Sci-Fi December: Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan

Star Trek 2 illustration by Jeff SchwartzbauerStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – 1982

Dir: Nicholas Meyer | Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Ricardo Mantolban, Kirstie Alley, DeForest Kelley

Year: 23rd Century

Review: Following the less than stellar critical reception of  Star Trek: The Motion Picture, as well as less than expected ticket gate (despite setting ticket sales records, and still being the most successful with adjusted inflation), Gene Roddenberry was forced out of the producers seat and the film budget slashed to a fourth for its sequel. The results are widely considered to be the best film in the entire Star Trek film franchise. I personally have not seen all the original Cast films, but from what I have seen I would agree to that fact. Khan is a worthy and interesting foe for the Kirk and his crew and there is also themes addressing age, success and failure, friendship and loss which give these characters some added depth and intrigue. The special effects I am sure were impressive for the time using some state-of-the-early-80’s computer animation for the computer monitors and to show a simulation of a planet being terraformed. The sets however look a little rough in places and tend to look very artificial, which was acceptable when this was a Television program, but are real cheap for a major motion picture. Its entertaining and fun, and you’ll get more out of it if you are a fan, but then there is also a major gaff which sends hardcore original cast fans up the wall but really doesn’t matter for the sake of the story. If you are new to Star Trek films, you can’t really pick a better starting place.

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