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.
The Enterprise is diverted to the Romulan homeworld Romulus, supposedly because they want to negotiate a peace treaty. Captain Picard and his crew discover a serious threat to the Federation once Praetor Shinzon plans to attack Earth.
On the eve of retirement, Kirk and McCoy are charged with assassinating the Klingon High Chancellor and imprisoned. The Enterprise crew must help them escape to thwart a conspiracy aimed at sabotaging the last best hope for peace.
In the 24th century, the crew of the Enterprise-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 21st 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
The original 1993 edition of "The Official Star Trek Chronology" had hypothesized that the year of Zefram Cochrane's warp flight was 2061. This movie shows this as taking place in 2063. A revised updated version of the Chronology correcting this information was released shortly after the movie. See more »
Supposedly, Cochrane used an ICBM as the launch vehicle for the Phoenix, launching from the missile silo. But controls for the silo are nowhere near the silo itself because the exhaust would incinerate the crew monitoring the launch. See more »
"Don't be a great man, just be a man, and let history sort it out"
First Contact is not simply as a great Star Trek film. It's wonderfully smart and sophisticated science fiction period. Here's the hook that I like about it, which may or may not have been intentional (but given that Ronald Moore is the co-writer, the beautiful mind behind Battlestar Galactica, I'll say yes): we often think about being from other worlds coming to our own and how we see them and their technology, and that's the point of view, of US seeing the OTHER.
The power with this movie is that because it's Trek, we have a vehicle for characters who are from another time and place, though who are us (in some ways more than others, usually more), and in this story as the Enterprise has to go back in time to the year 2063 with on one side The Borg to grapple with again and to make sure that a one-day-important man Zephram Cochrane (James Cromwell), who is basically a drunk who loves to dance to old time rock and roll and has somehow created what will be the warp drive everyone uses in the future, the roles are reversed. In short, we get to have a pure science fiction story that is loaded with ideas that, because it's the Borg (again, not unlike the original series the movies do a good course correct with their sophomore outing), we get to see what attaining "perfection" really means on contrast with a character like Zephram on the other side. It's a terrific balancing act.
I'm sure that for Trek fans, and the ones for TNG I think are a *little* more fanatical than even the ones for the original series, could be wrong on that, there are great callbacks and just by making it the Borg, which was one of the highlights of that show and how intense and psychologically profound it got (what would happen if you were stripped of your personality and "assimilated" by an entire collective consciousness - an analogy for political persuasion I suppose but could be anything). But for general audiences, i.e. those who may not watch Trek or only do occasionally, it works on its own terms.
The writers and director Jonathan Frakes make this fast moving but loaded with character motivations and arcs and plot - even for Alfre Woodard, who at first appears to be a supporting player, is probably closest to an audience surrogate and all the better for it (she gets to play a lot of emotions here, the full spectrum for bad-ass to terrified to indignation and wonder and awe and so on). And I think the themes it's wrestling with are easy enough to grapple with, about how what it means when you're thrust with the reputation of being a MAJOR leader and figurehead in the future, or if there's a being that can turn on and off an 'emotion chip' ("Sometimes, I really envy you," Picard comments, rightfully so), but also has the goal to become more human and is given that chance... by the villain. I can go on and on.
It's also extremely funny - the great comedic lines are sharp and witty, or they play on character stuff like when Zephram gets Marian Sirtis' character drunk on "this thing called Tequila" - and has beats that combine humor and satire and suspense with seemingly great ease: when Picard has to buy a moment or two from the Borg, he "brings to life", literally, a chapter from a book that's set in a 1930's style nightclub (he in a fedora and suit, Woodard in period clothes, surrounded by extras and so on) until he realizes he's in the wrong chapter, pushes it ahead and is in a white tuxedo, gets a Tommy gun and blows away the Borg (much as he can do).
This is one of those moments that would be brilliant in any movie, that could pull it off well, and this does. And at the heard of it all is the villain of the "Leader" of the Borg, played with aplomb and delivish villainy by Alice Krige, who wants to turn Data as with all beings into this "perfect" consciousness that she's had for so long. But does she truly know what she is? Or care? Certainly to Data it matters for much of the run time.
Such rich conflict in this movie! And characters talking out their problems, like Picard's issue about whether he should or shouldn't destroy the Enterprise in order to save his crew from the Borg. And throughout the writers weave in clever ideas and concepts and give full SCI-FI moments like, I couldn't even believe it, Picard and Warf and that other guy going out with Zero-G space suits on to the ship to stop some thing-a-ma-bob from going off that the Borg's setting up, and that transported me to a direct place in science fiction cinema too - that slow-speed and all the more intense for it act of doing something in space where if you lose your grip on the ground you'll float away to death.
This may be the best Trek film of the modern day, on par if not superior(!) to 'Khan' as a blend of adventure, story, action, and deeper philosophical notions about how we see ourselves, our roles in shaping the future, the past, and being ourselves throughout it all.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this