Is Wrath of Khan Overrated

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

  1. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

    Sep 13, 2011
    Focusing only on the villain. I'll compare Khan and his actions and motivations to the comparable villains of the other Trek films. They being First Contact, Nemesis and XI

    Torture: Checov, Captain Terrel with mind worms and 5 scientists on Regula

    Kill Civilians: 5 Regula scientists

    Kill good guys: Crew on board Enterprise, Spock dies in battle

    Attacks Targets: Disables and nearly cripples the Enterprise when he attacks it while ENT's shields are down.

    Motivation: Get revenge on Kirk for stranding him on Ceti Alpha V, loss of his wife, and Acquire Genesis device for unknown purposes.

    Succeeds at: Acquiring Genesis

    Dies: During climax of the film after being beaten by Kirk in a tactically neutral area

    This is everything Khan does in TWOK. Using this format I'll compare to other villains who carried out similar actions.

    Borg Queen:
    Torture: Crew members of ENT-E by taking away their individuality and humanity and turning them into zombified Borg Drones

    Kill Civilians: Member's of Cochrane's team on the Phoenix project

    Kill good guys: Crew on board Enterprise, crew aboard other Starfleet ships during the attack on Earth.

    Attacks Targets: Earth in the present, and Earth in the past.

    Motivation: Add Earth's biological and technological distinctiveness to their own.

    Succeeds at: Conquering Earth in the past and assimilating the planet.

    Dies: During climax of the film after the Phoenix's history is secured and Data breaks the warp funnel.

    Torture: Troi with mind rape and Picard with character assassination of how he is Picard and all the horrible acts he plans to commit.

    Kill Civilians: Romulan Senate

    Kill good guys: Crew on board Enterprise, Romulans in Valdore ships

    Attacks Targets: Disabled 2 Valdore Romulan ships, attacked Enterprise causing massive damage.

    Motivation: Erase Picard from history and destroy everything Picard stood for. Prove that the clone is superior to the original "echo triumph over the voice".

    Succeeds at: Staging a coup d'etat and allying himself with Romulan Fleet for an attack on Earth. appoints himself Praetor of Romulan Star Empire.

    Dies: During climax of the film at the hands of Picard, after Picard had disabled Shinzon's ship's weapon and cloaking abilites.

    Torture: Pike with throat slugs

    Kill Civilians: Crewman aboard Kelvin, and entire planet of Vulcan and billions of it's inhabitants

    Kill good guys: Crew on board Enterprise, Kelvin, entire crew of 5 Star Fleet ships arriving to assist Vulcan

    Attacks Targets: Attacked 7 Federation ships, destroying 6 of them. Destroyed 47 Klingon War Birds, and Vulcan the planet.

    Motivation: Revenge against Spock in both realities for allowing Romulus to be destroyed and his wife and child dying. Destroy Federation he also holds responsible for the loss of Romulus

    Succeeds at: Acquiring Red Matter and destroying Vulcan

    Dies: During climax of the film at the hands of Kirk and Spock after they crash red matter into his ship.

    Dare to compare. By comparison to these other villains, Khan's lists of accomplishments aren't as staggering. In TWOK we are told and reminded constantly of Khan's high intelligence but none of his actions really display that. He's comparable to Nero in the sense that he merely got lucky having a ship he could maneuver around the galaxy with. Neither one of their actions or victories display any ingenuity on their parts. I think fans of the movie project the villain Khan should be over the villain he actually is. Khan SHOULD be a genetically enhanced super-man with a genius mind, amazing strength, sense and reflexes, with an equally large ambition and a string of victories to his name. What Khan IS, is a villain who got lucky in acquiring a Starship and only tangible victory was crippling the Enterprise because Kirk didn't see the danger from a friendly vessel. Which resulted in Kirk dropping Reliant's shields and firing back at Khan. Kirk's use of the prefix code was ingenuitive.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

  3. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

    Mar 14, 2000
    IMO? Yes, it is. Very much so. I outlined some of my reason for holding this viewpoint in this post.
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
    Khan was there first. All the other films you mention were trying to copy The Wrath of Khan to various degrees. Behind-the-scenes people on Nemesis were even calling it their "Wrath of Khan".

