REVIEW: Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
The Kobayashi Maru....the no win scenario....a scenario in which Admiral James T. Kirk (Admiral? Yes, Khan Admiral) has little faith. And why should he? Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan is anything but...it is trully the win win scenario.
Why review Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan on Bad Movie Knights? Yes my friends it is a bad movie, but not one to be eviscerated and thrown like a Kurgan infant to a pack of hungry dogs....rather, it is a bad movie that deserves much heralding, and I will be the harbinger of accolades for this fine piece of shit...I mean cinema.
Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan is definitely the crowning achievement of the Star Trek movie franchise. Story, special effects, and perhaps even direction were spot on. However, this movie, is classified as bad, because never before has such a mob of horrible actors been united on the big screen at one time (unless you count Star Trek The Motion Picture, and the original television show which preceded ST2:TWOK (sweet acronym huh?). William Shatner, the Patron Saint of the Bad Movie, leads this rag tag bunch down the spiraling path of bad acting, a path frequented by this cast so many times, that they attain a level of consistency unmatched before or since. Joining Shat, on his quest, are Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock, DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DEAD), James Doohan as Commander Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (DEAD), Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov (DYING), George Takei as Hikaru Sulu (GAY), and Nichelle Nichols and Commander Uhura (WHORE).
As Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan opens, we learn that Captain Kirk has been promoted to the rank of Admiral (Admiral? Yes, Khan Admiral) and is making the final preparations to turn over the command of the Enterprise to Captain Spock. His somber mood, foreshadows the eventuality that he and the Enterprise will never be separated, and being Captain of a starship as Spock says, is his first best destiny.
Cut to Space Station Regula I, where we meet Kirk's ex Carol Marcus, and the heir apparent to the Enterprise throne, the spawn of Kirk, David Marcus (played by Merritt Buttrick who's big claim to fame was on the TV series Square Pegs as John 'Johnny Slash' Ulasewicz, the dickhead that was into Divo). This pair along with a collection of other scientists are designing and testing the Genesis Device, an experiment that will change lifeless planets and moons into ones that can sustain and support said life. In support of the space station is the starship U.S.S. Reliant, commanded by Captain Clark Terrell (played by the great Paul Winfield of Terminator fame) and Enterprise guest of honor Pavel Chekov. Reliant is scoping out the galaxy in the hopes of finding a planet capable of testing the Genesis Device.
Believing they have found a suitable planet in Seti Alpha 6, Pavel Chekov and his fellow away team member Captain Terrell arrive on the sandy shores of this potential test site for the Genesis project. Instead of a lifeless planet, or one with a particle of pre-animate matter caught in it's matrix, they are welcomed by their new host, and Botany Bay crew member, Mr. Rourke, who chortles gleefully... 'WELCOME... TO SETI ALPHA 5'. Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Mr. Rourke, I mean Khan, introduces us to possibly the coolest adversary Captain James T. Kirk has ever faced, in Khan, played by Ricardo Montalban (unless you count Reverend Jim Ignatowski from Taxi as the Klingon Commander in Star Trek 3....he was pretty bad ass too...hell why didn't they use all of the old 70's television personalities and make Rerun a Vulcan?). Introduced many years earlier in a Star Trek episode called 'Space Seed' (great episode, but it's no match for Arena, or Mirror Mirror) Khan, his new found love and future wife, and crew are deposited on Seti Alpha 5, a planet more than capable of sustaining life and flourishing. Unbeknownst to Kirk, Seti Alpha 6, the sister planet of Seti Alpha 5, exploded and shifted it's orbit more or less turning it into the old Thundarr The Barbarian, post apocolyptic scenario....a pretty shitty place to live, not unlike Madison, Wisconsin.
Once aboard what is left of the Botany Bay, Chekov and Terrell meet Khan and friends, dressed magnificently in robes of burnt sienna that are designed to show off as much man cleavage as possible. Well oiled, rippling pectoral muscles from wall to wall, transform this desolate husk of a vessel, into a gay bath house oasis. The Botany Bay and her crew are not without hospitality and spare no time showering them with luxurious amenities . Immediately welcoming Chekov and Terrell, Khan and his crew relieve them of any burdensome intelligence they may carry, and reward them by depositing these half lizard / scorpion things into their ears. Upon reaching it's host's brain, these creatures render the pair susceptible to Khan's every whim and desire.
