DVD Review: Star Trek II

It’s been a busy summer, ’bout time I got around to this one.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Director’s Edition DVD)

Cast & Crew

Directed by Nicholas Meyer
Story by Harve Bennett, Jack B. Sowards, and Nicholas Meyer

Starring
William Shatner as Admiral James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock
DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
James Doohan as Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
George Takei as Commander Hikaru Sulu
Walter Koenig as Commander Pavel Chekov
Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Commander Uhura
Bibi Besch as Dr. Carol Marcus
Merritt Butrick as Dr. David Marcus
Paul Winfield as Captain Clark Terrell
Kirstie Alley as Lt. Saavik
Ricardo Montoblan as Khan Noonien Singh

Full IMDB Listing

Run!Original Theatrical Release

June 4, 1982

Director’s Edition Release

May 13, 2002

Buy from Amazon.comBuy from Amazon.ca

Summary

Exiled by Kirk, Khan returns to seek revenge on the man who banished him and his followers to a dying planet 15 years ago.

Review

I love this movie. Of the original cast movies, this one stands head and shoulders above the rest. No question. Nick Meyer took a small budget and made a huge movie, complete with a taught storyline, superb special effects, and great acting.

High Point

Film: The Battle of the Mutara Nebula is still one of the most tense and atmospheric film climaxes I’ve ever seen. And now we get it in 5.1 surround. Delicious.
DVD: Michael and Denise Okuda’s text commentary is still a treat for fans and non-fans alike. A close runner-up is the behind-the-scenes look at the ship design and special effects. Really fascinating to watch how things were done pre-digital animation.

Low Point

Film: “KHAAAAAAN!!!!!!” It still makes me snicker. Such silly acting.
DVD: Skip the “Captains Log” documentary. No less than three people take credit for the same idea (Spock’s death scene). The rest is just actor ego-stroking. Namely Shatner’s.

Hey, we just had that painted!The Scores

Originality: The pure action-themed film was (at the time) new for Star Trek. The final battle mirrors the one in Balance of Terror, but only slightly. 4

Effects: The beauty and majesty of the Enterprise is recaptured with the Reliant. The new ship instantly being recognizable as Starfleet, but obviously different. The Mutara Nebula is still stunning to behold and the weapons effects are awesome. 6

Story: It’s a tightly built story that keeps your attention all the way through it. 5

Acting: Much better acting from the first film. Khan, Saavik, and Terrel were excellent choices. The main cast also turns in some great performances. 5

Emotional Response: The climactic battle in the Mutara Nebula is still (after two decades) tense and exciting. Spock’s death, well played by Nimoy, can still tweak the heart of every Trek fan out there. 5

Extras: Not as deep as the material found on the first movies’ DVD, there are still two stand-out documentaries (design and effects). 4

Overall: Still one of the greatest Trek films of all time (if not the best. 6

Total: 35 out of 42

Links

Additional Notes and Comments

If you’re interested in what’s in TheAngryMob’s review queue, check out my What’s Coming page.

TheAngrymob

5 replies on “DVD Review: Star Trek II”

  1. mrmcgibby says:

    Awesome, but sucks with dirty DVD
    I love this DVD. The whole thing. Except that my copy came with some weird dab of goop and a scratch. I’m pretty sure that it hadn’t been opened since the original packaging was there. And now the place I bought it from won’t give me a refund or exchange (grocery store). Anybody know if I can get Paramount to exchange it for me?

    • theangrymob says:

      Re: Awesome, but sucks with dirty DVD

      Anybody know if I can get Paramount to exchange it for me?

      With Disney films (VHS and DVD) The Disney Store took just about anything back. Since Paramount doesn’t have anything like that, you could write them. Of course, their website is a stunning display of user-unfriendlyness. You have to snail mail them.

      Paramount Pictures
      5555 Melrose Avenue
      Hollywood, CA 90038

  2. chad says:

    DVD Extras
    Are there any deleted scenes or new material?

    • theangrymob says:

      Re: DVD Extras

      Are there any deleted scenes or new material?

      Whoops, forgive the omission. There are deleted scenes added to the film. If you saw the ABC extended version (I think from the late 80’s), you saw these scenes. Most revolve around the ill-fated Peter Preston who, we find out in this cut, is Scotty’s nephew.

  3. transmaster says:

    a real turkey
    Star Trek II the wrath of Guano. This effort was only just
    a little better then Star Trek “the Movie”. Paramount knowing they could produce anything with the Star Trek moniker and bring Trekkers out in their tens of thousands.
    Where not worried about production values. So we have Kirk,
    and wig, a whining Bones, That is not logical Spock, and a
    I doe na no how much more the engines can take Scottie.
    Carlos, of Cordovan and fine Corinthian Leather lended a hand. The fact the transfer to DVD sucks is no surprise. Trekkers will buy first and complain later. Paramount knows this so they really don’t care.

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