Review: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: The Director’s Cut Blu-ray

star-trek-wrath-of-khan-directors-blu-ray-e1460740552787Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Ricardo Montalban

Directed by Nicholas Meyer

Paramount, out now

The preferred version of the second movie, now in glorious HD…

One of the greatest benefits that came from my tenure as Star Trek Magazine editor was the chance to meet some of the key creative personnel behind the many iterations of the series. The lunch with Nicholas Meyer still stands out clearly in my mind seven years later, as his passion for moviemaking and his sometimes brutal honesty came across. I was reminded of that watching the new documentary on this single disc Blu-ray release of Meyer’s first foray into the Trek universe, which focuses heavily on his recollections and includes comments that many might choose to self-censor but Meyer doesn’t. It’s a concise recounting of the many problems that were faced in the battle to bring a second Star Trek movie to the screen, and includes a few revelations that may surprise even well-versed fans.

That’s of course the icing on the cake of this disc, which should replace the copy of the Blu-ray from a few years back in everyone’s sets. The colour grading has been sorted out and of course the extra footage in the Director’s Cut – first released back in 2002 – has been brought up to the same level of quality. Sourced from a new 4K scan, this is The Wrath of Khan in incredible detail, and I suspect will be one of my frequently played discs.

The movie stands up incredibly well even after nearly 35 years – as I’ve said elsewhere recently, I still recall finishing watching this in the cinema in London soon after opening day and thinking that this was Star Trek done properly. Because the novelisation had been released early in the UK, I knew the plotbeats and the sacrifice at the end, but seeing it on the big screen gave it a completely different resonance. (And rewatching the movie reinforces my annoyance at the way it was reworked so badly for Star Trek Into Darkness, a movie that would be so much better without Khan!) The disc contains all the key features from earlier releases, including the various commentaries and production features (a Star Trek title sequence that states it’s starring Greg Cox still brings a smile).

Verdict: Even if you’ve got every other version of this movie out there, this is still worth the (not particularly high) cost. 10/10

Paul Simpson

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