Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)

Rating: ****
Director: Nicholas Meyer
Music: James Horner
Special Effects: Industrial Light & Magic
Cast: William Shatner, Ricardo Montalban, Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takai, Walter Koenig, Kirstie Alley

Wow! The "Star Trek" franchise gets a serious face-lift and a new lease on life with this spectacular film. Khan (devilishly psychotic Ricardo Montalban), an old adversary of Captain Kirk (William Shatner) from the original TV show, manages to escape from his exile and seeks out Kirk for revenge. Meanwhile, Kirk has been promoted to Admiral and is having a mid-life crisis. During a routine test run, the U.S.S. Enterprise is ambushed by the ultra-cool U.S.S. Reliant (under Khan's command) and Kirk is forced to take charge of the situation by playing cat-and-mouse with the maniacal Khan. All sorts of other cool stuff happens, and ILM's effects are awe-inspiring and gorgeous to watch. James Horner's powerful score does a great job of enhancing the dramatic tension and action sequences (this score would later resurface in 1983's "Krull" (1983) ). Additionally, this film features the crew of the Enterprise looking their very best and delivering their finest performances in the history of the franchise. Sharp and sexy Kirstie Alley is a welcomed breath of fresh air as a rookie Vulcan lieutenant. Overall the film is excellent, both as a stand-alone and as part of the entire canon, and is far and away the best of all the "Star Trek" films.