Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

After the high-concept science-fiction of the first Star Trek movie, Star Trek 2 was a much more straight forward action film and probably the best Star Trek film of all. A sequel to the Star Trek TV episode "Space Seed" with Ricardo Montalban reprising his role of the genetically enhanced warlord Khan.

Khan escapes his exile and gets his hands on a starship, the Reliant. He also finds out about a science project led by Dr Marcus (Bibi Besch) called Genesis that can turn a lifeless world into one filled with abundant life, Khan realised that this also makes it the ultimate weapon. He sets a trap for his nemesis Kirk (William Shatner) and the Enterprise...

Star Trek 2 portrays space travel along very nautical lines, the film could pretty easily have been set underwater with the Enterprise and Reliant as submarines. They even both have torpedo bays. Beyond the action (which is pretty decent) there are themes of ageing, friendship and humanity which are well explored. It was this which elevated Star Trek 2 beyond just another film about model spaceships blowing lumps out of each other. Great science fiction (and Star Trek) has always been about exploring humanity more than anything else and this film accomplished this more than many.