Retro-review: 'The Wrath of Khan'
Today’s Retro-Review is brought to you by Jay Wright of Loganville, Ga. During the ‘80s, Jay saw as many sci-fi films as he could, such as the one being reviewed today, Flash Gordon, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Aliens. Needless to say, he didn’t have a lot of dates but he’s still hopelessly stuck in the ‘80s.
TODAY'S RETRO-REVIEW: A new Star Trek film is rebooting the franchise but let’s take a look at arguably the best film of the Star Trek series, 1982’s Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. This was the second original series film based on the TV series with William Shatner returning as Admiral James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock along with all of the other original cast members. Directing was handled by Nicholas Meyer.
THE PLOT: Admiral Kirk has to save the universe from Khan, his adversary seeking revenge for being marooned 15 years previously for trying to steal the Enterprise and the death of Khan’s wife.
MAYBE YOU REMEMBER: According to IMDB.com, producer Harve Bennett viewed all the original Star Trek episodes and chose “Space Seed” as the best candidate for a sequel. This is the first time a movie was made as a sequel to a specific television show episode.
SURELY YOU CAN'T FORGET: The fight between the Enterprise and the Reliant, where Admiral Kirk pits his years of experience against Kahn’s superior intellect. Kirk wins but at the high cost of Spock’s life.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID: "Khan is played as a cauldron of resentment by Ricardo Montalban, and his performance is so strong that he helps illustrate a general principle involving not only Star Trek but STAR WARS (1977) and all the epic serials, especially the JAMES BOND movies: Each film is only as good as its villain. Since the heroes and the gimmicks tend to repeat from film to film, only a great villain can transform a good try into a triumph. In a curious way, Khan captures our sympathy, even though he is an evil man who introduces loathsome creatures into the ear canals of two Enterprise crew members. Montalban doesn't overact. He plays the character as a man of deeply wounded pride, whose bond of hatred with Admiral Kirk is stronger even than his traditional villain's desire to rule the universe." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
WHY WE LOVE IT ANYWAY: It's a great story with great special effects of the times. Although, Star Trek IV made more money, fans will argue this is the best Star Trek film ever made and started the whole “odd/even” number determined if it was good.
TOP 5 MEMORABLE LINES FROM STAR TREK: WRATH OF KAHN:
5. "Were I to invoke logic, however, logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
4. "Ah, Kirk, my old friend, do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold?"
3. “Scotty, I need warp speed in three minutes or we're all dead!"
2. "To the last, I will grapple with thee ... from Hell's heart, I stab at thee!”