Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by M.A.C.O., Sep 1, 2012.

  1. PPatters

    PPatters Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ya know, it's never personally been my favorite film. (The Voyage Home was always my favorite. Some may disagree, but it's just a personal statement :))

    I do recognize that it has some very positive aspects. As a villain, Khan is exceptional. The death of Spock is one of the most moving scenes in Star Trek ever. Period. (In my opinion, of course.)

    I just never really got into all of the action, but that's really a personal preference. And I do think that some parts of the story seemed a bit misplaced. The whole Captain Terrell plot was just a bit awkward to me, personally.

    Is it over-rated? Perhaps, a bit. But, despite it not being to my personal taste, I do think that it does some great things.
     
  2. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    This is the film where Nick Meyers hopped up and down calling for "more winkie-blinkies" in the background to liven up scenes. This philosophy even extended to the bosun's whistle used to pipe Admiral Kirk's party aboard. From the idiot lights, to the overwrought uniforms, to the questionable astrophysics of the Ceti Alpha system, there's plenty left wanting in Wrath of Khan.

    And yet, I still kind of like it. It's hardly a clunker, but seeing younger fans characterize it as dull and slow says a lot about how much film-making has changed. This was an action-adventure popcorn flick back in its day, and maybe explains why extraordinary coincidences that help the heroes were so tolerated in the most recent movie; they served to keep the movie going at a fast pace.

    So ... to wrap up: definitely over-rated, but still one of the better Star Trek movies.
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've never got the love for Khan as such a great villain. He doesn't do much of anything in the movie. He sticks mind control things in two Starfleet guys, gets control of their ship, catches Kirk off guard, then gets outsmarted for the rest of the movie and blows himself up. He has one good scene on the planet, then Montalban's wasted for the rest of the film.
     
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Khan's considered great not because he's well-written but simply because Montalban is so much fun to watch - he's so good at doing what he's called upon to do in this movie. There's never been an actor who's played heavy in any version of Star Trek who made such an impression, never an actor as exuberant and skillful at chewing scenery not out of egoism but because the part he was reading simply demanded that he go over the top. Colicos and Carmel would be distant seconds. The rest of 'em...meh.

    Look at the length and variety of Montalban's career in movies and of course countless episodes of all kinds of TV shows - and yet the two things he's probably best known for are playing the host on Fantasy Island and hissing dialogue like "THIS is Ceti Alpha V!"

    (Okay, maybe something to do with leather car seats as well. Maybe.)

    TWOK is Montalban, period.

    As for over- or underrated...the American Film Institute just finished the latest of what seems to be a recurrent (maybe it's annual) month-long series of screenings of memorable '80s movies. These things include E.T., of course, and Bladerunner and John Hughes movies and so on, about what you'd expect...

    ...I don't recall them ever running a Star Trek movie, including Star Trek II. TWOK was a modest hit - cost about 11 million to make, pulled in 80 million at the box office - but was not one of the most talked-about hits of summer 1982. Non-trekkies who remember those movies now are likely to say, "I liked the one with that guy from Fantasy Island. Was that the one with the whales?" So it's vastly overrated by Trek fans relative to its real significance or success.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  5. TheLobes

    TheLobes Commander Red Shirt

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    I think so, but less by trekkies than by popular culture. Of the TOS movies, perhaps of all except the 2009 reboot, TWOK is the most famous. Before Id even started watching Trek I knew that TWOK was supposed to be the best, and even if you dont, you'll recognise a lot from pop culture. This is one of the reasons the reboot used so much TWOK, it wanted a connection with the films best and most well-known franchise.

    Additionally, theres no denying that most star trek movies arent particularly amazing, so I think it becomes overrated just because it stands out. I kind of feel the same about 'First Contact', I dont actually like that movie, but dismissing that I think it gets overrated in general because it stands out as the only TNG film people tend to like. Sure, some people like Nemesis and Insurrection, but Ive found those people to be in a minority.

    I think TWOK is a really good film, but if its a 10/10 for Trek its probably a 7/10 in general.
     
