At the End of the Universe Lies the Beginning of Vengeance.
"...a likable adventure...with nice touches of warmth and humor. Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide
|Admiral kirk's midlife crisis is interrupted by the return of an old enemy looking for revenge and a potentially destructive device|
"...this multi-layered action picture works so well you don't need to be a "Trekkie" to enjoy it. Mark Bourne, DVD Journal
"If you're only going to own one installment in the extensive franchise, this is without a doubt the one to have. You won't be disappointed. NeedCoffee.com
"...lays the groundwork for many entertaining movies to come. Nick Cramp, BBC Online
"...fans of the TV series wanted to see their favorite characters again, and Trek II understood that desire and acted on it. Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
While out on routine training maneuvers, a starship encounters a powerful and supposedly exiled foe from the distant past: Khan. Only Kirk can stop the Moby Dick-quoting, vengeance-crazed genius from bringing about universal destruction in this warp-speed thrill ride. A continuation of the plotline begun in episode 24 of the original series, "The Space Seed."
Cast & Crew
Khan, a genetically engineered "superman" prone to megalomaniacal delusions, was exiled years ago to the barren planet Ceti Alpha 5. He blames Admiral Kirk for his hard fate, as well as for his son's death, and vows revenge. When Commander Chekov mistakenly beams down to Khan's lair, the villain finally has a means of escape. Using a parasitic creature that allows him to control the minds of his victims, Khan seizes command of the Starship Reliant. From there he hopes to lure Kirk to his death, using equipment stolen from an experimental research project. These devices allow him to trigger something known as the "Genesis Effect" -- a means of generating new life from existing matter. Khan plans to use the creation machines as weapons, because the same fire of life that creates new worlds must destroy what existed before. Kirk and crew need all the courage and cunning they can muster in order to save their friend and silence Khan forever.
|"Kirk to Enterprise." ---- Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner)
"...A very satisfying space adventure....Bound to captivate 'Trek' fans and with premiere special effects to attract other space [picture] enthusiasts..."
New York Times
"...A sequel that's worth its salt....On its own simple terms, those of pure escapism, it certainly succeeds."
"...The best of the TREK flicks..."
ReelViews 9 of 10
In the wake of the somnambulant Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the fledgling Star Trek movie series was in need of some zest, which is exactly what The Wrath of Khan provided. While retaining the thematic elements of the late-'60s TV series and utilizing the much-loved original USS Enterprise crew, Star Trek II added hefty doses of action, adventure, and suspense, injecting life into a concept that had been left moribund by its first big-screen feature. To date, this is the best Star Trek movie, and, arguably, the strongest any motion picture version of the franchise could hope to be...Gone are the pastels and clinical whites of The Motion Picture, replaced by a more pleasing burgundy uniform. The ship also seems smaller and homier than three years ago, although there's a definite warlike aspect to its comforts (witness the detail shown as the Enterprise prepares for the film's climactic battle). The characters also seem more relaxed here, and the three-pronged friendship/rivalry between Admiral Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and McCoy (DeForest Kelley) harkens back to the best moments of the series...The Wrath of Khan is a top-notch, fast-paced adventure that can be enjoyed equally by fans of the series and those who have never seen an episode. There are several tense, well-executed battle sequences that feature impressive special effects and a soaring score by James Horner. The ending, which I won't reveal (although everyone probably knows it by now) is tender and poignant -- proof that Star Trek can still touch the heart. The Wrath of Khan shows the potential inherent in the Star Trek concept as applied to the big screen. It's unfortunate that none of the other films in this long-running series have come close to the level achieved by this marvelous example of entertainment.
- James Berardinelli
The Onion A.V. Club 9 of 10
Because getting Star Trek fans to agree on any issue tends to be an elusive goal, it would take an exceptional project to unite the bunch. Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan came closest for several reasons. Ironically enough, a significant one is that even without the words "Star Trek," the film would still be a space adventure of the highest order. Almost destined to look good by comparison, Khan followed 1979's handsome, ponderous Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which spent a lifetime reintroducing each of the show's characters and another lifetime letting them drift through an endless nebula of special effects. Like Superman II, another superior sequel, Khan dispenses with the formalities and gets down to the business at hand...Director Nicholas Meyer came to the project with little knowledge of the series and little concern for avoiding such topics as the graying of the Enterprise crew: He made a central issue out of William Shatner's age, and brought mortality to center stage by killing off a major character. For all that, the film still stays planted in the Star Trek universe. It digs deep into the show's archives to find its titular villain, a genetically engineered superman played by Ricardo Montalban, last seen making a new start on an uninhabited planet after trying to take over the Enterprise. Now eager for revenge on Shatner after living for decades in the aftermath of an ecological disaster that killed most of his crew, Montalban finds the means to even the score after he commandeers a passing starship. What follows works both as a confrontation between two characters and as a showdown between two happily larger-than-life actors. Shatner and Montalban never share the same space, but their face-offs highlight the film, as they both wring every drop of drama out of their lines.
- Keith Phipps