September 8, 2016

Star Trek: First Contact.

Review #840: Star Trek: First Contact.

Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), Jonathan Frakes (William Riker), Brent Spiner (Data), LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge), Michael Dorn (Worf), Gates McFadden (Beverly Crusher), Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), Alfre Woodard (Lily Sloane), James Cromwell (Zefram Cochrane), Alice Krige (Borg Queen), Michael Horton (Security Officer), and Neal McDonough (Lt. Hawk) Directed by Jonathan Frakes.

There have already been a plethora of Star Trek film reviews done by me (#009 - Star Trek (2009), #225 - Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, #226 - Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered County, #246 - Star Trek Generations, #299 - Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, #337 - Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, #492 - Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, #515 - Star Trek: The Motion Picture, #665 - Star Trek Into Darkness), but First Contact (based off ST: The Next Generation) was not one of them. Until now, anyway. Today is the 50th Anniversary of the premiere of the Original Series, and this year also happens to be the 20th Anniversary of this film, so I decided to connect the two for today. I guess you could call me a fan of The Next Generation, though I pride myself a film guy first...just kidding, nobody uses that phrase. In all seriousness, I really do dig the show, especially "The Best of Both Worlds", which also happens to have the Borg as the main villain. Onto the movie.

It's interesting that it's been over a year since I reviewed a Star Trek film, and it's almost been four years since I reviewed Star Trek Generations (#246). That movie was okay at points, but it never really felt interesting enough to make a movie out of. Having Kirk didn't help the idea of passing the torch fully from the original cast to the cast of the Next Generation, with a villain that was only mildly compelling at best. First Contact, however, is entertaining, using a familiar villain from the show but making it work for anyone to follow, much like with Wrath of Khan. Stewart is fairly compelling, with one of my favorite scenes being one in which he smashes a model ship into a window, and he is also pretty convincing in the action scenes, without losing too much of what makes him such a good Captain. Woodward also does pretty well in her scenes with Picard, having a fair amount of presence, particularly at the end right before the climax. Krige is clearly having fun as the villain, and she does a pretty good job, with the scenes with Spiner also being interesting to watch as well, managing to not chew too much of the scenery. The rest of the cast also does well, with Cromwell being pretty entertaining, alongside Frakes and Burton. Revenge (and time travel) are pretty common for Star Trek to begin with, but First Contact manages to convey it with enough conviction and legitimacy that it works on its own without being too familiar. The action scenes are done fine, without overshadowing the movie. The Borg look excellent, looking menacing and creepy at the same time. Simply put, it's an enjoyable movie that will most likely make you want to watch the show, but more likely stick with you for a while.

Live long and prosper, everyone.

Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.

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