Since I wrote about Logan's Run earlier this month I might as well write about another favorite sci-fi film I love. I'm really into '70s/'80s sci-fi--the period right before CGI took over--and I'm an admitted lifelong Star Trek fan (there's no shame in it!). Like a lot of people, my two favorite films in the Star Trek series are parts 2 and 3 (The Search for Spock). It's been awhile since I've seen Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and it still warms the cockles of my Federation lovin' heart.
There are a lot of reasons to love this film. There’s a great villain in Ricardo Mantalbon as the genetic superhuman Khan. What makes this villain resonate is he’s a character from the TV show that wants revenge on Kirk, who sent him into exile on a barren planet years earlier. Mantalbon, the one time Fantasy Island actor, is wonderful as the bad guy. He hams it up in his beefed up rubber muscle suit in very entertaining ways.
Wrath of Khan is so great because it has a suspenseful revenge element that blends in bits of humor and great action as Admiral Kirk returns to the spot he loves: the helm of the Enterprise. Khan wants to get his hands on the Genesis Project (a technology that creates livable planets on ones that were not livable in the span of a few days) to start again on a newly invigorated planet but he wants to kill Kirk even more. Revenge is a disease in Khan's mind and he can't control it until he either kills Kirk or dies trying, it's good stuff people.
I'm a Spock man myself and would have liked to see more of the genius Vulcan and much less of the always annoying Kirstie Alley (who was seriously miscast as a Vulcan--she doesn't deserve to step on board the Enterprise!). No way did I believe for a second that she's a Vulcan. Come on!
I need to re-watch all the Star Trek films now after watching this. Except maybe Star Trek V, the crap one Shatner directed, I’ll pass on that mess. The word is, JJ Abrams is directing the new Star Trek film and it’s going to be about Kirk and Spock at Starfleet Academy. I’m excited at the thought of such a movie. Don't even try to tell me Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan isn't good and remember, live long and prosper.