Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan

Just in time for the films 20th anniversary, Paramount Pictures has released the Directors Edition of “Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan” in a two-disc set. The film picks up the story of the legendary crew of the Enterprise as they begin to prepare a new crew to crew the ship for its continued mission of exploration.
Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner), is overseeing his good friend, Captain Spock (Leonard Nimoy), training of the new crew, while secretly pining over becoming an administrator who is stuck flying a desk rather than exploring the cosmos.
As Kirk, Spock, and the veteran crew of the Enterprise prepare for what may be their last mission with one another, the veteran crew views the pending training cruise as a nostalgic but bittersweet event that will culminate their historic careers with one another before they head off to other assignments in Starfleet.
Fate however has different plans, as the training mission soon becomes a life and death struggle that will test the mettle of the new crew, and drive Kirk to the depths of personal turmoil and pain. Unbeknownst to Kirk and his crew, the genetically enhanced Khan, (Ricardo Montalban), has escaped from the exile Kirk assigned him, and is determined to seek revenge on Kirk at all costs. As if this is not problem enough, Kirks ex-lover Dr. Carol Marcus (Bibi Besch), comes back into his life as she believes Kirk is taking away her life’s work; a project named Genesis that reanimates life in dead planets and allows for desolate planets to be terraformed in less than a day. The truth is that Khan has learned of the plan and uses the project as a chance to lure Kirk to the research station so that he may steal the project and exact his deadly vengeance on Kirk. What follows is a deadly game of cat and mouse as Kirk and Khan square off in a series of battles that force Kirk to use every ounce of his experience to save his ship and crew. The supporting cast is great and fans will note Kirstie Alley in an early role as Lt Saavik and the late Merritt Butrick is solid as Kirk’s estranged son David. The directing of then second time director Nicholas Myers is solid and his commentaries on the films soundtrack are very informative and insightful. The effects from ILM are first rate and the pacing of the film is easily the best of any Trek outing as the skillful mix of action, humor, and emotion makes this not only the most diverse of the Trek films but also the most in-depth and human. This is a thinking mans Trek as you do not have to be a fan of the series to appreciate this film. The mature themes presented of aging, love, loss, and revenge lead to elements of good drama and Myers gets easily the best performance of Shatner’s tenure as Kirk from the role, as Kirk is still the strong leader that fans have known, but we see a frail side to him, and learn of the sadness and sacrifices that eat at him, as well as his struggle to balance the ramifications of decisions he made years ago.
The second disc is stuffed with features and interviews including Deforest Kelley (McCoy), Shatner, Nimoy, and Montalban as well as Director Myers, Producer Harve Bennett, and the writers all make this a collection well worth owning.
Star Trek II is widely regarded by fans as the best film in the series and with this fantastic collection, the best just got better.

5 stars out of 5