★★★★★

Reviewed September 4, 2022
This review contains spoilers.

Watched the 40th anniversary theater re-issue with a couple of friends. Still a fantastic movie and one of my all-time favorites, though every time I see it the dumber aspects are more apparent to me.

  • An entire planet blowing up offscreen and shifting the orbit of another planet
  • The Genesis device being able to create life on a planetary scale from nothing
  • The Genesis device detonating in the middle of a nebula creating a new planet orbiting a star (???)

Of course the rest of the movie is more than strong enough to make up for the bits of questionable science - after all, this movie is way more about Kirk’s struggle with aging and Khan’s self-destructive obsession with revenge, both of which work so well from both the writing and acting sides.

Pretty sure the version we saw was the director’s cut, which included a few scenes that immediately stuck out to me, having seen the original so often. None of them really felt necessary, but there were some nice moments to help round out the movie a bit, like giving Scotty’s nephew a whole two lines before being torpedoed (as opposed to the one in the original, where his relation to Scotty is never revealed).

…Speaking of, what exactly was up with Scotty bringing his horribly burned nephew up to the bridge before going to sickbay? Maybe he’d survive if they just went there in the first place.

Lastly, I’d be a fool to write all this without talking about Spock’s death. This movie has what I think is Nimoy’s best performance as Spock, and his death scene is a big reason why. Never quite got the logic of why he decided that he had to be the one to repair the warp drive (or what exactly he was doing to fix it) but it works fine for me.

Overall this movie continues to be one of my favorite Star Trek experiences, and proof that big-budget effects showpieces aren’t always necessary to tell a meaningful story (see also: Duet, my favorite Star Trek episode).