Date: February 17, 2020
Setting the Stage: I began the movie around 2:45 pm on Feb 16, 2020 via Amazon Prime. The usual suspects were in attendance. It was a busy Sunday: 5 loads of laundry, grocery shipping, meal planning, and some cleaning was all done before I sat down to watch the movie! We started early because I was headed to the Carolina Theater in the evening to watch Jay and Silent Bob Reboot and see Kevin Smith live. My friend, who had an extra ticket, has excellent seat-picking abilities and it was a fantastic evening. Today’s musical accompaniment is Coccolino Deep, who was recommended to me by YouTube.
I’m dedicating this entry to my Uncle Peter Chieffo, the late husband of my Aunt Dolores (my mom’s second oldest sister). He requested bagpipes to be played at his funeral because of this movie.
Luis-style Summary: We open with a female Vulcan, Saavik, completely failing her Kobayashi Maru test and McCoy relishing in his acting ability. It’s Kirk’s birthday, Spock has achieved the rank of Captain, and Chekov is now a first officer – just on a different ship. While exploring a “deserted and uninhabitable” planet Chekov and his captain, Terrell, run across Khan and his genetically modified crew, who implant bugs to make them malleable to suggestion. Apparently the Enterprise is the only ship in the quadrant that can make it to Regula I, even though it is now used for training. The Genesis project is about creating life from lifelessness, McCoy and Spock debate logic vs. ethics, and Khan shoots at the Enterprise from the newly commandeered Reliant. Kirk uses his cunning and is able to get down to Dr. Carol Marcus and Dr. David Marcus (mother and son), but Terrell and Chekov are still under the influence and there’s lots of yelling and shooting and such. Terrell kills himself, Chekov screams and passes out, and Kirk yells “KHAAAAAAAAAN”. Kirk is several steps ahead and goads Khan into following him into the nebula. After some cat-and-mouse games the Enterprise blows up the Reliant, but Khan sets the Genesis machine to blow up. Spock sacrifices himself to save the Enterprise, Khan gets blown up, and a new planet is born.
TL;DR: Khan is mad and tries to exact revenge, Kirk beats him, there’s a sub-plot of the Genesis project, and Spock “dies”.
Khan: Of course. We’re one big happy fleet. Ah, Kirk, my old friend, do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us ‘Revenge is a dish that is best served cold?’ It is very cold … in space.Khan addressing the air before he orders the Enterprise to be fired on
Saavik: ‘…no uncoded messages on an open channel.’ …You lied.
Spock: I exaggerated.Vulcan to Vulcan hilarity
McCoy: Are you out of your Vulcan mind? No human can tolerate the radiation that’s in there!
Spock: But, as you are so fond of observing, Doctor, I’m not human.Right before Spock administers a Vulcan Nerve Pinch on McCoy
Spock: In any case, were I to invoke logic, logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
Kirk: Or the one.A line that is repeated twice, once at the beginning and near the end.
David: Lieutenant Saavik was right. You never have faced a death.
Kirk: No, not like this. I haven’t faced death. I’ve cheated death. I tricked my way out of death and patted myself on the back for my ingenuity. I know nothing.
David: You knew enough to tell Saavik that how we face death is at least as important as how we face life.
Kirk: Just words.
David: But good words. That’s where ideas begin. Maybe you should listen to them. I was wrong about you and I’m sorry.A Hallmark moment between father and son, and we now know who that blonde lab tech was.
My Thoughts and Impressions: Ricardo Montalbán is such a fantastic actor and, once again, gave an impressive performance as Khan. The uniforms were much better this time around and suited all the characters well. In comparison to The Motion Picture there was much less mystery to the plot, but I kind of liked that. The mystery was in the way that Khan was going to exact his revenge, how the Enterprise and its crew would escape (or not!), and what was going on with the Genesis project. There was also not as much “oooh look at our special effects”, because I don’t think I could have spent another eternity looking at the Enterprise or any other vessel for 15 minutes at a clip. I may have been able to guess what was going to happen next at various times in the movie, but I never knew just how they were going to do it. Spock sacrificing himself and sharing his last words with Kirk was very touching, and now I know why my Uncle wanted bagpipes at his funeral. Also when Scotty carries up the young cadet from engineering, it breaks my heart.
Obviously there are issues as there are with every movie. Why is the Enterprise the only ship available, why was Khan bent on revenge rather than trying to take over the galaxy again, and how did Khan know Chekov when Chekov wasn’t in Season 1 of The Original Series? Even if I didn’t know what the third movie was called, I would have never believed Spock was really dead because of the way they showed his casket on the planet and how much they discussed creating life from lifelessness. This made it just a little less sad, but anticipatory for the next movie – which is I guess the point. I enjoyed sassy Spock, crotchety but slightly more comical McCoy, and Kirk being a little more maverick. TV Kirk really went by the book as much as he could and only bent the rules ever so slightly when he felt it was the absolute right thing to do. Movie Kirk is a little more caviler about bending or breaking the rules, but I guess that happens as you age and find yourself on a path you didn’t really want. I really enjoyed seeing more of Uhura, Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov and hope they have more to do in the next movies.
Movie rating: I’m not sure if it was because The Motion Picture had so many problems, or because this was just a better story with better acting, but I certainly liked this movie much better. I believe it earns itself a warp 8.