The Borg travel back in time intent on preventing Earth's first contact with an alien species. Captain Picard and his crew pursue them to ensure that Zefram Cochrane makes his maiden flight ... Read allThe Borg travel back in time intent on preventing Earth's first contact with an alien species. Captain Picard and his crew pursue them to ensure that Zefram Cochrane makes his maiden flight reaching warp speed.The Borg travel back in time intent on preventing Earth's first contact with an alien species. Captain Picard and his crew pursue them to ensure that Zefram Cochrane makes his maiden flight reaching warp speed.
This is my second favourite of the Star Trek movies, second only to STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN. Like STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN, this movie can also be enjoyed by both those familiar to the Star Trek franchise and those new to it. Reading through the comments, I have noted comments from people who enjoyed it as a sci-fi action movie in its own right.
I will sum up the plot with those unfamiliar with Star Trek in mind - an alien race known as the Borg apathetic to individuality go back more than 300 years in time to attack Earth, colonise it and absorb its inhabitants into its collective. Captain Picard of the USS Enterprise follows the Borg back to Earth to stop their plans.
This very simple plot line brings an energetic story filled with virtually non-stop shoot-em-up action. Unlike most action movies, however, the antagonist is far more menacing. The Borg have no concept of individuality. It cannot be reasoned with. Killing one Borg barely has the impact of, say, removing one blood cell from a human body. The Borg in this movie are far more menacing than they were in the TV series.
For those familiar with the Star Trek franchise, I can confirm that all the familiar faces from the crew in the THE NEXT GENERATION series all appear here - Picard, Riker, Data, Geordi, Worf, Dr Crusher and Troi.
The movie represents a massive transformation from its predecessor, STAR TREK: GENERATIONS. For the first time we witness many members of the TNG crew behave or tempted to behave out-of-character due to the scale of the situation they find themselves in. Without giving away spoilers, I can state that characters in this movie face the prospect of having to turn against one another.
The acting across the board is top-notch. The actors' performances are so captivating that they genuinely invite the audience to share the feelings of their characters.
Patrick Stewart deserves special mention because he faces the greatest acting challenge - reprising his role as a character he played for 7 years in the TV series and a prior movie - now having to play the said character, Captain Picard, in a very different manner. The Captain Picard of this movie is not the calm diplomat from the TV series, he is someone with anger-fuelled determination to get revenge on the Borg, who once altered his biology so that he became part of their collective for a short time. His performance has to be seen to be believed and is enough to silence critics who claim he is unable to play a hero.
Alice Krige gives what is perhaps the best performance of her career as the Borg Queen. Her performance provides a perfect distraction from the major plothole - the existence of a head of the Borg collective. The Borg collective communicates as one voice with each drone being the same. So it could not feasibly have a single leader. When you see Alice Krige in action, however, you will find it easy to suspend your disbelief.
James Cromwell has fun playing Zephram Cochrane, the inventor of the warp drive referenced all through the franchise. For those unfamiliar with Star Trek, the warp drive is a component able to make starship engines travel at hyper speeds. I found the Zephram Cochrane in this movie much more exciting to watch than the bland version played by Glenn Corbett in an episode of the original series.
The real drawback with regards to the acting is Alfre Woodard. She was not a convincing lover or protégé for Picard and I couldn't help but wonder if she was drafted in as a replacement for Whoopi Goldberg. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, Whoopi Goldberg played a character named Guinan in the TNG series. She acted as a protégé ready to give wise words of advice to many crew members on the ship, including Picard.
Jonathan Frakes shows that he is just as good behind the camera as he is in front of it. His direction brings a great science-fiction story to life that is genuinely thought-provoking, emotionally moving and highly entertaining. In my opinion, he should have been nominated for an Oscar for Best Direction for his work on this movie.
The new starship Enterprise-E seems very dark and claustrophobic compared to the seemingly vast, bright and colourful Enterprise-D from the TV series and the previous movie. However, the Enterprise-E provides a perfect backdrop for the action to take place since its feel fits the tone of the movie perfectly. A wise decision was made to keep the bulk of the action on the ship rather than on Earth. Having said that, the events depicted on Earth help to offset the tension and allowing the audience to take a quick breath before being thrust back in again. The mix of light and dark works like a charm.
To summarise, STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT is a first-rate entry into the Star Trek series of movies that can be enjoyed by Star Trek fans and newcomers to Star Trek alike. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys sci-fi action movies.
- Jul 30, 2009