Star Trek: First Contact starts off with an impressive long tracking shot which I can’t recall having seen before in a Star Trek movie. This was the moment that I realized that this might be something better than the previous installment and we’re only no less than 1 minute in the movie, opening credits excluded. But then of course this installment has an even number and they seem to have the tendency to be better than their uneven counterparts, at least up to this point.
Pretty quickly we get introduced to a new enemy: The Borg. These villains are mentioned to be cyborgs and make cyborgs out of everybody they encounter. They’re some sort of 21st century zombies I think. They also have no personality as they all get told what to do by the Borg Queen. A bit like how the Bee-system works with one queen and lots of worker-bees. As you might have noticed by now I’m a bit in the dark of who or what the Borg are and where they come from. This is a problem with Star Trek: First Contact which assumes that you’ve watched the series and know everybody. People like me, who only watch the movies, can get a bit lost. It also seems that Captain Picard has had an encounter with the Borg some time ago and that’s why when the Borg pose a threat the Enterprise is ordered to check some empty part of Space. They’re afraid Picard is going out for revenge.
Luckily Picard disobeys and attacks the Borg cube, which I found to be an original design for a ship. The Borg escape via time-travel and when the Enterprise tags along they find that the Borg have gone back in time and assimilated the entire planet Earth. So the Enterprise goes back even further in time to the year of 2063 to stop the Borg from assimilating everybody. Tough luck for them the Borg have warped themselves on the Enterprise and starts to assimilate the entire ship from within while also trying to prevent the moment of “First Contact”: the first time Aliens made contact with the humans which occurred when Dr. Zefram Cochrane invented Warp Speed. So the crew of the Enterprise, split in 2, has to fight off/escape from the Borg on their ship and make sure everything goes just right on Planet Earth so that the “First Contact” will be made.
This is a more action packed Star Trek and adds a good doses of humor into the plot as well. Dr. Zefram Cochrane, worshiped as one of the greatest scientists of all time and honored with statues and schools and libraries named after him, turns out to be a drunk wannabe-womanizer. He’s played by the legendary James Cromwell. In his filmography it says that he also played Jaglom Shrek in the TV-Series The Next Generation as well as Hanok in Deep Space Nine. I’m betting this is the kind of trivia the average Trekkie probably drools over.
The action and the humor is divided between the two settings: The Enterprise where the Borg resides and who have assimilated several crew-members and are working on Data to become one of them. The Enterprise is the place where most of the action take place, fight scenes occur and the most intense acting takes place. Picard gets to show his classic training as he gets to quote Moby Dick. Earth is where the setting is more light-hearted. One crewmember gets introduced to Tequila and one important question is asked: do you still have to pee in the future?
The most fun Trek-movies are the ones where they apparently travel back in time to an Earth that resembles ours today. Despite being set in 2063 they still have stuff like jukeboxes. When Star Trek puts the crew in our time on our planet the movies shine at their brightest. Like The Voyage Home being the best of the Trek movies with the original cast I can see this one becoming the best of the bunch with the Next Generation cast.
Maybe they should try to use the Enterprise just for its primary function only: transportation. Can you see Batman being a large amount of the time in his Batmobile or Cave? Unless there’s danger on board the less the crew is on the ship the better. Luckily in this movie there’s plenty of danger on the ship.
Star Trek: First Contact is a fun movie but people not familiar with the show might miss out on stuff, I know I probably did. But I had a good time anyway.