One of the strongest and most popular entries in the Star Trek film franchise, The Wrath of Khan has everything you could ask for in a good sci‑fi action-adventure film: sympathetic, well-drawn heroes, a terrific villain (Ricardo Montalban as Khan), exciting outer-space showdowns, sci‑fi wow factor (the Genesis effect), and a touch of reflective depth (the Enterprise crew finally faces up to age and mortality, and questions about the wisdom and consequences of playing God are hinted at).
The plot picks up on a scenario from an episode of the TV series, which involved a group of bioengineered superhumans whom Kirk (William Shatner) marooned on an uninhabited planet. The legacy of Kirk’s life surfaces in other ways as well, as Kirk revisits an old flame (Bebe Besch) and makes a discovery both surprising and perhaps ultimately inevitable.
The familiar trio of Kirk, Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Bones (DeForest Kelley) have an easy camaraderie that’s become seasoned with time. Remarkably, the climax retains its power, in spite of what fans know about how things turn out in subsequent films. Escapist entertainment doesn’t get much better than this.
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