Moria gives it 4 stars and says it " is a fan favourite because it spends more time on the characters than any of the other films." Roger Ebert says,
Although I liked the special effects in the first movie, they were probably not the point; fans of the TV series wanted to see their favorite characters again, and TREK II understood that desire and acted on it.The New York Times calls it "a sequel that's worth its salt. ... It's everything the first one should have been and wasn't." Variety calls it "a very satisfying space adventure, closer in spirit and format to the popular TV series than to its big-budget predecessor." Time Magazine closes its review with this:
One leaves the film neither hugely thrilled nor greatly awed, but with a pleasant sense of having caught up with old friends and found them to be just fine, pretty much the way one hoped they would turn out in later life.