Star Trek 2 came out in 1982 after the first movie outing in 1979 failed to strike the balance between pure sci-fi and crowd-pleasing action adventure. Proper director Nicholas Meyer got to play with the cast before they became antiques and had the franchise's best villain to chase them around. Ricardo Montalban chews the scenery with aplomb and drenches the dialogue in his fabulous accent as the eponymous grouchy protagonist.
Rather than the frenetic screen-filling battles of JJ Abrams' Trek, Meyer gives us tense scenes more reminiscent of submarine combat. It's the sparing use and reminders of the cost of violence that raises Khan over all other Trek films. The cast get to show some range as they face the loss of new recruits and old friends alike. The easy interplay among Kirk, Spock & McCoy is funny and touching and the film also has the most imitated Shatner moment ever – KHHHHAAAAAANNNNN!