Renting DVDs of movies that came out during your childhood usually go one of two ways: either just as joyful to watch or extremely painful, resulting in the "why did I think this was good?" moment. Watching Star Trek 2: Wrath of Kahn falls right into the former category. This movie was just as good 20 years later.
The story involves the Star Trek crew a little bit older and moving on to new jobs. Kirk is an Admiral and doesn't fly the enterprise, while Spock and the others are busy training new Star Fleet pilots. Somehow, one of Kirk's old foes named Kahn returns and causes havoc, forcing the ol' Captain back into the helm and rescuing the world, Enterprise-style. There is plenty of plot and twist to be had with a surprising ending for some of the main characters as well as some family revelation.
What I loved most about watching this movie again is that everything gelled together perfectly, even in it's lavishness and over-the-top elements. Kirk's entrance was very Shatner-esque: he comes in as a silhouette, surrounded by smoke and a halo of spotlight. Every scene of the ship's exterior was huge, detailed, and encompassed with a 2134234 piece orchestra. Even Ricardo Montalban's reprisal of Kahn was on the brink of over-the-top. His acting was Shakespearean and upstaging, and his pectoral muscles were, well, "enhanced". But you loved it.
Another little surprise was Kirstie Alley. I had forgotten her pivotal role as a new Star Fleet trainee. It's amazing to see how much she still looks like she did back in the day. One of the prettiest Vulcans ever!
If you aren't a Trekker but occasionally catch an episode or two of the original series on G4, this should be your first movie rental. Skip the first motion picture because it sucked. This one makes you cheer, cry, and anticipate renting the third one.
For Trekkers, the DVD extras are a must-see. You find out the origin of the plot, the director's philosophy on why Khan was so hideous, and a few re-done lines. The director's cut has a slightly longer version of the movie, but it isn't too much different than the one you saw back in the day.
Regardless, this is a true Sci-Fi wonder, Trekker or not.