  6. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    Reading through the posts I get the feeling that the fans have hyped the movie up just like Khan is hyped up. It's true Khan doesn't really do much aside from being a standard bad guy with a ship. He tortures some crew members, kills some civilians, manages to get the jump of the ENT while it's shields down and survive to the end just to lose to the heroes. In that respect Khan is comparable to the Borg in FC, Shinzon in NEM, and Nero in XI. Although no one shows the same adoration for these villains even though in a measurable sense these villains were much more successful. I get the sense Trek fans want Khan to be Trek's Darth Vader and Khan really doesn't have the star power for the role.

    The story behind the Genesis project is intriguing but it's not very developed even though it was talked about a lot. Khan wants it but never states why. It's the audience and the fans who have to connect the dots for his motivations. More evidence of the fans filling in the blanks for Khan's character and actions.

    TSFS has more of an adventure behind it. Stealing the ENT, assaulting Star Fleet personnel, fighting Klingons, escaping an exploding planet. However Spock's revival, and David's death I think hurt TSFS because they were so important to the story of TWOK.
     
  7. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Meyer's audio commentaries are worthwhile lessons in directing. He got Montalban to dial it back (if you can believe that) and therefore make Khan more deadly, and worked out how to get a decent performance out of Shatner. The age factor thing someone quoted is bullshit. A good film is a good film no matter when it was made or when you saw it. By that reckoning I should like the TNG films more, but I don't.
     
  8. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, it is. It's not even the best film of the TOS films, let alone all of them. Personaly, every TNG film tops any TOS film. Generations being my favourate. The first film ever was the worst one, they all looked so camp in that. Still prefer it to Voyeger though. Voyeger sucks.
     
  9. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    KHAN himself is fabulous. Charismatic and thrilling and believable.

    The rest of it was clunky.
     
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Montalban's performance is fine. The part is just very underwritten.

    It's not a bad film. It's just got this reputation amongst some fans of being one of THE great movies, and it's not.
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    The difference between Khan and the rest is that his motivations are simple and make sense. He wants revenge for being dumped on a dead world where no one ever checked up on him and his people.

    The Genesis Device is there simply to up the ante. It's no different than Red Matter or Thalaron radiation. Without it, there's no immediacy to the threat these characters represent.

    Bias is a bad, bad thing. I love TNG, but the films are a putrid mess. Even First Contact fails simple logic. We have the Borg come all the way across the galaxy then go back in time or else we don't have a movie. If the Borg beam just five drones down to 21st century Earth, it falls PDQ and again we don't have a movie.
     
  12. NrobbieC

    NrobbieC Commander Red Shirt

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    Ah, the pot and the kettle get along famously :P

    I agree that every TNG film is so much better the TOS ones. I also feel every spin-off topples TOS.
    I have seen them by the way so my opinions are based on something I'm not trying to flame anyone.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the vast majority of movie goers disagree with you. :shrug:
     
  14. NrobbieC

    NrobbieC Commander Red Shirt

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    Who knows. Show a bunch of people my age that have never seen Trek the first 10 films and we'll see what happens. This borders on a form of torture :rommie:

    I could say the vast majority of people over 40 would disagree with me, but quality of films is nothing but opinion.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    It's only torture if you make them watch Insurrection and Nemesis. :lol:
     
  16. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I consider Generations a TOS film.

    Kirk is so freaking huge that he squashes the TNG stuff into tinsel.
     
  17. NrobbieC

    NrobbieC Commander Red Shirt

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    He did let himself go.

    I think of Generations as a TNG film, and my 2nd favourite Trek film, I forgive it for including Shatner because he gets killed twice :D
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I do think Generations shows the divide between the two series pretty well. When trying to save the El-Aurian ships, Kirk and Company come across as having fun. Even when trying to show them relaxing the TNG gang come across as stiff.

    They also come across as guest stars in their own film, tying together the two pieces of the Kirk story.
     
  19. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    By HUGE I mean PRESENCE.

    Hey the girdle worked well in Generations.

    And the film had that chock full of color and events feel that TOS movies gave us.
     
  20. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    TWOK is a great Star Trek movie. TWOK is a great movie.