Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

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8.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Love Borg stories

The Earth story sometimes gets a bit too funny, room for more story

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Star Trek:  First Contact

Studio:  Paramount Pictures

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  November 22, 1996

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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There’s never anything good on TV…

The Borg have attacked Earth, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) must face his past with them. When the Borg journey into the past to prevent first contact between Earth and the Vulcans, the Enterprise must follow them. As the Borg work to assimilate the Enterprise to stop first contact, First Officer Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Conselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), and a crew must help Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) finish the Phoenix, the ship that will change it all.

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These are the worst porters ever

Directed by Jonathan Frakes (aka Riker), Star Trek: First Contact (or Star Trek VIII:  First Contact) was the first all Star Trek: The Next Generation film in the series. Following Star Trek: Generation in 1994, the movie was met with positive reviews from critics and the audience, and is largely considered one of the best of the Star Trek feature films. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Make-Up but lost to The Nutty Professor.

Star Trek: First Contact didn’t have much to live up to. Star Trek: Generations wasn’t that great of a film and a poor first outing for the Star Trek: The Next Generation. Star Trek: Generations was unbalanced, too focused on specific characters and had a weak ending. Here, the writers get it right and utilize one of the best Star Trek villains in the Borg.

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The energy between the Borg Queen and Data is electric…literally

Borg stories were some of the best Star Trek: The Next Generation stories. This story incorporates one of the best Borg stories from the series. In Star Trek: The Next Generation “The Best of Both Worlds” episodes which made up the third series finale and the fourth season premiere. It involved Jean-Luc Picard being assimilated into the Borg Collective and being turned against humanity. Here, the writers did a smart job utilizing the series without turning off new viewers.  The film is easy to understand, ties into the series, but also functions as a stand-alone…a perfect mesh for a movie that was a television series.

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Ok, so not all special effects can be winners

With a great Borg storyline, there is a bit of weakness in the “Earth” storyline. It is the humor portion of the story with Zefram (Cromwell) as the creator of the “modern” Star Trek space era. appeared previously in the original Star Trek series in episode “Metamorphosis” (Star Trek—Season 2.9), but Cromwell doesn’t really resemble the actor. The humor is fun and very similar to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and sometimes gets a bit too funny but is needed to balance out the Borg story on the ship.

Star Trek: Generations didn’t do a good job utilizing the cast of Star Trek. Here, all the major Star Trek: The Next Generation cast gets to play (despite no Wesley Crusher aka Wil Wheaton). I also enjoy Alfre Woodard’s interaction with Patrick Stewart, but I find Cromwell is a bit over-the-top. The story also gives the cool villain in the Borg Queen played by Alice Krige and her relationship with Data (Brent Spiner) was also fun.

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Can we get back to the Borg now?

I always felt there was a lost moment in this movie. It appears that Cromwell’s character is a let down when the crew of the Enterprise arrives. I always thought an interesting twist on the story would have been to have character behind the fight, but forgotten by history. I thought this is where it was leading and that the crew would have been forced to lie about her involvement to allow to be the hero. It would have been a nice layer to add to an already good story.

I love Star Trek: First Contact. It has just what you want from a sci-fi film and an action film. The movie is loaded with comedy, big explosions, and a tense plot. I had high hopes for the Star Trek films after this film and until the Star Trek relaunch was sorely disappointed. Star Trek: First Contact is followed by Star Trek: Insurrection in 1998.

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Preceded By:

Star Trek:  Generations (1994)

Followed By:

Star Trek:  Insurrection (1998)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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