    Remember the old saying: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
    Who cares? You're focusing on a ten second clip in a two-hour movie.

    The Wrath of Khan has the most impressive effects of a Star Trek film to this day, including Star Trek 2009.
  6. Nacluv

    Nacluv Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 19, 2012
    Not really, it's a fine movie. I just consider The Motion Picture to be comparatively more in style with TOS albeit kinda slow in the first quarter of the film.
  7. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2007
    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination

    TMP is in style with TOS? I've always thought it to be the least like TOS of any of the films. It's slow where TOS was fast-paced, cold where TOS was warm, it lacked the camaraderie of TOS, the characters were like different people, etc. I think Meyer was much better at knowing what made TOS tick. Trek is smart, fun space opera, not a boring 2001 retread.
  8. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

    Sep 19, 2010
    east coast U.S.
    Agree, it still looks good today in the age of CG.
  9. ChristopherPike

    ChristopherPike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 13, 2006
    It's one of the Star Trek films I actually never tire of. I'm sure there are plot holes, but the characterisation is possibly better than in many actual TOS episodes. I have such great time with this one, it somehow doesn't matter the Genesis device is a silly idea or how the Enterprise is obviously going to be the closest ship to Regular One, despite having only just left Earth.

    At the other end of the scale, Undiscovered Country might possibly be underrated. Not Search for Spock underrated, but fairly low these days. I mean I hardly ever hear its praises sung and its reputation has somehow taken a few knocks. Because of its definitely final voyage feel, unusual Shakepeare obsessed Klingons and for not being Wrath of Khan, I suppose.
  10. controlfreak

    controlfreak Commander Red Shirt

    Nov 5, 2006
    Under foot.
    This thread lost me when someone claimed that the TNG films were better. TWOK is a classic. Can't say that about the rest of the films.
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 17, 2005
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    I like the VFX work in TWOK but it's hardly the most impressive stuff in the series. There are matte lines all over the place. You can see stars through the ships. The nebula is pretty, but it's just cloud tank stuff and not even as complex or interesting visually as the V'ger cloud interior (which we'd all remember if they'd show the Enterprise cruising through it instead of making us watch the characters watching it on TV). The Genesis stuff isn't that fab, and the Genesis Tape was awesome when it premiered, but it's pretty old hat now.
  12. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

    Sep 13, 2011
    I feel the that we the fans do the franchise a disservice when a majority of us all clamor that TWOK is the best movie in the franchise and the other 10 films don't hold a candle to it. The same thing can be said about Khan as a villain. If the bar is set by what Khan did then the villains from First Contact, Nemesis and XI all surpass Khan as I illustrated. General Chang from Undiscovered Country also surpasses Khan by his own actions and merits. I didn't include him in my character comparison of Khan because his actions and motives don't overlap with Khan's own like the villians of ST VIII, X and XI. IMO ST VI is the best of the TOS films because of it's themes, story and full use of all the cast. While TWOK is just Kirk, Saavik and Spock in a minor capacity. All the other crew were pushed into the back.

    Star Trek is more than TWOK. While it is a good movie I don't think it should be the Torchbearer for the entire franchise. For instance Gul Dukat is a great villain no one sings the praises of. Granted we were given 7 seasons to peel back the onion of his character. To see him function as an antagonist, rise with the Dominion, fall in to madness and later resurface as a acolyte to the Pah Wraiths. I've outlined everything Khan did, except what we were told about him in the Eugenics Wars. With that, it is still only exposition of why we are told Khan is so threatening we never actually see the fearsome warrior and calculating genius we are constantly told he is. By that standard Dr. Bashir could be a comparable. He was genetically altered, and he displays genius, enhanced abilities, ambition and was shown working out how to tactically outsmart the Dominion and secure a Federation victory but to no avail. Showing and telling have a different effect in their delivery. If JJ really is having Benedict Cumberbatch portray Khan I welcome it, just like I welcome JJ's reimagining of the Klingons.
  13. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    They are perhaps the most effective because due to exceptionally fine planning based on budget limitations they're the most cleverly tied to the story points of the movie. They're far from the most visually impressive.

