Evil Movie Review: Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan
Ok nerds, today it gets real. I have my review of The Wrath of Khan, a Valentine’s Day treat for you Star Trek lovers. This is one of the most famous Star Trek movies of all time. You all know I was a little unimpressed by the premiere Star Trek movie by now, but I tried with all my might to come in to this film unaffected by my past Star Trek experiences. I was determined to like it. I was going to really see what all the hype about this series really was. Get ready, and well, I will warn you there are spoilers but come on now, even I knew what was going to happen before seeing the film thanks to seeing J.J. Abrams reboot.
Despite his interesting leading methods in the last film, Kirk has been promoted to Admiral and is on the Enterprise again, this time helping Spock train his new crew as he assumes the role of the new Captain.
The opening scene is familiar: it features a training captain taking on the Kobayashi Maru. I knew this sounded familiar, and then I realized it: it was the simulation that Kirk cheated back in the day by reassembling the computer program. Or is that in the future…since we saw it happen in the recent reboot. And who is this new training captain, currently a lieutenant? Kirstie Alley, and she is playing a VULCAN! Her name is Saavik, and unlike Kirk she loses the simulation as expected, but then spends time throughout the film struggling with this and consulting Kirk in how he deals with the “no win scenario” (which he naturally does not believe in). I was interested to see where this new Vulcan character would take us, but I will be blunt and tell you know she does not have much character development in the film.
Somewhere else in space we are reunited with another man we know and love all too well: Commander Pavel Chekov is searching for a lifeless planet with his Captain Clark Terrell so that it can be used by scientists to experiment their new Genesis device on. When on what they think is Ceti Alpha VI they come across a settlement that looks like humans could have been there. Chekov realizes their mistake a moment too late, and the two are overpowered by a group of the indigenous wearing bizarre garb to protect them from the harsh environment.
It turns out these people are the once exiled group of genetically engineered supermen that Kirk sent to Alpha V, but shortly after their arrival Alpha VI exploded, causing their planet to become virtually uninhabitable.
And the best part is 15 years later they got the same man to play Khan: Ricardo Moltaban takes on the role with the same zest and strength that he did on the one episode of the Original Series back in the day. I’m also fairly certain the man has pumped himself full of steroids in real life, as his pecks pretty much rival those of Arnold’s.
Khan is able to control Chekov and Terrell with local eels that make them susceptible to mind control (though I thought they were centurion slugs). And when he learns of the genesis project he sets course for the space station to try to capture it. Now rather than steal a spaceship or make his own new planet, Khan has other aspirations in life: revenge. He blames Kirk for everything that happened to his people on Alpha V, and decides to set a trap to lure him there to get his revenge. If it sounds like the plot line from 75% of movies from the 80’s, that’s cause it probably was.
To add to the weirdness, although predictableness, Kirk’s ex-lover Dr. Carol Marcus is on the space station that Khan captured, where she is the head scientist and developer of The Genesis Project. The project involves shooting a missile in to a dead planet where it will reorganize matter and create a new, habitable planet for colonization. I won’t even bother trying to explain the science behind this technology, cause it would pretty much be impossible. And now only will it convert a barren planet in to a life-filled one, it does so in a matter of minutes instead of centuries like normal growth and evolution would require. But ok, I will suspend my disbelief for this science fiction franchise; I can at least do that considering I do it for so many other franchises.
Now the scene where Kirk is reunited with her former lover, and the son she had but never told him about, is just, well, I guess classic is a good word to describe it. I mean, we already knew from the series that Kirk can’t control his second head and as a result probably seeded many baby Kirk’s all over the galaxy. But it felt a little too much like the recent Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in which the unsuspecting father is shocked by the revelation that he had a son out there, and instantly tries to fulfill the role of father even though he had been absent from that person’s life for so long. Kind of douche-y if you ask me.
On the inside of the planet Reliant where the space station was, the group along with Saavik and McCoy get to marvel at the wonders of life the genesis grew inside the planet, and plan their escape from Khan who is awaiting in space to ambush and kill them. And this part just seemed all too easy. Though it reminded me that things were once simpler in our world. These days movies create very elaborate schemes to fool us or design these unbelievable last minute escapes. Here Spock and Kirk simply lie on a transmission about where they will be rendezvousing and the result is Khan takes the bait, ends up behind them as they hide in a nearby nebula, and quickly disables Khan’s ship. Too easy, right? I guess it was nice to have things be so simple and predictable at one point as opposed to the more unbelievable theatrics of films of the present day.
The space battle scene between the two was also simple, and comical at times. Khan and his crew are dressed like they are old men from Peter Pan, which also reminded me that costumes back in the day were so much more simplistic and less realistic. I mean, I could easily pull that off in a cosplay situation on my own. The costumes actually looked like they were purchased at the local Halloween store rather than designed and made to fit the actual scenes.
In the last minutes of the movie Khan is still able to exact his revenge: he sets off the Genesis, which will explode in the nebula before The Enterprise can escape. The Enterprise’s warp drive is damaged, and unless repaired they will not escape, and will be transformed in to some form of new life. Spock enters the room with the warp drive, exposing himself to high levels of radiation as he fixes it, saving the lives of the rest of the crew while sacrificing himself. Sound familiar? Yeah, just reverse the roles of Kirk and Spock with Quintos and Pine to have it played out in reverse. This was a very touching scene from both films if you ask me. Kirk and Spock have such an epic bromance it is a little heart breaking to watch them say goodbye to each other. Of course, we’ve all seen scenes from the future movies, he will find a way to live long and prosper, and it is his most important role, isn’t it?
All in all to sum up my thoughts about the movie: I liked it better than the first, I am glad I watched it, but I probably won’t watch it again. Maybe it’s that I have become a child of the 21st century and I need insane amounts of stimulation and pretty imagery to stay focused, but I enjoyed Abrams’ version better. I know, that is probably sacrilege for you Trekkies to hear, I’m sorry, but Moltaban’s Peter Pan outfit and a story of simple but over the top revenge just didn’t do it for me as much as a conspiracy by the Federation itself, with epic warp speed battles and explosions. Looks like I will be searching for Spock in the next movie, until then geeks!
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Posted on February 14, 2015, in Evil Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews and tagged Evil Movie Reviews, Khan, kirk, Sci-Fi, spock, Star Trek, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.