Back at Space Dock, aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, Admiral Kirk (Admiral? Yes, Khan Admiral) enters and is greeted with all of the pomp and circumstance a man of his stature and rank deserves. After exchanging platitudes, Kirk proceeds to the bridge in preparation for a training cruise, after which the crew and trainees are dismissed by Captain Spock. As the crew departs, Spock is approached by trainee and fellow Vulcan Lietenant Saavik (played by a young Kirstie Allie, who was actually quite a piece of stuff prior to becoming the Jenny Craig Leviathan that she is today) and they have a brief exchange. To sum up this eye opening conversation, translated from Vulcan, Saavik explains how Kirk is not what she expected. Spock inquires why, and she responds that he is so human. In a clever and witty retort, Spock explains that nobody is perfect. While the audience is meant to laugh at the levity of this moment, it masks the real and much darker truth. That all Vulcans are racist assholes. Perhaps they successfully hide this prejudice with a well conceived barrage of condescension and arrogance that is accepted because of the their logical and expertly learned culture. But the point is made abundantly clear, that Vulcans are the intergalactic equivalent to the Klu Klux Klan.
In space, while orbiting Space Station Regula I, Khan and his crew have taken over the U.S.S. Reliant and altered it into a gay bath house in space. Prior to his arrival he uses his newly created mind slave Chekov (and judging by Khan's choice of fashion, sex slave as well) to tell Dr. Carol Marcus that Seti Alpha 6 is ready to be tested, and they are enroute to take the Genesis Device to it's destination by order of Admiral James. T. Kirk (Admiral? Yes, Khan Admiral).
Receiving a garbled distress call from Dr. Marcus, Kirk assumes command of the Enterprise, with Spock's blessing (obviously a rascist tactic) and the former trainee cruise is spurred into full fledged mission status. The Enterprise arrives and comes face to face with the U.S.S. Reliant, which unknown to Kirk and his crew, is under the command of Khan and his band of sexual deviants. The Reliant ignores all standard communications and regulations, and surprises the Enterprise by attacking. Disabled and listing in space, the Enterprise is powerless to stop Reliant....and for the first time Kirk meets his foe. Khan! Using his arrogance as a weakness, Kirk is able to fool Khan, by lowering Reliant's shields from Enterprise and returns fire. Reliant retreats, and leaves Enterprise helpless.......it also gives the Scotty the opportunity to arrive on the bridge with the half-dead body of the kid from the Disney show 'Escape from Witch Mountain'. Completely over dramatic, my first thought is, Scotty, why the fuck would you carry that kid all the way from the engine room, past the medical lab, to the bridge? Perhaps if you brought the kid directly to Bones he would have lived? Nice job dick.
Arriving on partial power to Space Station Regula I, it is clear that Khan has already made an appearance at the station (the dead scientist's bodies are a big hint), but clues are apparent that survivors may have escaped to Regula I. Lieutenant Saavik also finds the subdued, yet still living away team of Chekov and Terrell. The entire group decides to beam down to the planet, which as Spock so racistly explains...consists of various unremarkable ores and minerals, Regula is essentially a great rock in space....prejudice against planets as well aren't we Spock.
After beaming down to Regula, Kirk and his party (Saavik and Bones are with him.....this is the one thing in Star Trek that never made sense....why send a scouting party to an unknown destination that consists of your captain? That would be like George W. Bush fighting on the frontlines in Iraq....a situation few Americans would truly take issue with actually....but in Star Trek! That's insanity. An Admiral as part of an away team? (Admiral? Yes, Khan Admiral)) are re-united with Kirk's estranged wife Carol Marcus and his dickhead son (he's definitely playing the 'you're not my real father' card way too hard in this movie). Then Khan springs the trap. Chekov and Terrell under the control of Khan's brain / lizard / scorpion things draw their phasers and hold the group hostage. They give Khan the beaming coordinates of the Genesis Device and then fight Khan's mind control after he orders them to kill Kirk. Terrell sacrifices himself by turning his phaser on himself, and Chekov has a seizure and collapses to the deck, where the lizard / scorpion creature unveils itself by crawling from his ear. The mind bug is quickly dispatched by the dead eye aim of Kirk and his...simple....hand....phaser.
Returning to the Enterprise after 2 hours....ok, before I continue, lets talk about these 2 hours. HUGE ISSUE HERE. After beaming down to Regula, Kirk asked Spock for repair estimates on Enterprise. Spock's response (which is coded because according to StarFleet Regulations, no uncoded messages are permitted over an open space channel) "Captain if we followed Saavik, hours would seem like days, full power cannot be restored for two days" (I'm paraphrasing here)...ok, this is your idea of a code? Khan is supposedly a highly intelligent, genetically engineered super being......he couldn't figure this code out? Are you kidding me? Hmmm...hours would seem like days.....estimated repairs....2 days....uhhh Khan, buddy....the Enterprise will be ready to kick your bare chested ass in 2 hours. WOW! Ok, so the Enterprise is working, sort of. Partial Power, Impulse drive, a few torpedoes, and Kirk's giant cock are all he needs to beat the ass out of Khan....that and the Mutarra Nebula. The Nebula disables shields, and radar, which in a Sun Tzu type maneuver (again Khan's second retarded move) Kirk, evens the playing field by making Reliant an equal combatant to the damaged Enterprise.