    Absolutely. They don't, however, have to consider it brilliant cinema, just memorable in one way or another. If something is preposterous in some fashion, extremely formulaic or takes itself very seriously, that's just more fodder for parody or mockery. A good example is the spate of films a few years ago that made bank by sending up slasher and horror flicks.

    You know, the old Universal monster movies are a good example of how stuff can become "classic" and pop culture touchstones without being excellent. The studio ground out so many films with the Frankenstein monster, Dracula, the "Wolfman" version of werewolves, etc. that in the public imagination these characters are still nearly completely congruent with Universal's treatments of them. But if you really watch as many of those movies as you can - and I have, over and over, I love a great many of them - you know that there are only a couple of extraordinary monster movies in the entire output of the studio. Lugosi was a ridiculous actor on film who inhabited a single part well once, Chaney Jr. never turned in a first-rate performance outside of (maybe) "Of Mice And Men," and people don't realize that most of the mannerisms and details they associate with the monster that Karloff created are really more typical of the Glenn Strange incarnation.

    But alongside Freddie Krueger's glove and a hockey mask those characters still own Hallowe'en in the U.S. :lol:
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  14. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 2, 2002
    Is it overrated? I don't know. I like it a lot and its success apparently saved the film series from death. It was a huge critical success in comparison to TMP, which is probably where half the reputation comes from.

    It brought Trek back to the mainstream. Trek films had tried to top it for years. Even X-Men 2 aped the ending. It also allowed its characters to evolve and grow over the course of the story. The Kirk at the start of TWOK is not the same guy at the end. Ot was a way of saying "these people are moving forward." I didn't get that feeling in the TMP films.

    Overrated? I don't think so, but who cares? It's all opinion anyway. There is never going to be a consensus. As always, everyone's mileage varies.
  15. RyanKCR

    RyanKCR Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 26, 2001
    RyanKCR is living here in Allentown
    I'm curious about this too.

    You think Spock was the same at the end of TMP as he was in the beginning or even during the series run?
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  16. !NCC¡

    !NCC¡ Ensign Newbie

    Sep 2, 2012
    Wakefield, Massachusetts
    I don't think its necessarily over rated maybe just over played plus nick Meyer seems so full of himself like yes he probably in some ways saved trek but man oh man I hate what he did to the uniforms they always reminded me of the mountie from wwf in the early 90s I prefer tmp but I see why twok is also a great film its kinda like the cage vs where no man has gone before
  17. Nacluv

    Nacluv Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 19, 2012
    Maybe more like TNG when I think about it. I find the theme of the opponent to be more like something you saw in a typical episode. The concept of a whole new, intricate lifeform whose intent turns out to be neither as malicious nor unconscious as you originally may have thought.

    It was a very, very long time since I saw any of the movies though except for WOK which I saw 2 years ago so I'm not sure which one I like the best. To my knowledge, it could be IV because of the bus scene :lol:
  18. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 2, 2009
    I find it interesting how film history kinda repeats itself.

    Wrath of Khan is to The Motion Picture what Aliens is to Alien or 2010 is to 2001. Every time the sequels are faster, have more action, more... I dunno, mainstream.
  19. Nacluv

    Nacluv Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Aug 19, 2012
    I'm afraid I don't see your point. Are you just stating that the sequels are always more fast-paced OR are you saying that the sequels are always more mainstream and more popular because of that?

    I don't see how 2010 could be more popular or as famous as 2001..
  20. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 2, 2009
    The sequels follow a more mainstream storytelling style. Especially when you look at 2010 compared to 2001. 2010 is a 'normal' science fiction film, 2001 is very different.
    The Motion Picture is slow, cerebral, high concept, but Wrath of Khan is fast paced, more action oriented, more like the original show, etc...