Picard (Patrick Stewart) and crew return for what is the best of the ‘Next Generation’
movies. There’s lots of fun and excitement and tongue in cheek moments for all to enjoy, although some moments could get a little scary for the youngsters among you.
‘Star Trek First Contact’
is given a re-issue in this 2 disc Special Edition, as per movies 1 to 7, the stops have been pulled out, the print has never looked or sounded better (this has a new DTS track), and it’s loaded with more extras than the Borg could assimilate. Sadly that’s were this review comes into difficulty as disc 2 was not made available for review, so I cannot comment on the content of that disc but please check the database
for a full listing.
Picard is still haunted by his assimilation by the Borg six years previously (in the ‘Star Trek The Next Generation’
episode ‘Best of Both Worlds’
) and it’s not long before these nightmares become reality again to both him and his crew. While out surveying the stars they learn that the Borg are on an intercept course with Earth but because of the history of the Captain they are ordered to stay away, the fleet will handle the situation. Well this would not be much of a movie if they did and the fleet doesn’t last long (although they do have help from the Millennium Falcon !). Disobeying orders and heading towards Earth, the Enterprise goes at warp to go head to head with an old foe and probably the best villains ever created in the Star Trek universe. The Borg are a collective foe, controlled and operated in a hive-like mentality, and we have a Queen (Alice Krige) too, deadly and sexy in a strange fetish way.
The Enterprise reaches the floating wreckage that was once the pride of Starfleet and picks up a few stragglers including Lt Commander Worf (Michael Dorn) and go in full pursuit of the Earth bound Borg cube and before you know it a temperal vortex, time travel and the whole existence of the human race are flung into an exciting mix.
The cube is destroyed but not before a smaller ship jettisons out and causes a spin on things that now has the whole of the Earth populated by the Borg, it seems they have travelled back to the 21st century and changed the face of the future. The Enterprise follows in their wake and it’s up to them to put things to right.
The year this happens is quite significant to the creation of Starfleet, it’s the day before First Contact. The day when pioneering Dr. Zefram Cochrane (an excellent James Cromwell) is to make the first warp flight and bring humanity under the watchful eye of an alien race, the Vulcans, and this would form the very basis of order in the Universe to come. All this is in jeopardy now with the presence of the Borg.
The action splits into two here as we have a battle on the Enterprise with a Borg boarding party taking over the ship and the crew, and Riker (Jonathan Frakes who also takes on the directing duties) and Co have a battle of wits to persuade Cochrane to make that so important flight on time. The effects are great and there are some pretty decent action sequences, blowing ‘The Wrath of Khan’
away in the action stakes but it also has a solid human story too. Picard is on the warpath, being influenced by his rage at being raped by the Borg previously. The revered figure of the Cochrane that is told in future times is quite different from the rockin’ ‘n rollin’ heavy drinking womanising money-maker that is here in this hippy commune, that humanity is relying on. At one point he admits he’s only doing it for the money to shack up on a desert island with naked babes, and good for him, but there is a Lycra suit waiting with his name on it. <!--page-->
The crew of the Enterprise are getting fewer and fewer and even Data (Brent Spiner) becomes the Borg’s new pet, his drive for becoming more and more human is the deadly leaver the Borg are exploiting. Putting his emotion chip into overdrive and stimulating senses he has never felt before, he is seduced and tortured at the same time, his senses raped but he has never felt so alive before. This theme has only been gently touched before in previous episodes of the series but never to this potentially deadly extent.
We have all the good familiar elements of a Star Trek story, a new crew member is introduced in the shape of steely eyed Lieutenant Hawk (Neal McDonough) and you know that not before long he will be Borg fodder. There are cameo appearances from other Trekkers, Ethan Philips (Neelix from 'Star Trek Voyager') joins a whole host of Trekkers in the holodeck sequence (which also contains producer and writer Brannon Braga, screenwriter Ronald D. Moore, and stunt co-ordinator Ronnie Rondell Jr. amongst others) and The Doctor, or the E.M.H. (Robert Picardo) makes a tongue in cheek appearance. The movie is punctuated by loads of little jokes and humorous one liners, Cochrane even gets to say “So you're all astronauts on some sort of... star trek?” Lt. Reginald Barkley (Dwight Schultz) even gets to make homage to ‘Forbidden Planet’. And the character of Cochrane’s right arm, Lily Sloane (Alfre Woodard) keeps the human focal point on solid ground and acts as a counter balance to the action-man role given to Picard.
Veteran composer Jerry Goldsmith does a grand job on the score too.
Extras on disc 1 come in the shape of an audio commentary by director-actor Jonathan Frakes, audio commentary by screenwriters Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore and a text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda, which is like a pop up fact file throughout the movie.
'Star Trek First Contact SE'
is out to own now and available via Amazon UK
in the UK and in the US via Amazon
You can read more about the DVD in our database
A microsite has been created for a few interviews, trailers and other additions. Please click here