After a few rounds of playing 'who has the bigger dick' the Enterprise disables the Reliant. Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan has some of the best space battles ever seen on the big screen, even in terms of Star Wars flicks which is ironic, because Industrial Light and Magic was responsible for the space battle footage. With Khan's crew killed, and his face now covered in a mixture of rasberry syrup and caramel (blood I guess?), he starts the Genesis Device, which as you know will create a shockwave so great that anything within it's range (which is significant) will be incinerated. This could be an issue for the Enterprise because of it's lack of warp speed due to a damaged warp core (holy shit I sound like a fucking loser) from the earlier battle with Reliant. In order to restore warp speed, and the drive, Spock (prejudiced asshole that he is) slips away from the bridge and down to engineering. Bones tries to stop him, but Spock uses the Vulcan racist nerve pinch and subdues him. In a prelude to things to come, Spock mind melds with Bones and fills his head with all sorts of racist thoughts....which will be retrieved at a later time, because knowing full well, that entering the warp chamber will kill him, thanks to the high levels of racism....i mean radiation. Spock goes about his business and repairs the damaged engine and quietly mumbles racist thoughts to himself.
On the bridge, the warp drive comes back on line, which Sulu gleefully announces, and Kirk responds with quite possible the funniest line in the movie (there are many more...dont' worry I have listed them all):
"Mr. Scott! GO SULU!"
Seconds before the detonation of Genesis the Enterprise escapes! WOO HOOO! Their rejoicing however is cut short as a melancholy call from Bones, urges Kirk to join them in engineering. In a scene that now should only bring Hitler and former Governor George Wallace to tears....Spock dies, but not before imparting some racist wisdom upon his friend Kirk.
The Enterprise launches spocks body into space following an emotional funeral service (probably the funniest part of the movie):
"Of my friend I can only say this. Of all the souls I have met on my journeys....his wastheMOST......HUMAN."
Spocks body, resting within a photon torpedo tube.....lands on the newly created Genesis Planet......a world that will create much controversy in the sequel.....and bring about the resurrection of the Vulcan and his racist ways.
Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan is perhaps the most quotable movie in Bad Movie Knights history. Shatner's portrayal of Kirk provides such an extensive supply of ammunition, it is possible to have entire conversations amongst friends, using nothing but Captain Kirk lines. The rest of the cast does an amazing job of adding to this palette of quotes as well. In essence, every line spouted, was in most cases over done, and said in a way that the actors must have thought.....this is of epic importance. This is what makes this movie BAD. Not one member of this cast ever took an acting lesson. If they did, the shools they studied at should be closed down and the teachers shot......on second thought, the schools should be praised and their teachers canonized.
Let's take a look at some of Shatner's more quotable lines, many of which have seldom gone unquoted at any Bad Movie Night (keep in mind the cadence in which Mr. Shatner speaks, I've done my best to illustrate it below):
"STILL! OLD! FRIEND! Butlikeapoor marksman....YOU...keep missing the TARGET!"
"We tried it once your way Khan.....areyou game for a rematch? KHAAAAN? I'm laughing at the superior intellect!"
"Your reputation is secure Scotty."
"KHANYOUBLOODSUCKER!! YOU WERE GOING TO KILL ME KHAN, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO COME DOWN HERE!"
"Genesis what's that?"
"Keep nodding your head as though I'm still giving you orders."
"Here it comes Khan."
"I changed the rules so it was possible to win....I don't believe in the 'no win' scenario. Got a commandation for original thinking."
Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan is a bad movie, but it is also one of the most entertaining features we have ever seen. As I said earlier, the production quality of this movie is superb, and so is the story, what makes Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan so special are its characters and the actors that play them. I defy anyone to sit through the funeral sequence at the end and not laugh your ass off. Because of the quality of this film's production, it loses several Hamlins, however it's cast put's in league with the best of the worst on Bad Movie Knights. If you haven't viewed the Khan in a while, it's time to come home. (Admiral? Yes, Khan Admiral).
Hamlin Grade: 6.5
Timothy Dalton is the one true James Bond,