Star Trek IX: First Contact (1996)

I’d like to start off just by saying that I’m not a die hard Star Trek fan. I’ve only seen all the films and am reviewing this solely as a spectator and not a hard core Trekkie.

To describe this film in the easiest way would be to say that it is Dawn of the Dead meets either the Back to the Future films or Time Machine. The entire crew of the Enterprise have time traveled back in time to stop the Borg from stopping first contact earth has with aliens. So this ends up with Patrick Stewart and part of his crew trapped aboard the USS Enterprise E trying to fend off the Borg, whith in short are robotic zombies that manage to kill mostly everybody. Parallel to this (on Earth) is the rest of the crew racing againsnt the clock trying to send James Cromwell into space so he can make contact with aliens, before the Borg destroy earth.

It probably isn’t as complex as I have made it sound, but in fairness the two plots running together amongst each other does make the film feel very crowded, and each plot seems as if it is shouting to be herd. However the contrast in themes between each story makes the diversities bearable. As the Patrick Stewart story is more of a Horror and the James Cromwell story is more of a  comedy. But this is hardly a mess of a film. It does work. Especially in comparison to the other Star Trek films this is definitely one of the better ones.

What makes this better than the other Star Trek films is the amount of pace this film has. Considering the other Star Trek’s kind of just plopped along on intergalactic mission’s and were perhaps to broad for there own good.

The one major fault all of the original Star Trek films has is that it rely’s to heavily on targeting the film at an audience that is already heavily involved with the Star Trek universe. So many references and in-jokes are lost entirely and the whole film just feels like a big TV movie.

The film also features a surprisingly underrated James Cromwell who seems to be in an entirely different film entirely. Also the great Sir Patrick Stewart who’s character seems to be going through an emotional breakdown through out the film and you can really tell through his performance. But no matter how good the acting is the whole fact that the film doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. Where things just happen for the sake of it. For example a not entirely necessary hollow deck scene where Patrick Stewart kills a Borg with a Tommy Gun! Where hard core Trekkie’s may sit in wonder at the scene’s complexity everyone else in the audience is kind of just left thinking “What now?”

F.O.T.M.

Not exactly a bench mark in Science Fiction films but definitely one of the best of the Star Trek Franchise and I would highly recommend this for those who just want to test the waters in the Star Trek Franchise.

Best Line in the Film:“I’m a doctor not a doorstop.”  Either that or everything James Cromwell’s character says.

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