different, so would have been the result.

I had expectations for this film that were greater than the Enterprise, and that kind of ruined it. Certain lines and actions have made their way into the vernacular, and so there was nothing really surprising about this film. I hadn’t seen it, but I knew how it ended.

I knew that Spock was going to die, and I knew that Kirk would shout “KHANNN” loud enough to echo miles and miles. And I have to say, that kind of ruined it for me.

For those of you who don’t know, this film is about a device called the Genesis. It’s capable of destroying a barren planet, only to rebirth it as one capable of sustaining life. Chekov and Terrell investigate a potential planet, only to discover the marooned psychopath, Khan (Ricardo Montalbán), who vows revenge. He blames Kirk (William Shatner) for his wife’s death, and he won’t rest until the Admiral(/Captain) is dead.

Kirk resumes command of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and he must find a way to stop Khan before the man can activate the Genesis machine. By the end, Spock does die trying to save the crew, and it’s genuinely touching.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m still a bit sour from Star Trek Into Darkness, even though I’m excited for BeyondInto Darkness borrowed extensively from Wrath of Khan, in what became less an homage than a plagiarism.

This film is perfectly adequate. It feels like an extended episode of the Original Series, but that’s kind of a compliment. There’s nothing wrong with it; I think I just expected too much going in.

I’m disappointed in myself, if that helps.



Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is available on Amazon Prime Video.

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