AslumKhan's Rating of Star Trek: First Contact

Aslum's Review of Star Trek: First Contact

3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
Star Trek: First Contact

Star Trek: First Contact(1996)

Possibly the most overrated "Star Trek" film I have seen (have not seen them all).

STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT (Jonathan Frakes, 1996) features the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" crew in a new Enterprise, as promised by the previous film, which is ugly. No wait, I am getting ahead of this review. I have to do the plot summary before I lay into it. Let's continue.

So the NextGenners have a new Enterprise, and use it to rescue Worf (Michael Dorn)'s new ship (because we saw him get promoted in the previous film) from the Borg, those mindless, collective entities that we're reminded repeatedly once assimilated Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) in two episodes of the series. Of course we're /not/ reminded that the Enterprisers /freed/ a Borg from the collective, discovered he had independent thought, and sent him back, the implication being that he would undo the Borg's collective consciousness eventually, but then, that would get in the way of their plot, right?

Anyway, they give chase to those dastardly Borg, and of course, get sucked into a time warp, because apparently, after the success of STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME (Leonard Nimoy, 1986), the producers decided that time travel is box office gold in Star Trek movies, never stopping to think that maybe Leonard Nimoy's directing had anything to do with it. Once in the time warp, they discover, to their horror, that the Earth of the past has been overrun by the Borg, who achieved this by using time travel to undo "First Contact", this historical event that allowed humans and aliens to meet, thus creating the Star Trek franchise--er, universe. So naturally the good guys have to stop them. Will they? That's the film. And a big part of the problem.

See, the main problem I have with this movie is that what made "Star Trek" work is that the series told actual stories, while this is just a setup, a premise, at best. It's part of a long tradition of mainstream audiences and producers believing that an action movie just needs a setup, not a story, which is true of a movie like TAKEN (Pierre Morel, 2008), but not one based on a long-running television series. These characters have been well-developed over almost a decade of real stories, by a real science fiction writer. To slap them into a shoot-em-up action movie like this is terribly wrong-headed, and the fact that it's being perpetuated by Jonathan Frakes who, of all people, should know better, is downright insulting. The movie is full of juvenile schtick (Deanna Troi getting drunk), violations of continuity (I still have no idea who the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) is), and stuff that's just in poor taste (Data having sex). It's really low and visceral, which Star Trek was specifically known for not being. It's crap, for the most part - not much more to say than that.

So why do some people see it as the best "Star Trek" film? I can't say, but I imagine Frakes directing it might have something to do with it, as might mainstream audiences who aren't really Trek fans. Who knows? I just found it to be ugly, badly made, and thus way overrated. I am giving it some points because the stuff about Data having sex was handled well, it was just a very low idea to begin with. I will probably not watch this movie ever again, and that's definitely for the best. D-