Star Trek: First Contact

"Very Good"

Star Trek: First Contact Review


People tend to measure the quality of a Star Trek movie in relation to those near it in the cycle. Compared to episodes before (5 and 7) and those that followed (9 and 10), this eighth installment of the unkillable series is surprisingly watchable.

Jonthan "Riker" Frakes is at the helm this time, taking the Next Generation crew on its first mission without the original series cast. The setup comes fast, as Frakes trots out one of the series' most reliable villains: The Borg. Building from the mythology set up in the series, Picard (a former Borg captive) has a serious axe to grind, and when Starfleet ends up in a skirmish with an invading Borg ship, he defies orders and engages them in battle. The day is won, but an escape pod shoots from the ship, tunnels through time (stop rolling your eyes), and lands on earth. We see the effects immediately: The Borg has completely taken over the planet. The only sensible solution: Follow the Borg through the time hole and try to wipe 'em out in the past.

Trek has been on time trips like this before (notably in #4, the one with the whales), only this time we're given a bit more of a tech-friendly setup, as the destination is the eve of mankind's first spaceflight with warp drive (that is, faster than the speed of light). As history tells us, this is when the Vulcans make first contact with a war-torn earth, changing everything and opening up the planet's golden age of space exploration and good feelings. But there's trouble: the warp drive's inventor Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) is a drunk and doesn't live up to the expectations of a hero. And the Borg have managed to set up shop right on the Enterprise, slowly assimilating decks while they set up a radio system to call home for reinforcements. The story progresses on both fronts, as the crew aids Cochrane in getting off the ground (never mind the paradox) and Picard and his gang fight the Borg on the ship. (The unilateral highlight of all of this is the appearance of Alice Krige as the Borg "queen," dripping a unique kind of sexuality that is making me feel dirty just thinking about it.)

As for depth, the episode takes a refreshing look at how we elevate long-gone people into heroes, knowing nothing about what they were really like. Plus, the Borg battles are innovative (including some zero-G fun) and a pleasant enough diversion for close to two hours. As Trek movies goes, this is easily the best (and actually the only truly watchable one) from the Next Generation crew. If it weren't for some really tired antics -- time travel again, Alfre Woodard in an absurd role (and delivering one of the series' silliest speeches, comparing Picard to Captain Ahab), and a finale that doesn't quite end in the self-destruction of the Enterprise -- we'd almost have a classic installment on our hands.

The film is available on Paramount's now well-established Special Edition DVD set, two discs full of extras designed for the Trek fanatic. Two commentary tracks and the usual trivia track are included; unfortunately the trivia track is very intrusive, as the subtitles consume close to a quarter of the screen. Disc two offers tons of making-of featurettes and interviews (more Krige!), plus archive material.



Star Trek: First Contact

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 111 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd November 1996

Box Office Worldwide: $150M

Budget: $46M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 49 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Dr. Zefram Cochrane, as Lily Sloane, as Borg Queen, as Lieutenant Hawk, as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, as Lt. Commander Data, as Commander Geordi La Forge, as Lieutenant Commander Worf, as Commander Beverly Crusher, as Ships Counselor Commander Deanna Troi, as Commander William Riker, as Lt. Barclay, Cameron Oppenheimer as Ensign Kellogg

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.