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.
In the twenty-fourth century, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-E has been ordered to patrol the Romulan Neutral Zone by the Federation to avoid interference with their battle against the insidious Borg. Witnessing the loss of the battle, Captain Jean-Luc Picard ignores orders and takes command of the fleet engaging the Borg. But the Borg plan to travel back into the twenty-first century through a vortex with the intention to stop Earth's first contact with an alien race (the Vulcans). Following the Borg sphere, Picard and his crew realize that they have taken over the Enterprise in order to carry out their mission. Their only chance to do away with the Borg and their seductive Queen is to make sure that Zefram Cochrane makes his famous faster-than-light travel to the stars.Written by
In Star Trek: The Next Generation: New Ground (1992), La Forge is talking about historic events which includes how great it would be to see Zefram Cochrane make the first warp drive. In this movie, La Forge not only gets to witness that event, but he helps repair the engine and takes the flight with him. See more »
Star Trek: First Contact is often considered to be one of the best Star Trek films and the best films featuring The Next Generation cast. This statement is justified because as someone who has never watched any Star Trek involving the TNG cast it does stand alone side the best 'Trek' films.
Star Trek: First Contact is set six years after Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) had been rescued from the Borg and he is stilled plagued with nightmares and flashbacks. Now the Borg have started to invade the Federation and the battle is only won by the Enterprise's late intervention. However the Borg have a trick up the sleeve and travel back in time to conquer Earth. The Enterprise crew is unaffected and it is up to them to travel back to stop the Borg conquest and help the legendary Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell) who achieved the first wrap flight and made contact with an alien race.
Like 'Wrath of Khan' 'First Contact' was a continuation of a critically acclaimed episode, but even if you haven't seen it 'First Contact' works on its own terms and finds that sweet spot to appeal to fans and non-fans alike and matching the two tones the franchise has straddled, dark and brooding and light-hearted and funny. The film has with a dark image of Picard being assimilated into the Borg and his eye about to drilled before waking up and all the half of the film that features the Borg is the most atmospheric. The Borg are great villains, a near unstoppable hive a races that have been conquered, a collective that all linked together who work as one unit.
Picard's assimilation with the Borg is both an advantage and disadvantage. Picard knows how the Borg operates and their tactics, so knows how to fight them, but he desire for revenge make Picard irrational. It's like Khan who could have been free after capturing the Enterprise in 'Wrath of Khan' but his want for revenge against Kirk is his downfall. Stewart gave a passionate speech about not sacrificing the Enterprise to the Borg.
The Borg's assimilation of the Enterprise makes for a dark and dank atmosphere compared to the more brightly lit environments of the Enterprise. It is this sector of the film where we saw the Borg Queen (Alice Krige), the voice and personification of the Borg collective. Her introduction was impressive, her human body being lowered into a cybernetic body, CGI effects that still hold up today. Most of the Borg Queen's interactions are with Data (Brent Spiner), trying to convince him to join the collective, making him more human to attractive this.
The cliché perspective of Star Trek from non-fans is that it a slow, boring franchise that only appeals to a hardcore fanbase. "First Contact" blows that perspective out of the water - it starts with a huge space battle between the Federation and the Borg as the alien hive try to invade Earth and there are sprinklings of actions scenes throughout the film. One of the best is scene when three members of the Enterprise crew having to stop the Borg from creating a satellite dish - it was a tense scene that was similar to the assassination of the Klingon Chancellor in "The Undiscovered Country".
The action on Earth where Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Troi (Marina Sirtis) and Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) help Cochran with the first warp flight is more lighter in tone. The more comedic approach combined with the time travel story, cultural clash and essentially revealing the future to Cochrane made this half of film similar to "The Voyage Home". Cochrane is hailed a hero by everyone in the Federation, a man whose action united Earth, made a scientific breakthrough and made his planet a player in galactic politics but the reality was he was a drunk, he wanted to make money and is overwhelmed by finding out what his future holds. It made the character more human as he has to accept his destiny and James Cromwell, being the professional that he is was brilliant at humanising the character as he drunkenly dances and having the deal with the weight on his shoulders.
"First Contact" is a film that works for both fans and non-fans alike, having action, being able to balance a dark plot with lighter moments and working as a continuation and a standalone film, being a strong sci-fi film in its own right.
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