Mark and I started watching Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan the other night. It was especially interesting to me because I had never seen any of the original Shatner-Nimoy group of Star Trek movies. Nor have I seen any episodes from the original Shatner-Nimoy series. I haven’t seen the recent J.J. Abrams reboot movie, either. Nor have I seen any episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Or any of the feature films therefrom. Or Star Trek: Enterprise. Or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. If there are any other iterations of Star Trek, I haven’t seen them either.
I had heard that The Wrath of Khan was the best of the Star Trek movies, but to me it didn’t seem like anything more special than an episode from a TV series. Yes, Shatner is kind of a genius, and the young Kirstie Alley as the Vulcan apprentice captain is pretty easy on the eyes. Montalban has a great time with Khan, whom he had played on the original series and agreed to portray again for the meager sum of $100,000. But every time there was an explosion or the Enterprise got hit by some sort of enemy fire, there was just a puff of white smoke and the crew sort of threw themselves across the room. Maybe it gets better, but it felt pretty cheesy to me.
One thing that struck me was that the film featured not one, not two, but three actors who had recently played killers on Columbo. William Shatner was a murderous actor, Leonard Nimoy was a murderous doctor, and Ricardo Montalban was a murderous ex-bullfighter. That has to be a record, no? What other film stars three washed-up alpha males?
And we haven’t even finished watching it. Maybe Robert Culp shows up as a Klingon in the last reel.