Leonard Nimoy owns over 100 television and movie credits over the past 60 years, but none is – obviously – more famous than his turn as Star Trek’s Spock. The legendary Vulcan (half-Vulcan, actually) is one of the most recognizable and beloved characters in modern movie history, and his role on the U.S.S. Enterprise becomes extremely pivotal in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982).
So, in celebration of Mr. Nimoy’s birthday, let’s look back at this truly classic science fiction picture.
Happy Birthday Leonard Nimoy!
“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982) 4.5 / 5 stars – Released 30 years ago, the first sequel to the lauded, but also uneven, film series, possesses special effects which certainly look three decades old, however, this swashbuckling space tale provides so many anxiety-riddled thrills, it’s difficult to not rank “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” as the best or second best of the Star Trek films.
After “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (1979) rightfully deserved poor to lukewarm reviews by critics and fans alike, six writers quickly helped the series get back on track by penning a classic revenge picture featuring a villain from the original television series’s past, Khan (Ricardo Montalban).
What a great decision!
This is because Montalban gives a mesmerizing and transfomational performance as one of the most colorful and ruthless bad guys ever to grace the big screen.
You see, Khan is Hell-bent on inflicting vengeance after Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) sent him into exile years earlier.
Through means of deception and outright violent aggression, Khan – with flowing grey locks and a muscular frame – effectively brings a menacing presence fueled by his hatred for Kirk.
Khan repeatedly spews his venom – with a deliberate, and most memorable, cadence – at Kirk throughout the picture.
“From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee. For hate-sake, I spit my last breath at thee”
“I’ve done far worse than kill you. I’ve hurt you, and I wish to go on…hurting you.”
Yes, Kirk certainly has his hands full, so it’s lucky his accomplished crew loyally stands by his side.
Scotty (James Doohan), Bones (DeForest Kelly), Sulu (George Takei), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Chekov (Walter Koenig), and of course, Spock (Leonard Nimoy) are all here, and on board (pardon the pun) to stop Khan and his nefarious plans.
Everyone plays an important role in this wonderful space opera, but none more than Spock.
He makes a brave and selfless decision which produces one of the most moving moments in Star Trek history, and that one particular moment is worth one hundred times the price of a simple film rental.
Save an obligatory romance involving Kirk, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” has just about everything you would want in a science fiction movie.
Sure, the space ships sometimes look like model toys, so the effects might be dated.
The story, however, is absolutely timeless.
“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982) is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
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