29 January 2003 | rainmaker_au
Perhaps the best Star Trek film to date
Star Trek: First Contact represents, at least to me, the pinnacle of the Star Trek movie franchise. This film was, in my opinion, -by far- the best of the "next generation" outings, and perhaps the finest from the entire collection of silver-screen Treks.
The Borg, a futuristic race of half-man, half-machine cyborgs from the other side of the galaxy, try once again to conquer the Federation, by attacking it at it's very core, our beloved Earth. This time, however, the Borg have a "plan B" up their sleeve. After the destruction of their main vessel, they send a small group of Borg back in time to 2063, a time when Earth is vulnerable after suffering massive casualties due to World War III. Once there they intend to prevent "first contact", an event that dramatically changes the course of human history, when friendly aliens discover humankind has learned how to travel faster-than-light, and make contact with the inventor of the warp drive, Dr Zefram Cochrane.
Of course the Enterprise crew must once again save humanity from certain destruction, by "following them back and repairing whatever damage they've done". When they reach the 21st century, however, the Borg find resistance is not so futile, and begin to take over the crippled Enterprise, deck by deck. Directing every move is the evil Borg Queen, played excellently by Alice Krige.
Patrick Stewart is, as always, fantastic as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Stewart's background in the dramatic arts shines as he convincingly portrays a somewhat troubled and vengeful Picard, determined to destroy the insidious Borg once and for all.
The direction of Jonathan Frakes is flawless considering this film was his first attempt at directing on the big screen. In a few scenes I get the feeling that Frakes was committed to squeezing the absolute best out of Stewart, and this he did, apparently with ease (earning him the nickname "Two-Takes Frakes" from production members).
This film has it all. A well-conceived, intricate and dramatic plot, excellent acting, fantastic special effects, and real emotion on-screen. Picard's chilling "the line must be drawn here" monologue to Lily represents a scene with such dramatic quality that is rarely seen in science-fiction films. You can completely suspend disbelief and feel the anger, the pain, the sheer hunger for revenge in this broken man. You are there with him, the future of humanity is on the line, and not for a second will you think otherwise.
Whether you are a "Trekkie" or not, this is a film you will enjoy, and while there are references to previous Trek happenings in the film (such as when Picard was captured and assimilated by the Borg several years earlier), non-Trekkie's should definitely be able to follow what's going on.
All-in-all this is one of my favourite films of all time, and one that I can watch over and over and never get tired of. If you haven't seen it, why not grab a copy and check it out? I give it a well-deserved 9 out of 10.