Movie Review – Star Trek: First Contact

 1996 Paramount Pictures
Three Stars
Despite a few flaws First Contact is one of the best movies in the Trek franchise. I wasn’t sure if the series could find its way after the so-so Generations but Paramount and crew managed to make this movie much better than the predecessor.
The movie opens with the crew on board the new and very cool Enterprise-E. No more saucer heavy Enterprise!
Picard and crew have been ordered to guard the border of the Romulan neutral zone while a major battle against the Borg is brewing (actually the Federation is having their asses kicked). Picard disobeys orders and heads to the battle and helps take out the Borg but not before they launch a small ship that travels back in time altering the future and making the population of Earth into Borg. Picard orders the Enterprise to follow that ship and zip back to the 21st century.
This movie succeeds on many levels, although the whole time travel gimmick is getting a little old the story works very well. Jonathan Frakes did an excellent job directing this movie. You can tell his seven years of experience on the series payed off. Despite some inconsistencies this is a good movie all around.

The good:

The special effects are really well done.

There are quite a few humorous moments to balance out what could have been a very grim story.

The late great Jerry Goldsmith delivers a good music score.

The actual scene of first contact with the Vulcan’s is a gem and makes for a great bit of Trek history.

Hello we’re from Vulcan. We will now turn into assholes on Enterprise.

Alfre Woodard gets my vote for the strongest and best-written female character in any Star Trek ever. Her character holds her own against the revenge minded Picard in one of my favorite scenes. Patrick Stewart and Woodard definitely had great chemistry between them.

Oh thank you for putting down the so called evolved sensibilities BS.

James Cromwell is excellent as Dr. Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of the warp drive who is supposed to be from Alpha Centauri. Just like in Generations the writers have decided to ignore previously created Trek lore.

Not only did he invent the warp drive but he’s also a fashion god.

I love Robert Picardo’s cameo as the holographic doctor.

Someone must need medical attention really bad.

 The not so good:

The only problems I had with this movie are the usual lack of continuity with the TV series especially with the existence of the Borg queen. The very structure of the Borg society would seem to rule out a leader position of this nature but since the series never said for sure and since the writers manage to make it work anyway I can let it slide. Alice Krige does a great job in the role of the queen and makes it easy to forget this faux pas.

Leader of the Borg? Why would a collective need a leader?

Picard’s aggressive attitude also bothered me a little seeing as it differs greatly from the series. In the series Picard had dealings with the Borg after his assimilation and didn’t go on a rampage trying to destroy them, more inattention to what has come before. Maybe he has PTSD that didn’t manifest itself until now. How’s that for psycho babble?

Picard gets a bad case of John McClane syndrome.

Random thoughts and observations:

I am very glad Data now has the ability to turn off his emotion chip.

The saucer is just the right size.

But I think they overdid the scale compared to the Defiant.

I’m sure this guy didn’t notice them beaming down. Nice work on those coordinates.

Planet of the Borg. At least it would cut down on human stupidity.


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